Wounds are of great concern in animals as they affect animal productivity and their treatment represents an economic burden to the owners particularly in developing countries. The present study investigated the beneficial role of a mixture of cod liver oil and honey in treatment of old wounds in equines. In which, 3 horses and 7 donkeys were admitted to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt with old wounds at the metacarpus (5 cases) and metatarsus (3 cases) and at the level of fetlock and carpal joints (one case each). Treatment of these wounds with cod liver oil/honey mixture markedly decreased their sizes and resulted in formation of a healthy scar after one month of treatment. To explain the mechanisms that underlie the effects of this mixture, 9 surgically-induced wounds at the metacarpus in 9 donkeys were treated with honey, cod liver oil or the mixture (3 wounds each) and compared with parallel untreated control wounds at the metatarsus. It was found that treatment of wounds with honey, cod liver oil and
the mixture apparently decreased the size of wounds. Histopathological examination revealed that treated wounds with honey or cod liver oil showed complete epithelization over the wound areas. On the other hand, epithelization process was not complete in wounds treated with the mixture. Granulation tissue showed some variability between different treatments. Of which, wounds treated with the mixture showed a higher degree of maturity with increasing numbers of fibrocytes and parallel collagenous fibers. This could underlie the good results obtained in case studied wounds with the mixture. In conclusion, mixture of cod liver oil and honey is beneficial in treatment of old traumatized wounds in equine and this effect is primarily mediated by formation of healthy and mature scars. Cod liver oil or honey alone is beneficial for healing of recent and surgical wounds as they facilitate epithelization process.
Equine, Wound, Healing, Honey, Cod liver oil.