Effects of topical application of antimicrobials and bandaging on healing and granulation tissue formation in wounds of the distal aspect of the limbs in horses

Douglass B Berry, Kenneth E Sullins
American Journal of Veterinary Research 2003, 64 (1): 88-92

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether povidone iodine ointment or 2 forms of silver sulfadiazine applied topically to wounds of the distal aspect of the limbs in horses affect the rate of second intention healing and to evaluate the additional influence of bandaging with these antimicrobials on granulation tissue formation.

ANIMALS: 6 healthy adult horses.

PROCEDURE: Six standardized 2.5-cm2 skin wounds/horse were distributed between the dorsomedial surfaces of the metacarpi and metatarsi. One of the following 6 treatments was applied to each wound: 1% silver sulfadiazine cream with bandage, 1% silver sulfadiazine slow-release matrix with bandage, 1% silver sulfadiazine slow-release matrix without bandage, povidone-iodine ointment with bandage, untreated control with bandage, and untreated control without bandage. Wound area, granulation tissue area, and perimeter were measured by use of planimetry software applied to digital images. Exuberant granulation tissue was excised when present. Days until healing, rate of healing parameter, rate of contraction, and epithelialization were compared among wound treatment groups.

RESULTS: Healing parameters and mean days to healing did not differ significantly among any of the wound treatment groups. Percentage wound contraction and rate of epithelialization were similar among wound treatments. All bandaged wounds produced exuberant granulation tissue, which was surgically excised; none of the unbandaged wounds produced exuberant granulation tissue.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: When exuberant granulation tissue is removed, rates of epithelialization and wound contraction were not different among wound treatment groups, whether bandaged or unbandaged. Topical application of 1% silver sulfadiazine slow-release matrix on unbandaged wounds induced the same result as medications applied beneath bandages, but without exuberant granulation tissue formation.

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