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Amnion for Wound Treatment in Horses

Date Published: 06/11/2007

Equine veterinarians commonly treat horse wounds and we are always looking for something that will allow faster healing. Over the last several years, amniotic membrane has been used as a wound dressing. Amniotic membrane is the membrane that is passed after a foal is born. Although it may seem a little unusual, it has been used in human medicine for the treatment of non-healing ulcers, burns, lesions on the surface of the eye, and pressure sores. Dr. Carrie Long and Dr. Lisa Schultz indicate there are many advantages of amniotic membrane as a wound dressing. It functions as a protective barrier for the wound, prevents fluid and protein loss, prevents the growth of bacteria, and reduces pain at the wound site. The structure of amnion is similar to skin and it contains growth factors that help to promote granulation tissue.

After birth of a foal, the amniotic membrane is saved and cut into small pieces so it will fit most equine lower leg wounds. The membrane is soaked in a dilute Betadine solution for 24 hours and then is soaked in a dilute solution of white vinegar and water for another 24 hours. After this, the membrane is frozen in a solution of vinegar and water and is thawed when needed. When used as a wound covering, it is placed on the wound under saline-soaked gauze and wrapped. The wrap is removed in 5 days and the process repeated as necessary until healed. Drs. Long and Schultz reported using this technique after removing a portion of hoof wall after a hoof abscess at the coronary band and they believe the amnion greatly decreased the healing time. Ask your vet about using amnion to treat leg wounds on your horses.



 
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