Novel Bioelectric Wound Healing Device in Horses

September 29, 2014 (published)

The lower limb injuries common in horses are often difficult to heal because the lower legs have decreased blood supply and increased tension.  Also, proud flesh - a pinkish granulation tissue that keeps growing over a wound until the tissue bulges above skin level and newly formed skin cannot grow over the wound - is a major problem in equine lower leg wounds that delays or even prevents healing.  There are many different methods for treating these injuries, including bandaging, casting, and the use of many different topical medications.  Every veterinarian has their favorite topical medication, which indicates that many methods are effective in getting these wounds to heal.  A veterinarian from California reported on a new method of treating these wounds by the use of a bioelectric device placed on the wound under a wrap.  The device is a pad containing zinc and silver called Procellera and the ingredients are placed in a dot matrix pattern which creates tiny microbatteries on the surface of the wound.  The manufacturers say an electrical signal increases wound healing, and that zinc and silver are antimicrobial and help with wound healing. 

No external power is required as it is bioelectric. It produces a sustained voltage on the wound surface.  The pads are applied with gauze and tape and changed every three to four days.  The manufacturer indicates this device decreases proud flesh, healing time, and pain from the wound; there are multiple successful cases presented in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.  The device seems to be helpful in healing although there are no controls used in the studies to show how a similar laceration would heal when treated in the same manner without the bioelectric device.  However, if your horse has a non-healing wound on the leg, this bioelectric device could be used as an option.

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