GENETIC OBSTACLES TO HEALING
There’s one factor that Derek Knottenbelt, BVM&S, PhD, doesn’t always include on his famous list of wound-healing inhibitors because it’s relatively rare: genetic disease.
“There are a few genetic abnormalities that can affect the physiology of the skin itself and its ability to heal,” Knottenbelt explains. “In stock horses there’s HERDA [hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia] and there’s a similar syndrome in other breeds called epidermolysis bullosa.” Both diseases produce defects in the structure of the skin that make it extremely fragile and slow or unable to heal. Caring for these horses can be difficult, with or without wounds, and requires specialized, intense management. Many horses are euthanatized because the condition cannot be controlled.