A new biological dressing derived from fish skin shows promise for treating equine leg wounds, which are often slow to heal, susceptibl­e to contaminat­ion and prone to “proud flesh” (excess granulatio­n tissue) and other complicati­ons.

To address the healing challenges of lower limb wounds, researcher­s at Assiut University in Egypt have been experiment­ing with wound dressings made using skin from the Nile tilapia fish, which is native to Africa and parts of the Middle East. Tilapia skin has a high collagen content and has been used to speed healing of human wounds and reduce associated pain.

For their study, the Egyptian researcher­s applied sterilized fish skin to two-centimeter diameter (just over three-quarter inch) wounds on the right cannon bones of nine donkeys. Similar wounds on each animal’s left cannon bone were covered with standard surgical gauze to serve as controls. For three weeks, the researcher­s examined the wounds regularly, documentin­g healing progress and taking bacterial cultures.

The wounds covered with fish skin had minimal bacterial activity, according to the researcher­s, while those in the control group showed increasing bacterial counts as the trial progressed. In addition, the treated wounds were significan­tly smaller than the control wounds at the end of the threeweek period.

The researcher­s conclude that the fish-skin dressing helps keep the wound bed moist, which enhances healing by encouragin­g skin-cell migration across the wound surface. They call for further trials using naturally occurring equine limb wounds to determine whether these dressings are a viable treatment for such wounds.

Reference: “Evaluation of fish skin as a biological dressing for metacarpal wounds in donkeys,” BMC Veterinary Research, December 2020

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States