Healing Pet Wounds with Sugar and Honey

Honey for healing wounds

Sometimes it seems that the oldest remedies are still the best, and that’s definitely the case with the use of sugar and honey for the healing of wounds and ulcers. Honey has been recognized for its healing properties for millenia, with written works from Muslim healers promoting its use as a wound dressing.

In fact, a study in Bonn, Germany, has found that the use of medicinal honey wound dressings encouraged ‘debridement’ and more rapid healing:

A three-year-long study at the University of Bonn, Germany, reported good healing rates in the use of MEDIHONEYTM as a dressing for wounds in 15 children with cancer, a population prone to non-healing ulcers because of weakened immunity after radiation and chemotherapy. Preliminary results of another clinical trial comparing MEDIHONEYTM with hydrogel dressings in 100 patients with chronic leg ulcers were recently presented at the European Wound Management Association conference in Scotland. Those findings indicated that the group treated with honey experienced a higher rate of debridement and significantly faster healing than in the group treated with another advanced wound care gel.

Read the rest here.

Another study showed that honey’s healing rate on infected, post operative wounds outstripped that of even antibiotics:

A single study in infected postoperative wounds compared honey with antiseptics in addition to systemic antibiotics after culture and sensitivity. For all outcomes honey was significantly better, with much shorter times for healing, eradication of infection, use of antibiotics and hospital stay (supplementary material). The proportion of wounds healed without dehiscence or resuturing was 22/26 (85%) for honey compared with 12/24 (50%) with antiseptic

My grandmother always used honey on any minor burns or wounds, both on people and on her dogs. She’d cheerfully slather us up with honey, then seal it with a thick coating of granulated sugar. She swore that this is what the famous Mary Poppins song ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ was referring to – the usefulness of sugar and honey as healing agents. Of course, she also thought that wrapping our throats in mustard paste cured bronchitis, and that fairies lived in the bottom of the garden, but in the case of sugar and honey at least it seems she was quite right.

This article on the Dogs in Canada website by Dr. Jeff Grognet, DVM, details a regimen for treating pet wounds with honey and sugar:

When applied to a wound, sugar lowers the water content to a level that prevents bacterial growth. However, infection control is only a small part of the beneficial effect of sugar. It also draws nutrient-rich fluid into damaged tissue, promoting regeneration of cells at the surface of the wound. As well, sugar decreases edema (fluid buildup) generated by inflammation, reduces odours from wounds, and accelerates sloughing of devitalized tissue.

Ultimately, a bed of healthy tissue – granulation tissue – forms over wounds managed with sugar. For this reason, sugar therapy is an excellent choice for wounds with large areas of skin loss (like those created when a dog is dragged or rolled along the road after being hit by a car). Ulcers and burns can also benefit from sugar therapy.

Go here to read the rest, including application protocol.