Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Healing Properties of Manuka Honey

During our dog's post surgery recovery it came to our attention that granular honey is very beneficial when applied to wounds that are slow to heal. We were told that any local unpasturized honey would do . . . but after doing some reading online it seemed worth the extra $20.00 to buy Manuka Honey. What's twenty dollars? . . . after oncology vet bills! The Honey Research Unit, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato, New Zealand has been researching the healing properties of Manuka Honey for over twenty years.

After reading online I learned that unpasturized granular honey rapidly clears infection by destroying bacteria and repairs damaged skin. It has been used on humans with burns, ulcers and bedsores. It hastens the healing process and helps to regenerate new skin growth. After several weeks of little change (only negative) we were certainly willing to give granular honey a try.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Post Surgery Photos - Canine - Complications


This post has detailed photos of our dog's leg - after her cancer surgery. Large surgical "margins" mean there is not much skin left to close up the site. . . especially on tiny Collie legs. Cider's skin was OK for the first few days after surgery but then began to split. Just couldn't stretch any more. The torn skin would have to heal as an "open wound" - no more stitches.
If post surgery pictures will upset you, please look no further.
The photographs are posted in reverse order . . . . from recovery back to the beginning. I have posted these photos for the benefit of other dog owners that are going throught the same stressful process of looking after a dog that is slow to heal. We were literally watching new skin grow at the pace of 1mm a day. Slow and steady.

Using Granular Honey to help heal a wound that can not be stitched worked for our dog. We used Manuka Honey from New Zealand from April 3rd to May 5th. What a difference a month makes : )

May 5th ~ Delicate but finally closed.
No more open wounds and the black (dead) tissue has fallen off with pretty pink tissue underneath. We were very happy with her progress.

FYI ~ Cider had four layers of bandage to protect her leg (not shown).

1. Several layers of four inch square Gauze, with new honey on the top layer;
2. Soft padding or Cotton Wrap for a buffer;
3. Gauze Wrap to hold the padding secure; and
4. then the stretchy "Vet Wrap" to hold everything in place.

Every time we changed Cider's bandage we showed her each layer we took off . . .followed by a display of each layer we put on. We kept the routine exactly the same, at the same place in the kitchen every time - on a non skid mat. She sat quietly and held up her paw so we could work on her leg. I was the removal crew and my husband was the new bandage crew. He was better at getting the correct tightness. Cider let me do the rinsing/cleaning. Cider was always rewarded with a piece of hot dog at the end. It seemed to work. Thank God she willingly let us change her bandage daily.

April 15th ~ New Tissue Growth. You can see the thin flim of white that is the first stage of new tissue growth. We were very easy on the cleaning at this pioint. We did not want to wash away the progress. The gold area is just dried honey.

April 9th ~ From the Bottom up. The larger hole on the left needs to fill in with new tissue growth. The Vet explained this will happen from the bottom up and quite slowly. Perhaps only a millimetre a day. We were warned that the thin area of skin between the two holes could easily die, turn black and fall off. Pink is good. Black is dead (eg. small scab top left of photo).

April 6th - First sign of improvement "Pretty in Pink" is the theme of the month. That is what we were told to look for. Note the light pink new skin in the small hole on the right. That would be healing : ) The gold tones are just residual honey. We focused on gently cleaning the wound - just a quick rinse with a saline solution. We warmed it to body temperature (7 seconds in the microwave) and used an eye dropper. I tested it on my own skin first. We were very careful to avoid disturbing any new tissue growth. The "cold" saline solution always made Cider jump. Once it was body temperature she was fine. Thanks to a nurse/friend for giving me that tip!

We didn't worry about the honey that was stuck to Cider's fur. We did not want to bother our dog any more than we had to. A daily bandage change with her co-operation was very much appreciated. We were thrilled to confirm that saline and honey do not sting.

April 3rd ~ Cleaned by Vet and Ready for Honey Treatments. Quite intimidating to look at I thought. Actually I didn't look any more ~ Just got that dreaded bandage change overwith . . . took the pictures on "auto" with a flash and viewed them after the fact on the computer.

~ The "Before" Photo ~