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Question Re: Manuka Honey

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Does a Manuka honey bandage need to be changed every day?


I bought a jar back in the summer for a degloved toe of Desi's that I couldn't get to heal. It worked beautifully, but the

area was between 2 toes, so I didn't bandage it, just smeared the honey in there every day & left it open. Now we've got

a miserable degloving on his tail from an unfortunate accident. Of course I snagged the Manuka Honey to help it heal,

but this injury must be bandaged and the folks at the clinic insist that a honey bandage is a breeding ground for bacteria

and must be changed every day.


Since they'd never even heard of Manuka honey's awesomeness, I trust y'all more.

Change bandage every day? Or can it go a couple of days before changing?

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.

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From reading these articles I would say at least every day to start, if not twice a day. I changed Nadir's dressing twice a day when he had the infected pressure ulcer on his elbow. If you decide to use the honey take pictures so others can see how well it works.






Using honey dressings: the practical consideratiions


Dressing the wound


The literature contains little on the methods used to dress wounds with honey, and where details are provided it is apparent that techniques vary widely. The following advice is based on clinical experience gained at the Honey Research Unit and that of associates working in the field.


Amount of honey


The amount of honey needed to treat a wound depends on the amount of exudate, because the beneficial effects are reduced or lost if small amounts of honey are diluted by large amounts of exudate. The deeper the infection, the more honey will be needed to achieve an effective level of antibacterial activity diffusing deep into the wound tissues. Typically, 20ml of honey (25-30g) should be used on a 10cm-square dressing.


Frequency of dressing changes


This depends on how rapidly the honey is diluted by exudate. Dressings are usually changed once a day, but with heavily exuding or infected wounds they may initially need to be changed up to three times a day.


The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action of honey will reduce the amount of exudate, so within a few days the dressings should need to be changed less frequently. In some cases dressing changes may be reduced to every two to three days.


If the dressing adheres to the wound this usually indicates that it needs to be changed more often. If it continues to adhere to the wound after more frequent changes, a wound contact material should be placed on the wound before the honey dressing is applied.


The choice of non-adherent dressing is important as it must be sufficiently porous to allow the honey to diffuse through to the wound bed. For example, honey will not diffuse through dressings that are impregnated with paraffin.


Dressing application


Honey is runny and sticky, which can make it a difficult medium to handle, but this can be overcome by soaking it into an absorbent wound-contact material, such as gauze and cotton tissue. Wound-contact materials that have been preimpregnated with honey are the most convenient way to apply it to surface wounds. Preimpregnated pads, which use honey with a standardised level of antibacterial activity that has been sterilised by gamma irradiation, are available commercially in New Zealand.


The honey dressing should be cut to a size that extends beyond the edges of the wound, covering any surrounding area of inflammation.


Abscesses, cavities and depressions in the wound bed should be filled with honey before the honey dressing pad is applied, so that honey is always in contact with the wound bed. The most convenient way to do this is to use a tube of irradiated leptospermum honey.


Occlusive or absorbent secondary dressings should be applied to prevent the honey oozing from the wound. Occlusive dressings have been found to keep more of the honey in contact with the wound as absorbent dressings tend to soak it up.


If an adhesive occlusive dressing has not been used, adhesive tape or bandages can be used to hold the dressing in place.


Honey dressings can also be used under multilayer compression bandaging. They usually need to be changed twice a week, particularly in the early stages of treatment until exudate levels have decreased, but daily changes may be necessary if there is heavy exudation.

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You certainly wouldn't want to use *raw* honey on an open wound -- you wouldn't want to introduce botulism (a problem with raw honey).


Otherwise, honey and sugar are sometimes used as wound dressings, with varying effectiveness, and do have some antibacterial properties.


With tail wounds, I and my vets have usually preferred to change the bandage after 1 day to check that all is well; then if all is well after 2 days, then 3, then 5-7. You want to balance making sure healing is occurring and infection is not occurring with leaving the wound alone so as not to disturb new tissue formation. Usually we just smear our antibiotic ointment of choice on the part of the bandage that will be next to the wound, while the wound is still open and draining.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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When Indy had a large open wound on his rib cage (mass removal and the wound was not healing), my vet debrided the area and we used manuka to promote healing. I changed it every day and gradually went longer as it granulated, as instructed by my vet. Good luck!


Cindy with Miss Fancypants, Paris Bueller, Zeke, and Angus 
Dante (Dg's Boyd), Zoe (In a While), Brady (Devilish Effect), Goose (BG Shotgun), Maverick (BG ShoMe), Maggie (All Trades Jax), Sherman (LNB Herman Bad) and Indy (BYB whippet) forever in my heart
The flame that burns the brightest, burns the fastest and leaves the biggest shadow

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Doctors use manuka honey on patients with serious burns, where there is no skin left. My vet has had me pack the honey into the open wound to promote granulation and prevent the growth of bacteria.

When I got Ace, he had 72 stitches holding his lower leg together . The person caring for him after his owner died, did not know that she should change the dressing. It was an infected mess by the time I got him to my vet. After cleaning out the infected yuck, the vet wanted me to treat it as an open wound. She had suggested sugar, but was amazed at my results using honey. I slathered honey on the wound, then stuck a non stick pad on it. The honey held the pad in place while I wrapped it in gauze and taped it to secure it. I covered that with a sock held on with vet wrap. I did change it twice a day at first, then once a day, then every other day. I sprayed vetricyn under the pad to get it off if it was sticking to the wound.

For Gigi's happy tail I had to change the dressing several times a day. It was looking great at six weeks, but the end became necrotic a few days later. We couldn't save the tail.

My vet was very open to researching manuka honey, and now recommends it for wound care.

Good luck!

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Guest MnMDogs

When we did this for Mork, my vet said change when the bandage became soaked through, regardless of number of days. But did suggest to change not more than once a day

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