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Protect Against Infection and Scarring with Proper Wound Care

New York, NY (August 21, 2008)--Despite the care that owners and managers often lavish upon their horses, the occasional bite, scrape, or other type of wound is inevitable. Proper care of these minor wounds is essential to protect against infection and allow them to heal with minimal scarring.

Whether inflicted by other horses out in the field or scraping against an object in the stall, all horses suffer from minor cuts or abrasions at one time or another. The first step for any horse owner or caretaker is to assess the damage and determine whether the wound is serious enough to require a veterinary visit. Wounds that are very deep, bleeding profusely, or appear infected should be examined by a veterinarian.

"Minor scrapes and scratches in horses are generally easily treatable by equine caretakers with good hygiene and over-the-counter topical dressings," said John Donecker, VMD, MS, Dipl ABVP (equine) – Senior Veterinarian at Pfizer Animal Health. "However, owners should not hesitate to call their veterinarians if they are unsure of the severity of a wound."

The first step is to carefully wash the wound with a topical microbicide, such as a dilute povidone-iodine solution. Depending on the severity and placement of the wound, caretakers may apply a bandage or simply a dressing to protect the healing tissue. There are two methods of application for topical wound dressings; either an aerosol spray such as GRANULEX(R) V, or an ointment such as DERMA-CLENS(R). Spray dressings are usually best for wounds on the legs and other areas likely to become dirty if the horse is turned out or lies down in the stall, though these areas can also be protected with bandages if an ointment is used. Regardless of the type of dressing used, the affected area should be cleaned twice a day and the dressing reapplied to promote optimal healing.

"Dirt and bacteria are everywhere in the horse’s environment, so the cleanliness of the wound should be the first concern of horse owners," said Donecker. "Topical dressings can help to speed up the healing process by protecting against infection and other conditions that may slow the healing process."

Other issues that may occur with minor wounds include the buildup of necrotic tissue and bacterial and fungal growth. For example, GRANULEX V contains tryspin, an enzyme that aids in the removal of dead, damaged or infected tissue, and DERMA-CLENS cream has a low pH to discourage the growth of opportunistic bacteria and fungi.

If the wound does not appear to heal under normal care, or becomes swollen or inflamed, owners should consult with their veterinarians to determine the best course of treatment.

Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the world’s largest research-based biomedical and pharmaceutical company, also is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Animal Health is dedicated to improving the safety, quality and productivity of the world’s food supply by enhancing the health of livestock and poultry; and in helping horses and pets to live longer and healthier lives. For additional information on Pfizer Animal Health’s portfolio of equine products, visit http://www.PfizerAH.com.


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