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Proud flesh in horses

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    This article has been edited and approved by Karen Coumbe MRCVS, H&H’s veterinary advisor since 1991.
  • While most minor wounds heal with just basic first aid, horses can have complications particularly with wounds on the lower parts of the limbs. It is not unusual for wound healing to be delayed by the development of large fleshy outgrowths known as proud flesh or more properly described as exuberant granulation tissue. Once proud flesh has developed a wound is unable to heal as effectively in the normal manner and frequently special treatments, including minor surgical procedures are required to remove the excess tissue.

    Proud flesh: normal wound healing | why proud flesh forms | treatment | skin grafts | prevention

    How a wound heals

    As a wound heals, healing tissue provides a base upon which new skin surface cells are supported as they fill in across the wound to provide a healed surface (surface epidermal migration). Normal healing tissue looks red-pink in colour and has a flat surface.

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