ANIMALS

Honey helps the healing process for several dogs

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A common household product that likely sits in the back of your kitchen cabinet could be a key to healing your injured pet. For any number of injuries, veterinarians are turning to the golden substance usually found in a bear-shaped bottle.

Many animal doctors say that honey is not only anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, it also produces an enzyme similar to peroxide that fights infection. What more, not only is it effective, it's inexpensive.

"Honey is great for anything that is going to become infected or is infected, (such as) lacerations, burns and wounds," Stone Ridge, Va.-based veterinarian Dr. Hanh Chau says.

Honey has a history of healing humans as well, from the Egyptians thousands of years ago to wounded soldiers during the civil war. Dr. Chau recently invoked the power of the sweet substance when Sterling dog owner Emily Draper rushed her 13-year-old pet, Fletcher, into his office. Fletcher had been hit by a delivery truck and degloved, meaning that the skin had been taken off of one of his paws like a glove.

That's when Chau turned to honey.

"I knew there was a big chance for infection, so after we closed the wound up, I packed honey along all the edges," Chau said. "I think Fletcher would have lost that leg if we did not have control of the infection."

Chau also credits honey for saving the life of another dog he treated, a pup named Roxy who impaled her leg on a metal spike while trying to jump out of her kennel. Within a day of using honey, he says that doctors started recognizing new tissue growth near the site of the wound.

"New tissue was forming...which usually indicated moving in the right direction for healing," Chau said.

Despite honey being a wonderful healing agent for humans and animals alike, it should only be used under the supervision of a health care professional.

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