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RE: [RC] furacin caustic Susan Please - Susan E. Garlinghouse, DVM

Is the furacin ointment caustic too or just the powder.

Let me rephrase.  Furacin (both ointment and powder) are not caustic per se
(other products like wonderdust and scarlet oil are), but they do promote
granulation tissue.  Granulation tissue is the first tissue the body
manufactures to form a bridge across a cut, upon which epithelial (skin)
tissue will later migrate across to close the wound.  The problem is that
epithelial tissue doesn't do speed bumps very well, and if the granulation
tissue creates a scaffold, and then continues to grow abnormally above the
level of the surrounding tissue (forming a bump of increasing size), then
the skin won't close and you get proud flesh.  Some species are better at
forming granulation tissue than others, horses are outstanding at it, not
always a good thing.

In some places, trying to promote granulation tissue is fine (don't ask me
to list those places, it's a case-specific thing).  In other places,
especially areas where there's lots of bend and motion, like around leg
joints, its much more prone to proud flesh formation, and you do NOT want to
further encourage granulation tissue.  In those places, you want to clean
the wound with the dilute betadine-salty-water spray I mentioned, apply
Neosporin if it won't be sutured, and a good telfa wrap if possible to keep
the area clean, help stabilize the wound edges and apply just a wee bit of
even pressure.  In some cases, I try to minimize movement, including putting
the horse in a stall or small pen or sometimes on a high line.  Other times,
normal movement is okay, especially if the wound has a good wrap on.  For
the stifle injury originally being discussed, I probably would have tried to
suture the wound if at all possible (f course, I also haven't seen it),
skipped wrapping since it's virtually impossible to wrap stifles, and put
the horse on a high line to keep him from laying down.  

Hope this helps clarify.

Susan Garlinghouse, DVM


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