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I am a real fan of natural medicine for my dog. One of the things I want to do is to add a few extra items into my animal first-aid box. I already have some homoeopathic remedies and colloidal silver ready to use in emergencies, but I was wondering if you think Manuka honey is worth including? Perhaps you can also tell me how it works.

Tim Couzens advises…

The use of Manuka honey medically to help animals is a spin-off from human use. It’s been available to vets and pet owners for well over 10 years now in various forms, including dressings, gauzes and in tubes, but its use medicinally goes back many centuries. It is used principally to help with wound management, mainly to help with contaminated, dirty wounds that are not healing. This makes it ideal for small wounds that do not require stitching, or for larger wounds where there is an anaesthetic risk to the animal.

The honey works partly through its high sugar content, which has an osmotic effect, softening damaged and dead tissue to help in its removal. It also works through a number of enzymes that release hydrogen peroxide into the wound, having an antimicrobial effect. A number of plant-based compounds also assist in this action aided by an effect of lowering the pH of tissue, which restricts the growth of bacteria.

Manuka honey is generally a very safe treatment to use, but products should not be used in wounds that bleed excessively or that are healthy and healing normally

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