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Aberrant wound healing in the horse: Naturally occurring conditions reminiscent of those observed in man


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Dr Christine L. Theoret, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, C.P. 5000 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada J2S 7C6.

Tel: 450-773-8521;



Impaired wound healing represents an enormous clinical and financial problem for companion animals and humans alike. Unfortunately, most models used to study healing rely on rodents, which have significant differences in the healing and scarring process and rarely develop complications. In order to better simulate impaired healing, the model should strive to reproduce the natural processes of healing and delayed healing. Wounds on the limbs of horses display similarities to wounds in humans in their epithelialization/contraction ratio, genetic influence as well as dysregulated cytokine profile and the spontaneous development of fibroproliferative disorders. Veterinarians have access to advanced wound therapies that are often identical to those provided to human patients. Wound research in large animals has resulted in new wound models as well as a better understanding of the physiology, immunology, and local environmental impact on both normal and aberrant wound healing. One such model reproduces the naturally occurring fibroproliferative disorder of horses known as exuberant granulation tissue. Comparisons between the normally healing and impaired wounds provide insight into the repair process and can facilitate product development. A better understanding of the wound healing physiopathology based on clinically accurate animal models should lead to the development of novel therapies thereby improving outcomes in both human and veterinary patients.

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