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PICO question

In healthy dogs undergoing open wound management, does the topical application of honey, when compared to wounds treated with daily saline washes only, reduce the time to complete wound healing?


Editorial notice: Upon conducting the literature search for this Knowledge Summary the author discovered that the same paper had been published in two separate journals and that a third paper by the same author appeared to have used data from the same experimental subjects as the duplicate publication, despite reporting different methodology. The duplicate publications have been appraised by the author as one paper. The editorial office alerted the journals in question which resulted in the article that appeared in the Iranian Journal of Veterinary Surgery (Jalali, F.S. S., Tajik, H., Saifzaideh, S and Fartash, B. (2007b) Topical Application of Natural Urmia Honey on Experimental Burn Wounds in the Dog: Clinical and Microbiological Studies. Iranian Journal of Veterinary Surgery. 2(2), 13–21) being retracted: See our own policy on duplicate publication for more information.


Clinical bottom line

Category of research question


The number and type of study designs reviewed

Two studies satisfied the inclusion criteria for answering the PICO; both were prospective randomised controlled trials

Strength of evidence


Outcomes reported

The studies demonstrated a possible effect size of clinical importance of the use of honey in the treatment of canine wounds in terms of time to complete wound healing and antibacterial effect. However, the strength of the evidence provided by both studies is severely weakened by flaws in trial design, implementation and reporting, and the possible risk of pseudo replication between the two trials reported


The use of topical honey in canine open wound management may reduce time to complete wound healing. However, the evidence for this is weak. At present, the evidence that use of topical honey in canine wounds reduces time to healing is insufficient to warrant a change in clinical practice


How to apply this evidence in practice

The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.

Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.


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