EQUINE PROUD FLESH
The condition of Equine Proud Flesh is also known as equine exuberant granuloma. This means your horse has a wound that just won't heal. A wound heals by the skin edges growing back over tissue in the centre of the wound. Continued tissue growth when the skin edges meet - granulation - produces proud flesh.
Proud flesh usually develops over an open wound, and most often occurs in areas of excessive tension and motion. Because of the lack of underlying soft tissue, proud flesh usually is seen in injuries of the distal limbs (below the knee or hock). Proud flesh prevents the growth of skin cells across the injury and slows the healing of the wound.
The origins of proud flesh lie with the early horse which needed a means of filling in wounds to ensure survival. Proud flesh provided this means. An injured horse which could not keep up with the herd often became a meal for another animal so it was important for large wounds to heal quickly. Proud flesh, developed by the early horse, survives today and begins growing as early as three days after a wound occurs.
Proud flesh has a good chance of being avoided if suturing of the wound is carried out as quickly as possible after the wound occurs.
Symptoms of Proud Flesh
• Pink fleshy tissue growing from a wound with the appearance of cauliflower
• The tissue in proud flesh seems to grow bigger every day
• When bumped, rubbed or traumatized in any way the proud flesh will bleed excessively
Causes of Proud Flesh
• Excessive tension and motion in an area with an open wound
• Not keeping the edges of a wound tightly held together
• Lack of hygiene in the wound - infection can cause granulation tissue to form proud flesh
Treatment of Proud Flesh
Your vet should be called to prescribe treatment for proud flesh. Proud flesh treatment involves some of the following procedures:
• Use of caustic substances to destroy granulation cells
• Trimming back the proud flesh tissue to skin level to allow skin to form across the wound
• Application of a topical cortisone antibiotic to help reduce proud flesh and slow its growth
• Application of steroid cream
• Application of bandaging or putting a cast on the limb to reduce motion
• Ensuring good nutrition to enhance the immune system
• Skin grafting of large wounds
• Surgical removal or debridement of the proud flesh tissue
• Repetition of debridement process