The effects of topical oxygen therapy on equine distal limb dermal wound healing.
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Topical oxygen therapy (TOT) has been used in human medicine to promote healing in chronic wounds. To test the efficacy and safety of TOT in horses, an experimental wound model was created by making 1 standardized dermal wound on each limb of 4 healthy horses (n = 16). Each wound was fitted with an oxygen delivery cannula and covered with a bandage. One limb of each front and hind pair was randomly assigned to the treatment group (fitted with an oxygen concentrator device), with the contralateral limb assigned to the control group (no device). Wound area, epithelial area, and contraction were measured every 3 to 4 d. Biopsy samples and culture swabs were taken on days 16 and 32 to evaluate angiogenesis, fibroplasia, epithelial hyperplasia, inflammation and bacterial growth. Mean healing time in treated wounds (45 d, range: 38 to 52 d) was not significantly different from that in the paired control wounds (50 d, range: 38 to 62 d). Topical oxygen therapy had little effect on dermal wound healing in this experimental wound model in healthy horses.