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Old-Time Wound Treatment Helps Pets

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Q. You recently wrote about using sugar for slow-healing wounds and bedsores. As a nurse, I learned years ago that the best way to use this home remedy is to make a thick paste of antibiotic ointment and sugar and pack the wound with it.

Old wives’ tale or not, it works. The antibiotic ointment helps to prevent infections.

A. We heard from other nurses and even a vet who have not forgotten this old-fashioned treatment. One wrote: “As a nursing student in 1961, I worked at a small hospital that routinely used a mixture of milk of magnesia and sugar to cure bedsores. It seemed to be successful in many cases.”

Another objected to our terminology: “Using sugar for bedsores is not a wives’ tale. I have been a registered nurse for 45 years. When I was a student, it was very common practice to use sugar packs.”

The veterinarian said: “Many wounds have been shown to heal 3 times faster with the use of sugar granules on a saline wet-to-dry bandage. The sugar helps to pull the bacteria from the wound and the saline feeds the tissue to promote rapid healing of the skin beneath.”

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My smallish dog was attacked by a pit bull, who tore out approximately 80% of my dog's neck muscles. The wounds were massive, and the surgical stitches were pulling apart by day 4-5. There was no muscle necrosis, but the choice was given to me to go in and surgically debride, or start packing the wounds with sugar for a few days to see how that worked.

It was an absolute MIRACLE. It went from very foul-smelling and draining wounds to bright and clean wounds within 2-3 days, and by day 7-9 the wounds were starting to build tissue and the stitches stopped pulling through. Now, 1 month later, the wounds are down to about 2-3 inches long and 2 inches wide on both sides of his neck, and are showing improvement every day.

Yes its true.I had a pet dog who had an injury during an accident. But after few days it started healing. After a month or so the wound was covered with new tissues and cells.

I am glad to hear that packing the wounds with sugar works. My dog suffered a very large laceration while chasing a squirrel when she ran into a small metal sign. Currently it is day 5 since the stitches were put in. Most of the skin that was damaged has died and it has detached from the healthy skin. Tomorrow morning she is going to have the dead skin removed and it is going to leave a large open wound. The Dr wants to fill it with sugar. I thought at first he was joking. So I did some online searching. I am very happy to read these positive stories. I am anxious for Daisy to heal quickly!

The two most important goals in treating wounds are to stop the bleeding and to prevent infection. Wounds are painful, so be prepared to restrain.

My cat was attacked by 2 pit bulls. Her abdomen was extremely swollen and she had two severe puncture wounds. We live on an island and the Vet was out of town for a week. His advice to us was to wash the area with sugar water and then pack the wounds with sugar. I was shocked as in 12 hours the area was light pink instead of bright red and the puncture wounds had already scabbed. It truly was amazing how quickly the healing occurred.

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