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Care Guide

About Care Guides[x] These care guides are written to help your clients understand common conditions, tests, and procedures, as well as to provide basic information about pet care. They are based on the most up-to-date, documented information, recommendations, and guidelines available in the United States at the time of writing. Pharmaceutical product licensing, availability, and usage recommendations are based on US product information. Use the Download Handout button to generate a PDF for printing or e-mailing to your clients.

Proud Flesh

    • Proud flesh (granulation tissue) is an overabundance of new tissue produced during the rebuilding phase of wound healing.
    • Wounds should be treated as soon as possible because untreated wounds are more likely to become infected or develop excessive proud flesh, preventing wound healing.
    • Bandaging is very important in preventing proud flesh and contamination of wounds.

    What Is It?

    When a wound begins to heal, the new tissue is very fragile. If the wound is located near a joint where there is a lot of motion, the fragile new tissue tends to break down and rebuild several times before the wound heals completely. In some cases, an overabundance of new tissue is produced during the rebuilding phase of healing, overrunning the wound and impeding the healing process. This new granulation tissue is called proud flesh, which is common in leg lacerations—one of the most common conditions that veterinarians evaluate in horses.

    Treatment

    Wounds should be treated as soon as possible because untreated wounds are more likely to become infected or develop proud flesh. The treatment of wounds with proud flesh usually depends on the extent of the overgrowth. If proud flesh is detected early, its progression can be stopped by applying special wound powders, allowing normal healing to continue. More often, however, excessive proud flesh is not detected immediately and must be trimmed by a veterinarian to permit proper healing. With proper care, the wound can then heal with little or no scarring.

    Prevention

    Bandaging is very important in preventing proud flesh and contamination of wounds. Bandaging helps to maintain a healthy wound environment for healing and reduces motion of wound tissue. Pressure from a bandage can help to prevent proud flesh. Wounds should be covered with a nonstick pad and a conforming gauze bandage. Depending on the location of the wound, the gauze can be covered with a thick cotton bandage such as a standing wrap to prevent contamination from bedding and dirt.