Effects of Topical Application of Sunflower-Seed Oil on Experimentally Induced Wounds in Horses

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Abstract

The objectives were to evaluate clinical and histopathological aspects of topical application of sunflower-seed oil (Helianthus annuus) on the healing process of experimentally induced wounds in lumbar and metacarpal areas of healthy horses. Six adult horses were used. Eight wounds were surgically produced on each horse: two 6.25-cm2 wounds cranial to the sacrum on each side of the lumbar region and two 2.89-cm2 wounds close to the proximal epiphysis of the metacarpus on the lateral aspect of each forelimb. Left side was used for macroscopic observations and right side for histopathological analysis. The experimental lesions were treated daily with sunflower-seed oil, whereas saline solution was used in control lesions. Macroscopic and histopathological analyses were performed on tissue harvested at 3, 7, 14, and 21 days. Complete healing time for all wounds was recorded. For lumbar region's wounds, a contraction of 90.78% was recorded for those treated with oil and of 79.27% for control wounds after 21 days of treatment. For metacarpal region's wounds, a contraction of 47.63% was recorded for wounds treated with oil and of 30.21% for control wounds. Wounds in the sunflower-seed oil treatment group had an elevation of polymorphonuclear cells, a newly formed vascular bed during the inflammatory phase, and a better alignment of collagen fibers during the remodeling phase. In conclusion, topical application of sunflower-seed oil was beneficial in the healing process of experimentally induced skin wounds in horses, with best results for treatment of lumbar wounds, making it a therapeutic option in equine wound healing.

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