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Marais, H.J.; Glyphis, Z.G.; Cremers, N.A.J., 2021. Medical grade honey: Hope for wounded white rhinos. Veterinary and Animal Science 13 (100196): 1-8

Location: Africa
Subject: Diseases
Species: White Rhino

Original text on this topic:
South Africa is home to some of the world's most endangered wildlife, with the White rhinoceros (Cerathotherium simum) among its most threatened species due to its highly sought-after horn. Since the reproduction number is below the mortality rate, there is a decrease in rhinos year over year, urgently requiring changes and saving the survivors. In this study, the efficacy of medical grade honey (MGH) for wound care in rhinos was investigated.

We presented a case series of seven rhinos with wounds of different etiologies, including gunshots and poaching. Four wounds were around the horns and three on the limbs. It was a challenge to take care and follow-up the wounds of these wild animals in their natural habitat. A well-balanced decision between the need of treatment and risk of immobilization is constantly evaluated. In the presented cases, MGH proved a novel tool with minimal intervention and maximal effectiveness. With the severity of the wounds taken into consideration, there was a rapid healing in all cases, while infection resolved when present. MGH creates a moist and anti-inflammatory wound environment, while promoting almost all aspects in the wound healing processes, such as autolytic debridement, angiogenesis and re-epithelialization. The efficacy of MGH has constantly been confirmed in other cases and literature as well. MGH forms a potent therapy for treating wounded rhinos, independent of the severity of the wound. The strong antimicrobial and healing properties make it an easy and versatile product that can be used in all kinds of wounds.

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