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Home:Equine Diseases: Equine Proud Flesh Disease

Equine Diseases

Equine Proud Flesh

Equine Proud Flesh is a condition whereby your horse’s wound will not heal. The skin edges of a wound which normally meet across granulated tissue do not meet due to excess granulation thereby causing red angry proud flesh tissue resembling a cauliflower. Proud flesh therefore is common over an open wound and occurs mainly in the limbs below the knee or hock. Proud flesh causes slow healing of a wound as it prevents the growth of skin cells across the injury.

Proud flesh evolved through the horse’s early ancestors as a means of survival and staying with the herd when injured. The granulated tissue is a way of filling the gap caused by the wound. Proud flesh, developed by the early horse, survives today and begins growing as early as three days after a wound occurs. Suturing of a wound immediately after injury will help prevent proud flesh.

The symptoms of proud flesh are mainly the red/pink tissue growing from a wound and which seems to grow bigger each day. When this proud flesh is traumatized in any way by e.g. rubbing or bumping, it bleeds excessively.

Cause of Equine Proud Flesh

The causes of proud flesh are mainly the failure of the wound to knit tightly, excessive movement in the area where the wound is located and a lack of hygiene in the wound allowing infection to cause the granulated tissue which forms proud flesh.

As with all serious conditions, your vet should be called to treat proud flesh. Treatment will depend on the size of the wound. For smaller proud flesh wounds, caustic substances, antibiotic creams and steroid creams may be prescribed. The application of a bandage or cast to the limb will be essential to reduce movement in the wound area thus allowing the skin edges to heal. For larger proud flesh wounds, skin grafting or surgical removal of the proud flesh tissue will be prescribed. A repeat procedure of the removal of the tissue may be needed if the wound is very large.