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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

An article in New Scientist (7th October 2000) highlighted the role of honey in treating wounds in humans

Honey has been used in the treatment of wounds since ancient times, and apparently certain types of honey (a combination of nectar and bee saliva) have been scientifically proven to promote wound healing following Caesarian sections and burns in humans. 

In addition, honey has been shown to have effective antimicrobial effects - preventing growth of E.coli, Salmonella, Helicobacter and antibiotic-resistant bacteria including MRSA (staphylococcus aureus) . The properties of honey that make it effective against bacterial growth are :

  • High sugar content (fructose)
  • Low moisture content
  • The  presence of  gluconic acid - creates an acidic environment
  • Another  "active ingredient" in honey  is thought to be hydrogen peroxide which forms hydroxyl radicals that damage bacteria
  • Other ingredients (a phytochemical) in some forms of nectar ?

Different honeys apparently have different degrees of potency against bacteria. The best can suppress bacterial growth on agar at concentrations of 0.4% whereas others are ineffective at concentrations below 50%.

Mainstream medicine is still sceptical about the use of honey in wound dressings, but as further research is conducted we may see it emerge as a viable alternative to existing methods of wound treatment.

Honey (eg Manuka honey) -containing wound dressings are available for use in pets - eg the Kruuse Manuka range of dressings 


"Sweet Healing" by Andrea Lord in New Scientist 7th October 2000 p32-35

"The role of honey in wound healing" by Peter Molan in Journal of Wound Care (1999) Vol 8 p415

"Antibacterial, activity of honey against strains of Staphylococcus aureus from infected wounds" by Rose Cooper et al Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (1999) Vol 92 p283


Updated October 2013