Proud Flesh – An Age Old Problem

By Dr. Garrett Metcalf, DVM

If you have been around horses very long you know horses love to hurt themselves a lot, and when they do it is many times on their lower extremities. This is the favorite place for a horse to grow proud flesh or as veterinarians call it exuberant granulation tissue. Many people think of granulation tissue or proud flesh as a negative outcome of wounds, but it does have a purpose in helping the horse heal. Unfortunately it does not always behave the way we want it to, and sometimes it is both the horse’s and the people’s fault when it comes to taking care of these wounds.

Phases of Wound Healing

There are three main phases of wound healing in the horse, inflammatory phase, proliferative phase and maturation/remodeling phase. Inflammatory phase occurs within minutes and lasts for hours after a wound is created. In the inflammatory phase, swelling, hemostatsis and migration of white blood cells to the wound is initiated.

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