Efficacy of chitosan in the treatment of chronic skin lesions in a horse: A case report

Blayra Maldonado-Cabrera, Dalia I. Sánchez-Machado, Jaime López-Cervantes, Reyna F. Osuna-Chávez*, Cristina Ibarra-Zazueta, Ramón E. Robles-Zepeda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Consultation was requested for a 7-year-old Gypsy Vanner male horse with a 2-year history of foreskin injury. Upon revision, an ulcer, 153 cm2 in size, with yellowish granules was observed; a RESVECH 2.0 evaluation revealed a score of 32/35 points. Medical history confirmed multiple failed deworming, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic treatments with different topical therapies and recurrence in summer. Laboratory results confirmed elevated total proteins (8.8 g/dL) and globulins (5.5 g/dL), negative bacterial and fungal cultures, as well as negative coproparasitoscopic findings, and finally, identification of stable fly larvae (Stomoxys calcitrans) in the feces. Microscopy showed disorganized collagen, thickened tissue, polymorphonuclear cells, and acanthosis without neoplastic tissue or parasite remains. Debridement was performed and systemic treatment with ivermectin, penicillin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) continued. In addition, 2% chitosan gel and films were applied to the entire surface of the lesion for 72 hours on 30 occasions; vector control with nets and insecticides was performed. On day 94, there was a 6 cm2 surface with involvement of the dermal and epidermal layers, moist epithelial tissue, and diffuse edges, with a RESVECH 2.0 evaluation of 6/35 points. Microscopy showed an intact basement membrane, presence of hair follicles, sweat glands, aligned collagen, and angiogenesis. It was concluded that chronic skin lesions in horses represent a diagnostic challenge, and topical chitosan is an adequate treatment due to its biocompatibility and efficacy, in addition to the functional and cosmetic results in dermal regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100261
JournalVeterinary and Animal Science
StatePublished - Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Instituto Tecnologico de Sonora under the project PROFAPI (2022-0066) .

Funding Information:
B. Maldonado-Cabrera would like to thank CONACYT for the PhD scholarship granted under no. 376528. The authors thank Crimson Interactive Pvt. Ltd. (Enago) – https://www.enago.com/es/ for their assistance in manuscript translation and editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Chitosan
  • Chronic foreskin lesion
  • Equine
  • RESVECH 2.0
  • Wound healing


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