Tanzania Veterinary Journal

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Prophylactic antibiotics in augmenting surgical wound healing

C.W. Werema, D.G. Ndossi


Antibiotics are widely used in treatment of bacterial and protozoan diseases in both human and animals. In production animal systems, the overuse and abuse of antibiotics have contributed to the widespread of antimicrobial resistant bacterial strains and drug residues in food chain. Oxytetracycline for example is a common antibiotic employed for treating various bacterial diseases and wound infection. This study aimed at investigating the use of prophylactic antibiotics in augmenting surgical wound healing in animals. Sixty-four adult guinea pigs were employed in this study and randomly divided into four equal groups (n=16). Animals were fully anaesthetized using Xylazine 5.0 mg/kg and Ketamine 44.0 mg/kg. Laparotomy incisions (3 cm long) were made on aseptically prepared sites on the ventral abdomen. The abdominal muscles and peritoneum were sutured by Catgut® while Silk® was used to suture the skin. Animals in group one received Oxytetracycline intramuscular injection two hours before the operation; group two were injected with OTC immediately after the operation; group three received OTC spray on the wound immediately after the procedure; and group four animals were left untreated to serve as the control group. Animals were monitored for two weeks where general appearance and wound contraction was recorded. The wounds in pre-operative group healed faster (7 days), followed by topical group (10 days). Wounds in post-operative and control groups had delayed healing and showed evidence of infection. The study showed that prophylactic antibiotics administration pre-operatively minimize post-operative wound infection and promotes healing.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Prophylaxis, Surgical wound, Pre-operative, Post-operative

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