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close this bookEthnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - Ruminants (IIRR, 1994, 143 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCollaborating organizations
View the documentParticipants and workshop staff
View the documentHow to use this manual
View the documentLack of appetite
View the documentFever
View the documentCoughs and colds
View the documentDiarrhea
View the documentDehydration
View the documentBloat
View the documentConstipation
View the documentPoisoning
View the documentInternal parasites: Stomach and gut worms
View the documentLiverflukes
View the documentTick infestation
View the documentScabies (mange)
View the documentLice
View the documentFungus infections of the skin
View the documentInfectious diseases
View the documentFoot rot
View the documentEye diseases
View the documentWounds
View the documentBleeding
View the documentSnake bite
View the documentSprains
View the documentDifficulty in urinating
View the documentHousing
View the documentFeeding
View the documentMineral deficiency
View the documentBreeding
View the documentPregnancy and birthing
View the documentCare of mother animals after birthing
View the documentCare of newborn
View the documentUdder infection
View the documentDecreased milk flow


Wounds can be caused by many things:

· Injuries from wire, nails, sharp objects or gunshots.
· Bruising, abrasions, trampling or crushing.
· Branding and other burns.
· Fights and bites.


Wounds heal by forming a scar. The scar starts to form in the first 3 days after the injury. The healing process is faster if the skin is brought together and if there is no infection.

Fresh wounds

Small wounds may heal by themselves. Tie the animal to a tree or keep it confined to prevent it from moving around and reopening the wound.

If the wound needs attention:

1. Stop any profuse bleeding (see Bleeding). Cauterize if necessary: heat an iron sickle in fire till red-hot and apply for 1-2 seconds on the wound.

2. Clean dirt or other foreign bodies from the wound.

3. If possible, bring the skin together to close the wound. Hold the two edges together with a Band Aid, or stitch them together.

4 Protect the wound from dirt and flies using one of the remedies below.

5 Keep the animal quiet and restrained until the wound heals.

Old wounds

For old wounds that are severely contaminated, carefully clean the wound and trim away any dead tissue with a sharp knife or razor blade (trim until the flesh starts to bleed). Then use one of the treatments below.

If the wound is too serious to treat, seek the help of a professional or slaughter the animal.


For any of the treatments below, tie a wide (7-10 cm) cloth around the wound if needed to keep the medicine in place.

· Pound 500 g of fresh Moringa oleifera (horseradish) leaves to make a paste. Apply as a poultice or smear on the wound daily until the wound heals. This stops bleeding and reduces swelling. (India, Philippines, Sri Lanka. 1, 2, 5)

· Pound 7 young fresh leaves of Eupatorium odoratum and mix with ½ teaspoon of salt (or fresh urine from the same animal). Apply on the wound once a day for 3 days. (Cambodia, Thailand. 1, 2, 3, 4)

· Ignite raw cotton wool and allow to burn until it is a black mass and the flame dies. Collect the black part. Put this on the wound and leave it there for 1 day. Replace it each day for 2-3 days. (India. 1, 2, 3)

· Pound 2-3 handfuls each of fresh neem and Ocimum sanctum leaves to make a paste. Apply as a poultice. Renew the poultice daily for 3-5 days or until the wound heals. (India. 1, 2, 3)

· For wounds that have stopped bleeding, apply vegetable cooking oil around the wound. Then apply wood ash on top of the oil. (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand. 1, 2, 3)

· Boil 250 g of neem leaves in 2 liters of water. Allow to cool and use to clean the wound. (India, Sri Lanka. 1, 2)

· A-B-C (avocado-banaba-caimito) treatment for wounds. Collect equal amounts of fresh leaves of avocado (Persea Americana), banaba (Annona muricata) and star apple (caimito, Chrysophyllum cainito). Put in a pot with 10 times as much water as leaves. Boil for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Use a cloth dipped in the water to wash the wound. Do this twice a day until the wound is cured. This treatment can also be used for foot rot. (Philippines. 1, 2)

· Wound dressing powder

2 parts of neem leaves.
1 part of Ocimum sanctum leaves.
5 parts of jack (Artocarpus heterophyllus) leaf powder (or talc).
1 part of Annona squamosa leaves.

Dry the leaves in the shade. Grind them together and sieve them to a fine powder. Sprinkle the powder on the wound two or three times a day. If the powder does not stick to the wound, mix this powder with coconut oil or other vegetable oil to make a paste Apply to the wound. (India. 1, 2, 3, 5)

· Grind fresh leaves and fresh flowers of Hibiscus rosasinensis and apply on the wound as a poultice. Replace each day for 3-5 days. (Cambodia, Indonesia. 1, 2)

· Grind fresh leaves of Ocimum sanctum and rhizome of turmeric together and apply on the wound as a poultice. (Thailand. 1, 2)

· Crush cloves of garlic and store them in vinegar together with chili (Capsicum frutescens) fruits. Take as many cloves as needed and apply them as a poultice. (Philippines. 1, 2)

· Pound the bark of Ficus hauli and apply to the wound. (Philippines. 1, 2)

Wounds with maggots

Use one of the following treatments to get rid of maggots infesting a wound.

· Pour the milky juice from Ficus bengalensis into the wound. After a while, the maggots will come out. Repeat once a day until no maggots remain. (India. 1, 2, 3)

· Pound fresh leaves of Annona squamosa into a paste and apply to the wound. (India, Sri Lanka. 1, 2, 3)

· 2 g of Michelia champaca bark.
1g of strong chewing tobacco.
½ g of roasted rice.
150 g of lime (calcium hydroxide).

Pound and mix these ingredients and apply to the wound. The lime will kill the maggots. lf Michelia bark and rice are not available, use the tobacco and lime only. (Thailand. 1, 2)

· 1 part of oil crushed from Pongomia glabra seeds.
2 parts of sesame oil.
2 parts of ground, fresh neem leaves.

Mix the ingredients and apply to the wound. This mixture soothes the wound, kills the maggots and drives away flies. (Sri Lanka. 1, 2)

Wounds or sores in the mouth and vagina

For wounds or sores in the mouth or vagina, use one of the following treatments.

· Mix 1 tablespoon of alum in ½ a liter of water. Apply to the wound. (India, Sri Lanka. 1, 2)

· Terminalia chebula seeds. Terminalia bellerica seeds. Phyllanthus emblica seeds. Glycyrrhiza glabra stem.

Take equal parts (100-200 g) of each of these ingredients. Grind and add a little water to make a paste. Apply on the mouth sores once a day. This treatment is also used to treat wounds and sores in the vagina (for instance, after difficult calving) and to treat sores from foot-and-mouth disease. (Sri Lanka. 1, 2, 5)

· Pterocarpus macrocarpus bark. Sesbania grandiflora bark. Xylia kerii bark. Careya sphaerica bark.

Make a decoction in water of 1.5 kg of each of the four types of bark. Apply on the mouth and feet. Used to treat sores from foot-and-mouth disease in cattle and swine. (Thailand. 1, 2, 3)

· Pound the solid sap from Acacia catechu into a powder. Sprinkle this on ulcers in the mouth twice a day for several days until the ulcer heals. (India, Sri Lanka. 1, 2, 3)

Dog bites

Bites of dogs and other animals may be infected with rabies. Rabies can spread to humans very easily and it usually kills infected people. If you know the dog has rabies, kill the dog and the animal it has bitten. Inform a veterinarian immediately.

Dog bites

If you are not sure whether the dog has rabies, cover your hand with a plastic bag and clean the wound thoroughly with soap and water without touching it directly. Then treat as for other wounds. An animal with rabies may not show symptoms for several months after being bitten. Watch it carefully and keep it isolated if possible. For symptoms of rabies, see Infectious diseases, page 65. If the animal shows signs of rabies, it should be slaughtered immediately. Do not use its meat for any purpose. Burn the carcass or bury it in a deep pit where it cannot be dug up by dogs.


· Mix lime (calcium hydroxide, used in chewing betel) with water. Take the water off from the top of the container. Mix equal amounts of this water and vegetable oil to make a white mixture (called "carron oil"). Apply profusely on the burn twice a day. This helps soothe the burn. (India. 1, 2, 3, 5)

· Apply the flesh of Aloe vera leaves to the burn. (Thailand)

· Apply vegetable oil on the burn. (Indonesia)