Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Proud Flesh

Synonyms: Excessive Granulation Tissue

Proud Flesh: Explaination & Treatment Video


Healing of open wounds is broken up into stages. Open wounds on the lower limbs open wounds heal by filling with granulation tissue. This mostly takes place between 3-10 days after the wound occurs. Granulation tissue is red, lumpy, glistening tissue, with minimal drainage and no smell. Granulation tissue is full of tiny vessels, and can be thought of as a scaffold upon which skin grows over.

Proud flesh is EXCESSIVE granulation tissue. It is commonly associated with slow healing wounds, especially on equine lower limbs. It appears as red or pink tissue within the wound bed that grows ABOVE the level of the surrounding skin. Proud flesh interferes with the healing process, as it physically prevents the wound from closing in from all sides (the healing process of epithelialization and contraction).

Importantly, proud flesh can also a sign of an improperly healing wound due to infection, the presence of foreign material, excessive movement of the healing tissues, lack of adequate blood supply, or the involvement of anatomic structures that inhibit the natural healing process.

It is important to determine why the proud flesh developed in a wound in the first place. For any wound that is not healing well or is slow to heal, discuss this problem with your vet.

DIAGNOSIS is usually clear by visual assessment of the wound. Occasionally long-standing proud flesh can turn into sarcoid.

TREATMENT of significant proud flesh is usually by surgical removal (excision). Thereafter, topical treatments ,usually containing steroids, may be used to prevent its re-formation.

my vet's role



Other conditions or ailments that might also need to be ruled out by a vet.

Very Common
Less Common
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The prognosis is excellent for uncomplicated proud flesh. However, if the underlying problem that caused proud flesh to develop is not managed or resolved, it can recur.

my role


I might observe

You might make these observations when a horse has this condition.

Very Common
Less Common
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Questions To Ask Your Vet:
  • Why is proud flesh developing in this wound?
  • Is there an underlying infection or other problem causing it?

Prevention involves proper wound care, confinement to reduce movement of healing tissues, and bandaging with dressings that impede the development of proud flesh.

With any wound, it is critical that you perform the treatments and management of the equine just as your vet suggests. If you are doing bandage changes on a challenging wound, be sure to communicate using photos, so your vet stays well-informed of the wound's healing progress and can advise you on dressings and treatment.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP