Treating burns with tilapia skin

SAVEM has a strong culture of promoting continuous improvement – we keep a “weather eye” watch for innovations relevant to our mission, pertinent for future use.

We thank Cathy, a resident of California who sent us this link:  and SAVEM Veterinarian Claire Moore followed up the academic literature.

The Californian fires, notably the 2017 Thomas fire and the 2018 Camp fire, saw innovative treatment of animal burns using fish skin (Tilapia). The technique accelerated healing and provided pain relief.

Claire found other related interesting literature:, reporting similar findings re healing and pain management.

UC Davis published an expanded review in September 2018:, which reports on the use of fish skin used to treat a bear’s burned paws arising from the Thomas fire, and deployment to the UK to treat a horse burned in a chemical (acid) attack.

The Thomas fire information also appeared in the Washington Post, 26th January 2018:

In the above examples fish skin was purchased locally and sterilised before application. It is noted that an Icelandic company Kerecis, formed in 2009, produces a commercial product using wild Atlantic cod skin: 

(Photo: Dr Jamie Peyton, UC Davis)

Emilis Prelgauskas

SAVEM Logistics Manager