Apply First Aid—Home Remedies

Hoof Disease and Injuries

One little known hoof home remedy is sugardine. Sugardine is economical and easy to make and according to Adrianne Lake of, where we found this info on making sugardine (or sugardyne), has many uses in the stable. Sugardine is easy to make, economical and effective and can be made ahead and stored in a jar for a very long time, if not years! It is a proven remedy to treat horses with thrush, abscesses, laminitis, proud flesh and wounds; draws out infection, improves drainage and toughens hooves while promoting healthy tissue growth. Commercial ready-made sugardine mixtures are also available but you can easily make your own batch of sugardine from granulated household sugar and 10% povidone iodine, or betadine. Many farriers and veterinarians have used sugardine in their practices with great success. Unlike some other common remedies, sugardine doesn't dry or damage existing healthy tissue. Adrianne shares the exact recipe for sugardine on her website.

eye leg hoof cut

eye leg hoof cut

Eye Infections

NOTE: In horses, tumors of the eye, skin and genital system are most common types of cancer seen. Cancer Eye is the common phrase used when a horse has a tumor or cancer in the eye, eyelid or conjunctiva. Unfortunately, these types of cancer are usually squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) which are malignant. Occasionally, this type of cancer can be a sarcoid which is not malignant.

When we found our 29 year old mare with a suspicious looking eye, we called the vet and were instructed to start off with a regular dose of Banamine, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and analgesic that is effective for pain and injuries of the eye. Then, use saline solution eye wash (such as Clear Eye) to rinse the eye, apply a cold compress for 5-6 minutes and then put a small bead of Neo-Poli-Bac (B.N.P.) triple antibiotic ophthalmic ointment (antibiotic ointment containing bacitracin, neomycin and polymyxin with NO hydrocortisone), often also used for dogs, into the affected eye's lower lid twice a day.

This B.N.P. combination antibiotic ophthalmic preparation is used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers and wounds, some forms of keratitis, blepharitis and eyelid wounds and dacryocystitis. This regimen should begin within the first 48 hours of the initial injury, or swelling. Don't administer Banamine more than twice without consulting with your equine veterinarian. A small tube of B.N.P. can cost as much as $40 to $60 dollars, but we found the Butler B.N.P. eye ointment for just $13.99 at (marked down from $14.99 to $12.99).

Should there be even a small, nearly invisible scratch on the eye's lens an opportunistic infection can occur that leads to an ulcer. You will notice a small lesion on the eye lens that I would describe as an opaque, milky white spot, sometimes looks like a whitish smear, or film, which is a sign that bacteria, or a fungus, are growing.

Monistat® for Your Horse's Eye

Fungal pathogens or budding yeasts that infect the horse's eye are usually opportunistic, meaning that initially there might have been a small scratch, or superficial lesion or injury on the horse's eye and a fungus, often part of the normal micro-flora of a horse's eye, now has the opportunity to settle in and cause an infection. Frequent topical application of antibiotic and antifungal ointment directly into the affected eye is typically prescribed.

Eye infections MUST be properly treated with prescribed medications no matter how small they might seem. Simple corneal ulcers are the easiest to treat and if they are caught early, they respond very well to treatment with no long term effects to your horse’s vision. The classes of antifungal agents most commonly used in the treatment of equine keratomycoses are the azoles (miconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole) and the polyene agent natamycin. Our vet recommended adding a small bead of Monistat 7 vaginal cream to the eye treatment regimen twice a day, since the infection persisted and did NOT go away with B.N.P. eye ointment alone. Adding the antifungal vaginal cream cleared it right up.

Health Benefits of Curcumin

Golden Asian spice Turmeric, taken from the rhizome of the Curcuma Longa plant is well known for it's healing properties. It is widely used for treating many conditions and there is a plethora of products on the market. I've read articles about pet and horse owners using a turmeric paste made with castor oil, olive oil, or coconut oil to heal abnormal skin growths, in particular shrink sarcoids. I know a race horse trainer who adds turmeric in his horse's feed and he is not alone. Many do it, there are entire forums and discussion groups that revolve around using turmeric. I, too, am following this trend and concocted my own special recipe of turmeric salve, a nice, smooth paste for topical application. I've successfully removed abnormal skin growths, splinters, sealed cuts in the coronet bands, and healed scrapes and cuts on different places on the body, but especially the legs. When applied it will quickly dry into a durable plaster that will not rub or wash off even when turned out, rain or shine. I call it my Yellow Plaster salve I keep on hand in a small lip balm container at the barn.

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