They have been a staple item in the equestrian’s first aid kit for many years.
Generally, we use them to draw out infection post hoof injury or abscess when it is vitally important to ensure the hoof, poultice and immediate area remain clean and bacteria-free during application.
Here is our step-by-step guide for fool-proof hoof poulticing:
- Sweep the area around the horse to ensure that if you do need to place the hoof on the ground during the procedure, it is as clean as possible. If required, spray RenaSan Antiseptic First Aid Spray onto the floor surface.
- Make sure you have all required first aid items to hand before you start. Prepare the correct size poultice for the hoof by cutting off any unwanted material. Pre-cut the duct tape into two strips, and lay one on top of the other, making a cross shape. This should make applying the duct tape a speedier operation, particularly if you are applying the poultice on your own.
- Clean the infected or injured hoof and the area you will be poulticing in. Use a suitable clean brush or sponge to remove any unwanted debris in the hoof before giving it a liberal application of RenaSan Antiseptic First Aid Spray. Equally, you can part fill a clean bucket with RenaSan Antiseptic Solution and submerge the hoof for 2 minutes.
- If you are using a wet poultice, immerse the material in cooling boiled water before squeezing out any excess fluid. Whether it is dry or wet, cover the inner side of the poultice with RenaSan Antiseptic First Aid Spray and apply to the foot, ensuring the plastic film is on the outer side.
- Wrap some soft padding material such as cotton wool, gamgee or even a baby’s nappy over the poultice before wrapping the whole hoof in a veterinary cohesive bandage such as Vetrap.
- Stick the cross of duct tape over the bandaged hoof to secure it. Follow up by wrapping the whole hoof with duct tape to create a protective waterproof layer.
- Specific hoof boots or plastic bags can also help keep the bandage moisture and dirt free. Cutting the corner off a plastic feed bag provides a useful cone shape which can be used to create a protective ‘boot’.
- Change the poultice once a day. If there is no improvement after 3 days, or if you are unsure how to poultice, contact your vet for advice.