Ichthammol is a dark and sticky black salve that draws out infections. It’s made of a base ingredient, like beeswax or paraffin, mixed with sulfur rich shale. The shale starts as sedimentary rock, and through a series of steps becomes an oil of which ichthammol is made.
The thick, almost tar like appearance and distinct odor made ichthammol easy to recognize. But it also has some great anti fungal and anti bacterial properties that make it ideal for horses. in humans, it’s used to treat various skin conditions like boils and eczema. You can use it as a wound dressing, just know that ichthammol’s sticky nature makes everything glue to it. Use a bandage.
In the horse’s hoof, ichthammol is ideal for helping to draw out an abscess. It works to soften the tissues surrounding an injury and to help relieve swelling and draw out the abscess contents.
Once your Veterinarian has confirmed that your horse has an abscess, it’s very likely that your Farrier and Vet will try and create a channel for the abscess to drain. Subsequently packing the hoof in ichthammol and a Hoof Wraps bandage helps the abscess drain and provides some cushion for your horse’s hoof.
Ichthammol is inexpensive, available at most feed stores, and lasts a long time. A needed item for your horse’s Vet Kit, for sure!
How Do Epsom Salts Work?
Epsom salts, available at most tack shops, feed stores, and pharmacies, is magnesium sulfate. It’s chunkier than regular salt, and dissolves easily in water. In the horse world, epsom salts are commonly used for helping to treat a hoof abscess. When epsom salts get wet, the absorb moisture, which is the “drawing out” part of treating an abscess.
Horse Hoof Anatomy - The Frog
When you look at the horse’s hoof in great detail, there’s a lot more going on than just the sole, wall, and what’s inside. The frog has some critical functions in the hoof as well as the rest of the horse.
The frog is the spongy triangular shaped tissue on the hoof bottom. The apex, or pointy part, points to the front of the hoof. The base is wider and extends out the back of the hoof. The hoof’s center of gravity is at the approximate apex of the frog.
Anatomy of the horse’s hoof - the coronary band!
The coronary band is the junction between the hair and the hoof. Seems simple enough, but the function of the coronary band is much more important. This is the source of hoof growth! Proper nutrition for your horse’s hooves starts here.