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Re: Poulticing

  Great post...thanks for the clarification! It has
been awhile since I had poulticed a horse and I just
remembered the plastic wrap keeping the poultice nice
and damp. Funny, though, I had remembered that the
legs were cool and tight when we removed the wrap the
next morning. Guess the mind is the first thing to go


--- "Snodgrass, Bonnie" <> wrote:
> O.K. folks, I finally couldn't stand it any more. I
> had to take the time to
> send a note about poultices, maybe clear a few
> things up. I'm afraid I may
> come across as a know it all, I don't mean to but I
> worked as a groom for
> years at all the major TB tracks on the west coast
> and my teachers were old
> grooms from the east coast that had migrated to the
> sunny state of CA. I
> learned so much from these people about caring for
> legs. Here's what I
> learned about poultices.
> Two types of poultice, one type heats, one type
> cools. 
> The heating type is usually used to draw out an
> abscess. For instance you
> can pour hot water over bran, dump the mash onto a
> big rectangle of burlap
> with two tails on one end. Place the horses foot
> down on the mash and pull
> the burlap up around the ankle and tie the tails
> off. This will "heat" treat
> a hoof abscess really well, better than a bucket of
> rapidly cooling water.
> Another heating type of poultice is Numotizine (sp?)
> which is usually put
> under plastic wrap, then a standard standing wrap is
> placed over it. This
> type shouldn't be allowed to dry out. This heating
> type of poultice is
> really acting as a sweat. It should never be put
> over a new injury that
> still has heat in it. A "sweat" is used to reduce
> fluid build-up in stocked
> up legs, temporarily reduce windpuffs or possibly to
> warm up an arthritic
> joint. Actually, slathering on a layer of furacin
> then the plastic wrap,
> then the standing wrap makes for a very effective
> sweat and is much easier
> to wash off then Numotizne. Hint: find a heavier mil
> plastic to use then
> plastic food wrap. It will stay in place better and
> be less likely to twist
> around and bind the leg.
> A cooling type of poultice is based on clay and
> evaporation. It is supposed
> to slowly dry out. Here's how it works. This type of
> poultice can be used
> over a hot, new injury. Or it can be used
> immediately after a strenuous work
> out to prevent stocking up as it works something
> like a snug flexible cast
> that is formed around the leg and gives good
> support. Your clay poultice
> should be nice and wet, about the consistency of
> mashed potatoes. I was
> taught to add Alum (astringent) and use apple cider
> vinegar instead of water
> to achieve the right consistency. Apply the clay to
> the leg, rubbing into
> the hair so it makes skin contact and building up
> the clay so there is a
> thick layer about 3/8" deep over the entire poultice
> area. Have ready
> rectangles of paper cut from brown paper bags that
> are about the same size
> as your quilts. Soak each paper till it is good and
> wet, wrap it over the
> clay poultice, then wrap the quilt over this then
> wrap the standing bandage
> over all of it. Use a firm quilt, not a poofy pillow
> type. Better to use two
> thin quilts that will give a good solid firm feel to
> the wrap then one large
> pillow quilt. The idea is the whole wrap should be
> firm and snug, like a
> bendable cast. And for heavens sake, go out and buy
> real standing bandages.
> They are around 5" wide and 11' to 12' long. They
> are long enough to wrap
> from the top of the cannon all the way down to the
> pastern and back up
> again.
> The paper will slowly dry out. It will then draw the
> moisture from the clay.
> As water evaporates a cooling action takes place.
> This is how a very old
> style of cooler (fridge) was made that involved
> water evaporating from a
> burlap covered box. This clay poultice will slowly
> dry out and it is
> preferable that you wash it off before it completely
> goes dry. After drying
> out the wrap does actually make the horses leg
> warmer. A good rule of thumb
> is if applied at noon or later then wash it off the
> next AM. You will find a
> cool, tight leg under the poultice. Do not use
> plastic wrap in place of
> paper. It's the evaporation that causes the cooling.
> Clay under plastic just
> becomes warm wet clay.
> Wow, my soap box really took a beating!
> Bonnie Snodgrass

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