How To: Soak And Wrap Your Horse’s Hoof Abscess

So you go out to see your horse and they are so lame they look like they have broken a bone!  If you can’t find anything to explain the lameness it is most likely an abscess.  Abscesses are caused by a trapped infection in the foot.  Your horse is lame because of the pressure that the abscess is causing. Always seek advice from a licensed Veterinarian if your horse has a sudden lameness.

To treat an abscess you will need to soak and wrap your horse’s foot.

To soak you will need:

a reinforced bag or a rubber tub for soaking

Epsom salts

Warm water

Iodine or Betadine

20 minutes

To wrap you will need:

Epsom salts or Ichthammol (Drawing Salve) or Poultice

Diaper/ Rolled Cotton

Vet wrap

Duct tape

Gorilla Tape


To soak the hoof you will need to clean the hoof and fill you bag or tub up with 2 cups of Epsom salts per gallon of water and add a squirt of your iodine/betadine to mix in the water as well (when in doubt you can always add more of each of these).

Tip: Don’t fill it all the way up at first.  Fill it part of the way, get your horse used to the soaking process for a minute and then finish filling.

Soak for 20 minutes.  You may have to stand with your horse the entire time if they need comforting or keep picking up their hoof out of the tub

Tip: Soaking boots are superior to tubs since with a tub they can lift their foot out of the water at any time and must be supervised so they keep their foot in the tub.


You will need vetwrap, a duct tape square, a gorilla tape square, diaper, poultice or Epsom salt or ichthammol, and a towel.

Take your horses hoof out of soaking and dry partially with a towel. Wet down a poultice pad with warm water or cover the bottom of the hoof with Epsom salts (not outlined in the video is ichthammol which you will just spread over the bottom of the hoof- use gloves).

Place a diaper over your preferred method

Wrap with vet wrap

Cover with duct tape square

Cover with gorilla tape square

If using dry Epsom salts you will need to wet down the entire bandage at the end to wet the Epsom salts.

Tip: Make your squares ahead of time or during soaking to save time. (Detailed in video)

Tip: Instead of using dry Epsom salts, you can make a paste of Epsom salts and a small amount of water and cover the hoof in the Epsom salt paste.

Check to make sure your wrap is not too tight by fitting two fingers in between the wrap and the heel bulbs.

Soak for 20 minutes and re-wrap each day for several days and if you do not see improvement contact your veterinarian.