best ways to apply hoof meds

The best ways to apply hoof meds


  • Most horses, at some point in their lives, will need some sort of hoof medicine or packing. Perhaps it is thrush or white line disease, or you need to dress an abscess. Here are a few simple steps to making sure your horse’s hoof gets the meds it needs, in the right places!

Start with a clean hoof – your wash rack can help you with this.


  • Pick the hoof out thoroughly, and then head to the horse. The easiest way to guarantee a clean hoof is to spray it out. If you use the “jet” setting on a nozzle, you will get things clean in a hurry and also maybe give yourself a facial at the same time.


epsom salt poultice and diapers

I use the scissors to cut out the soft middle of diapers. Then I use that soft middle to scoop out the ichthammol or Epsom salt paste so my fingers stay clean.


  • Wait a bit for things to dry. You can towel dry if you need to. If you will be applying a liquid or runny medication, wait for the hoof to dry completely. For pastes and packs like ichthammol and Epsom salt paste, you can likely just wait for a bit of drying.


Apply your medication of choice.


  • Some meds drip on, some spray on, some are pastes. To save your fingers, wearing gloves is one option. You can also use the inner part of a diaper to scoop out thicker poultice or packing, and then just casually slap things on. For more runny or liquid meds, consider using a brush. Like a clean toothbrush to scrub stuff into cracks and crevices.


hoof brush getting meds into a hoof crack

Spray and scrub. This bottle comes with a brush, you could also use a hoof brush.


  • You can also pack an area with meds. This is often effective with cracks that have been opened up. Start by packing in some cotton, you can even use a cotton ball. A horseshoe nail is a great way to push cotton into a crack. Then use your med of choice to saturate the cotton. This method is great for spray medications or more liquid-type medications.

hoof crack with cotton packed into it

Once you pack a crack, you can just pour your solution of choice onto the cotton.



Tips for packing hooves in a few simple steps, no duct tape needed.


Wrapping the hoof may be a good idea


  • One option is a homemade diaper/vet wrap/duct tape concoction. Another option is a Hoof Wrap Bandage. You can also go hardcore if your horse will be out and about for days on challenging ground, in which case a boot is your best bet. All of these options aim to keep the meds where they should be, and the dirt out.


  • You will also want to keep tabs on your horse’s digital pulse and any differences in the way he’s moving around. Any changes away from his normal is an indication that there’s something brewing in the hoof. Call your vet right away and stay ahead of the curve. (VIDEO BELOW of how to find the digital pulse)



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You can pick up my favorite hoof care items here! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which are not a penny more for you. I couldn’t be more grateful for your support!

Epsom salt poultice for hooves and legs.

Ichthammol poultice.

Hoof soaking bag for drawing out an abscess.

Another style of soaking boot.

A very affordable and simple hoof wrap. You may not be able to fit a diaper in, but you can certainly pack it with goop.

The best hard shell boot for horses – also great for protection when someone has sprung a shoe.

Steri-Hoof spray for anti-microbial hoof care


Thank you!