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How to Apply a Sugar Poultice for a Horse

A sugar poultice is used in treating wounds to a horse's feet and legs. A poultice maintains constant moisture and medication without damaging the hoof, draws fluid out of the wound and allows the abscess to fully drain and dry up. Sugar is an excellent antibacterial and anti-fungal, and re-establishes healthy pH balance to effected tissue. The combination of sugar and Betadine is referred to as "sugardine." Sugar draws the infection out of the wound and keeps the flesh from dying, and the Betadine fights the infection. Applying a sugar poultice is highly effective in treating equine wounds, resulting in full recovery.

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  1. Mix the sugar and Betadine in the mixing bowl for approximately two minutes or until it becomes thick or slightly syrupy.

  2. Heat the mixture in a microwave for 45 seconds. Remove and let it cool for one minute.

  3. Put on the disposable gloves and apply the "sugardine" to the horse's wound with your hand by stroking it down the leg (for a leg wound) or in a circulation motion to the foot (for a foot wound), covering it completely.

  4. Cover the wound as a square for a leg lesion or place the foot inside the disposable diaper for a foot lesion, cradling and wrapping it securely around the foot so that the affected area is fully protected.

  5. Secure the diaper with duct tape, ensuring it will not fall off as the horse moves and walks.

  6. Reapply the warm "sugardine" poultice and change the diaper once or twice daily, depending on the severity of the injury.

  7. Continue to poultice the wound until it has fully drained. Except in severe cases, most horses recover quickly if the condition is discovered and treated before infection travels through the leg or foot.

  8. Tip

    Allow the horse ample daily turnout to prevent the risk of infection and to encourage healing.


    Do not use iodine - it will kill live tissue. Always consult with a veterinarian when your horse sustains an injury. Even minor injuries can result in serious infections and result in lameness.

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Things You'll Need

  • 20 tsp sugar
  • 56.7gr Betadine
  • Mixing bowl
  • Microwave
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disposable diaper, medium-size
  • Duct tape

About the Author

Based in Colorado, Charmaine Jens began her writing career as an editor and technical writer. Her professional experience includes work in executive administration and serving as a resume editor, specializing in military transition clients. Jens holds a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Mesa University.

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