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!