Horse Hoof Treatment: Duct Tape and a Diaper

Mountain Woman learns how to deal with a hoof abscess in a most unusual fashion.

article image
by Unsplash/Mathias P.R. Reading
“All you need is duct tape and a diaper,” so said my vet as he finished draining Khrysta’s hoof abscess. “Just soak the hoof twice a day for 15 minutes and then wrap it up. The easiest thing to do is use a disposable diaper to wrap the hoof and then duct tape it.”

Hmm, duct tape and diapers. Not the first thing that comes to mind, but, hey, I’ve been missing that time of my life so what the heck. Horse, baby, whatever. I’ll just enjoy the experience of having tiny diapers in the house even if it is for a 1,200 pound equine.

Off went Mountain Man to the drugstore to purchase the needed supplies. I was very explicit with my instructions. “Buy newborn diapers, not those toddler things; newborn or preemie diapers. Remember her hoof is about the size of a newborn baby’s bottom. And, if you can find ones that are pink colored, that’s even better.”

Mountain Man gave me a strange look but never one to shirk any assigned task, off he went.

I had visions of him standing in a vast aisle of baby supplies looking lost and a clerk asking him if he needed help. I can hear it now.

“May I help you?”

“Yes, I’m looking for small baby diapers, preferably pink ones.”

“How old is your little girl?”

“Well, she’s about 4 but her foot is about the size of a newborn baby’s bottom.”

“Foot? You do know you don’t put diapers on the foot?”

“Of course I know that. It’s for my wife’s horse and she wants fancy diapers, pink she said. She’s very fussy about her horse.”

My brave Mountain Man returned with my adorable little diapers. (Kind of makes me want to hear more than the pitter-patter of giant hooves, but alas at this stage of my life, that will have to do.)

I assembled my supplies, including a fancy soaking bucket just for hooves, and I was all set to get on with it. After all, the vet made it look easy.

But, I soon discovered a very stubborn Morgan mare with a bruised foot has other ideas.

Here are some of the photos as I struggled.

top down view of a black bag filled with brown medicated liquid horse's rear hooves with one having duct-tape and torn gauze on it
rear hooves of a brown horse with one with a black bag wrapped around it
man leaning down holding a horse's hoof

And kept on trying.

man kneeling down pulling on duct tape wrapped around a horse's hoof
horse with back hoof in a black bag

My efforts to wrap her hoof in adorable baby diapers were quite a struggle. Just me and the equally determined Khrysta who had decided she was done cooperating.

All did end well, Khrysta finally let me wrap her hoof, Mountain Man was able to get over his embarrassment and go into the drugstore again. And me, well, I’m just happy for once in my life I got to use pretty pink diapers; even if it was for a 1,200 pound mare.