Vicks In The Barn

Vicks VapoRub, or one of its generic equivalents, works as well for relieving congestion from equine respiratory infections as it does for human. Rub it liberally on the skin of the nostrils (not in the nostrils), under the jaw and along the upper trachea/wind pipe.

COPD: Horses with reactive airway disease and COPD can also benefit because these conditions are associated with heavy mucus production in the lung. Vicks thins that mucus, making it easier to breathe and to clear the lungs.

Before Exercise: Have a big competition coming up’ Vicks helps relax the airways and ease breathing when used before exercise. Better yet, start it the night before so that any mucus the horse may have can be thinned. Vicks before and during shipping also helps counteract airway irritation from stale air in the trailer.

Shipping:Vicks has long been used in the nostrils of stallions to help avoid them being distracted by the scent of fillies and mares when shipping or working. It can also help calm horses that get combative when shipped with horses they don’t know.

Bites/Stings: Vicks is effective in relieving the itch and pain of bee stings and insect bites. It’s great for repelling Culicoides midges on horses who get sweet itch. The thickness is a physical barrier. The menthol, eucalyptus, turpentine oil and camphor are repellent to the midges. As a bonus, there is itch and pain relief, and it will soften and lift scaling. However, avoid use directly on raw, open areas.

Ear Bugs: Try a layer of Vicks in your horse’s ears to ward off those annoying ear flies.

Muscle Rub: Need a muscle rub but don’t have one on hand’ Vicks can substitute, and it’s actually more gentle to the skin than standard human muscle rubs. Equine skin is more sensitive than human and will often start to flake/scurf and become painful within a day or two of using a human muscle-rub product.

Brace/Rinse: Vicks can be dissolved in hot water (straight hot tap temperatures usually adequate) to make a soothing body rinse/brace if you are out of your usual product. Towels can be soaked in hot water with Vicks, applied over the back or rump and covered with plastic for a soothing muscle treatment.

Anti-Chew: Horse pulling off bandages or chewing on a blanket’ A little Vicks may solve that issue.

Hooves:We’re hearing that Vicks can treat white-line disease, but we won’t recommend unproven treatments. It may help with mild crumbling issues, though, as its petrolatum base is highly hydrophobic and will protect from wet ground conditions. The additional ingredients do have antibacterial and antifungal activity, so it’s worth a try.

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