How to Sweat a Horse's Leg

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If your horse has a soft tissue injury, arthritis or a sprain, applying a sweat wrap could be the answer to reduce tenderness and swelling. A properly applied sweat wrap on a horse's leg includes sweating compound and plastic wrap to keep the compound in place, followed by a layer of cotton for padding and a veterinarian wrap on top for protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Sweating compound.
  • Kitchen plastic wrap.
  • Rolled cotton.
  • Veterinarian wrap.

Step 1: Apply Sweating Compound

Brush your horse's leg to remove any dry dirt, debris or loose hair. Put on disposable gloves and apply a thin layer of sweating compound from just below the hock, the area that would be a human knee, down the cannon bone and on the fetlock. The fetlock is the area protruding in the rear of the leg just above the hoof.

Step 2: Apply Kitchen Plastic Wrap

Wrap the leg on top of the sweating compound with kitchen plastic wrap, keeping the layers as flat as possible.

Step 3: Apply Rolled Cotton

Cover the plastic wrap on the leg with rolled cotton. Start at the fetlock, work your way up the leg and back down to the fetlock, while overlapping the previous layer by half on each round. There should be about 1 inch of padding on the leg.

Step 4: Apply Veterinarian Wrap

Apply veterinarian wrap over the padding in a clockwise direction on a right leg or a counterclockwise direction on a left leg. Start at the center of the rolled cotton and spiral the veterinarian wrap upward to cover the rolled cotton, then down to the fetlock. Slightly stretch the veterinarian wrap on each revolution while overlapping each previous revolution halfway.

Tip

    •  Ask your veterinarian how long you should leave the sweat
      wrap on your horse and when you should remove it and reapply. 
    •  Bandaging should be tight enough to stay put on your horse's
      leg and enable you to insert one finger easily between it and your horse's leg. 
    •  The direction of the veterinarian wrap layer is specific to
      which leg to avoid compressing tendons, which could make your horse's leg worse. 

Warning

  • If you remove the bandages and the swelling looks worse, is hotter or is draining, call your veterinarian.

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