Absorbine

Dedicated Absorbine users know that classic Absorbine Veterinary Liniment is versatile and can be used for warming up muscles before exercise, speeding muscle recovery time after exercise, soothing arthritis pain, treating hoof infections, as a cooling and cleansing body wash, and much more.

Used correctly, it can also be helpful in treating minor leg strains. Using cold therapy to reduce swelling and then alternating applications of Absorbine Veterinary Liniment to increase blood flow may aid in a speedy recovery.

Care Summary for Treating a Minor Leg Strain:

  • Call your veterinarian and put the horse in a stall.
  • Apply cold water or cold packs for 20 minutes to reduce heat and swelling.
  • Remove cold packs and gently apply Absorbine Veterinary Liniment. Wrap the affected leg area.
  • If possible, repeat the above cold/Absorbine Veterinary Liniment process again the same day.
  • Overnight, use cold packs for 20 minutes and then apply a clay poultice under a standing wrap to the affected area.
  • The next morning, remove the poultice and assess the heat and swelling.
  • Repeat the cold/liniment applications and the nighttime poultice until the horse recovers and swelling does not return, or as advised by your veterinarian.

How do I employ cold therapy and Absorbine Veterinary Liniment to treat my horse?

At the first signs of heat and swelling from a minor strain, check with your veterinarian and secure your horse in a stall. As soon as possible, apply a cold pack or run a cold water hose over the hot area for 20 minutes, then remove it. Next, gently apply Absorbine Veterinary Liniment by smoothing it onto the area and wrap the leg in a standing wrap. (Note: we say “if you rub, don’t wrap” because rubbing increases the heat too much to be under a wrap. Also do not apply to irritated skin, punctures or deep wounds.) The wrap helps reduce swelling and improve blood vessel vasomotor control. This circulatory increase enables the horse to benefit from the availability of healing blood and plasma components, and helps the body flush out harmful elements. If possible, repeat this procedure later in the same day. At night, reapply a similar cold therapy (hose or cold pack), then apply a clay poultice and wrap with a standing wrap. This will help draw out heat through the night. (Note: do not use poultice if there is injured/broken skin; simply wrap instead.) Repeat these steps daily as advised by your veterinarian.

Why is managing blood flow so important?

Horses’ legs are designed to “shunt” blood away from the lower legs. A horse’s blood vessels close off to keep blood from entering the lower legs in severe cold, thereby keeping the horse and its vital organs safe. This is one of the ways many animals thermo-regulate. However, horses, deer and many birds take it to the extreme as they are designed to endure and even flourish in cold temperatures. That’s why you see birds in winter firmly gripping a branch with their bony legs and horses standing on frozen ground for hours and not getting frostbite on their legs.

This unique physiology plays a specific role in managing blood flow. If you cool a horse’s limb, its body will naturally react by limiting incoming blood flow to the area as described above. Yet increased blood flow is essential for long-term healing. This is where Absorbine Veterinary Liniment does its best work. Applying cold reduces swelling, then applying Absorbine Veterinary Liniment helps move fresh, healing blood into the area and carries away harmful elements.

What is a liniment?

Liniment is a suspension of herbal extracts in a liquid base. An effective liniment penetrates the soft tissues of the skin, which causes the body to open pores and capillaries. This in turn increases blood flow in the muscles underneath, speeding the healing process.

How does a liniment work?

A liniment helps a horse heal itself. Nature equips horses with many means of coping with distress, with the circulatory system being the primary source of healing. Here’s how it works: When muscles and joints have been strained or overworked, nature supplies them with extra oxygen-rich blood. This increased blood flow delivers vital nutrients and also eliminates fatigue acids that make muscles sore. Liniment increases blood flow to the area it’s applied to—capillaries dilate, muscles loosen, oxygen rushes in, and pain dissipates.

Why is Absorbine Veterinary Liniment special?

Absorbine Veterinary Liniment is made using a time-proven formula. Its botanical ingredients of Calendula, Echinacea and Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) are meticulously extracted by hand and blended into our proprietary tincture. Menthol soothes pain by opening pores and increasing blood flow to the area applied. The increased blood flow helps deliver the beneficial herbal ingredients to the surrounding soft tissues. Absorbine Veterinary Liniment works in harmony with nature and its efficacy as a healing agent has been recognized by professional trainers and horse owners since its introduction in 1892.

The information above was developed in consultation with Dr. Michael Stewart of Stewart Equine Clinic in Windsor, CT. All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional care and advice from your veterinarian. Please consult your veterinarian before beginning any treatment.