Using Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment to Help Treat a Horse’s Minor Leg Strain

East Longmeadow, MA: Sooner or later, almost every horse owner is faced with a sore, strained or swollen leg on their equine partner. Sometimes you know what happened, but often you don’t – your horse either comes in from the pasture with a puffed-up leg, or you find him that way in his stall as you’re feeding in the morning, with no clue as to what he did to himself. While you ultimately need to treat the cause, you also need to treat the symptoms – namely the swelling itself. Using cold to reduce swelling and then using Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment to increase blood flow may aid in a speedy recovery. This type of treatment has been found effective by generations of horsepeople in similar situations, and is akin to the cold/warm therapy often recommended by doctors for our own strains and sprains.

So how do you use cold/warm therapy? First, as soon as you notice heat and swelling, secure your horse in a stall and consult your veterinarian. Unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise, apply a cold pack or run cold water over the swollen area for 20 minutes. Following the cold therapy, 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.

When you cool a horse’s leg, his body naturally reacts by limiting incoming blood flow to the area. 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 unique physiology plays a specific role in managing blood flow, yet increased blood flow is essential for long-term healing. This is where Absorbine Veterinary Liniment does its best work. Applying cold helps reduce swelling, and applying Absorbine Veterinary Liniment helps move fresh, healing blood into the area to carry away harmful elements.

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.

About W. F. Young

Founded in 1982 by Wilbur Fenelon Young and his wife, Mary Ida, W. F. Young, Inc. has manufactured and distributed quality health care products for more than a century. The company is recognized as a worldwide leader in innovative, specialized animal healthcare brands that improve wellness and enhance the quality and enjoyment of life for people and their animals. For more information, visit

This information was developed in consultation with Dr. Michael Stewart of Stewart Equine Clinic in Windsor, CT. All content 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.

For more information, contact Lynn Larrabee at A high resolution digital photograph is available by contacting

Absorbine® and ShowSheen® are registered trademarks of W. F. Young, Inc.

W. F. Young, Inc., 302 Benton Drive, East Longmeadow, MA 01028