Our vet suggested painting a mix of turpentine, formaldehyde and Betadine onto the soles of our stallions hooves. He is still tenderfooted. Is that a good idea or not? My instinct says it wouldn't do him much good, his soles are just thin. That's not going to get material to grow, and could hurt him instead? I just wanted your opinion before we really mess him up with something that shouldn't be done.
NOPE! That is not a good idea. You figured correctly.
It blows my mind that there are vets out there still prescribing this combination of caustic chemicals for horse's hooves. It seems that they feel like they're dealing with chunks of wood with a bone inside. Isn't there some sort of creed they swear to about harming living things?
It would seem that combinatons like that, turpentine and formaldehyde could harm living tissue. The Betadine would likely not be hurtful, I use mild iodine (1 to 2% at most) in my practice for treating thrush, and as a precautionary measure to keep thrush from invading tissue when I’ve had to trim away flappy frog material. (I DO NOT routinely cut away the outer layer of frog material which is the pradice of some farrier’s, because anytime you carve the outer – protective layer of a frog you open it up to harmful bacteria that can lead to thrush and other problems. And you will notice, over time the frog literally atrophies to a thin strip when it’s been cut away routinely. Apparently, it just gives up trying to bounce back to a nice wide healthy frog.
The combination of caustic agents that your vet is suggesting is an old horse-shoers’ trick to harden soles. But it can really backfire on many levels. And heck fire! You can always blame something else if the horse reacts negatively to it.
I’m just left to wonder why it would cause the soles to harden. Is the sole steeling itself to the agents that burn? And if it really does work, I wonder, do vets or farriers know why?
My dad used to tell me that he de-wormed his dogs with things like turpentine and chewing tobacco and my parents treated an assortment of animal related issues with used motor old. Why used? The only thing I can think of is that people were very conservative after the depression era. You wouldn’t have wasted new motor oil on the livestock!
Rule of thumb! If you wouldn’t put it on your dogs’ or cats’ paws, don’t put it on your horse’s hooves!
If your horse’s soles are still thin and tender, then his healthy angles likely haven't been established from coronet to the ground, which can take time. But if it's been awhile, another factor to pay close attention to is diet.