Monday, May 10, 2010

Tuesdays' Show & Tail - Old Tyme Equine Veterinary Remedies

I'm joining in on Tuesday's Show & Tail at Angela's West Virginia's Treasures. If you have a cute story and picture of a pet, or any furry (or non-furry) friend, you are welcome to join in! Check her blog for the rules, post away - and thanks, Angela, for being a great hostess!

Years ago horses were the only "horse power" on family farms. They worked sun up to sun down in the fields and taking trips to town for supplies, and for Sunday-go-to-meeting! Veterinary medicine was not common place, and if a vet could be found, money was tight and was needed for other things. Farmers had their own home remedies to patch up "Ole Dubbin" and to make him right again.

Here are a few interesting remedies used in the past. Most are no longer used, some have been adapted by thrifty horse folk, and others are downright dangerous! Read them to learn what was common practice 100 years ago, but be thankful our horses have much better and safer medicines today!
  • Kerosene or turpentine were rubbed on cuts. After using either one of these, salty meat grease (ouch!) was applied to the wound to keep the hair around it from turning white.
  • For swellings on the horse's leg, mix into apple cider vinegar all the salt that will dissolve. Put this mixture on the swelled area. The salt draws out the water.
  • To keep flies away from horses before days of insect repellent, some soaked a rag with coal oil and attached it to the latch string that held the bridle on. Or they tied a little bush there. The horse's movements would swing the bush to scare away the flies.
  • If a horse hurts his eye (like hitting a twig), throw table salt in it.
  • To treat a horse for distemper, burn old leather under his nose. This keeps his nose from clogging and prevents choking.
  • To treat the horse to get rid of worms, farmers would feed their horses a pack of cigarettes or tobacco.
  • For heaves (or a cough) pull out the horse's tongue and smear it with pine tar. (UCK!)
  • When worked hard, horses would get growths like corns on their hooves. To rid the horse of these, farmers would lift up the hoof and pour spirits of turpentine in it, then set the turpentine on fire. The heat will heal it and keep the hoof from getting so sore.
  • To relieve the horse of gas, make him jump logs.
  • An all-purpose ointment, called "White Liniment," combines 1/4 pint salty meat grease, 1/2 pint turpentine, 1/2 pint kerosene, 1 pint vinegar, 1 pint apple cider, a handful of salt and three or four egg whites. This could be used on cuts, bruises and just about everything.
Have a Terrific Tuesday!


Angela said...

Hey Monica!

Very informative post! I can't imagine doing any of those to a horse of mine! Have you ever done any of those to your horses?

I do know that an uncle of mine fed our horse cigaretts before but not to treat worms.

Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with us today!

Tuesdays' Show & Tail!

Shirley said...

I have heard of someone that uses bacon grease on her horses cuts and scrapes!

Chatty Crone said...

Now I really enjoyed that one.

ocmist said...

OH MY GOODNESS! Most of those were awful! I knew a lot of old timers that gave tobacco to their horses for worms. The horses didn't seem to mind and it wasn't a regular things so they got hooked on nicotine or something.

My Cory, which I got when he was a 3 year old (he is 23 now) got very ill that first winter. My girlfriend had rescued him from starving to death and I got him from her shortly after, so he still wasn't in good shape. He had a really deep cough and his eyes and nose were mucousy. The wisest horseman that I've ever met got pine tar and boiled it and put a hood over Cory's head... like you do for a child with a humidifier. Cory coughed up all of that junk and cleared up after several treatments.

LV said...

I have lived through those days. I agree some of them are s till better than this modern medicine. You might not believe it, but I have a scar to this day on the top of my head where a door fell and put a hole in my head. What did my folks do? Poured kerosene on it and put a rag around my head. It is a wonder I lived, but they did what they knew to do. Nothing else was available. You really evoked some memories for me.

Whosyergurl said...

The horse gas cure makes me think of the Seinfeld when Kramer fed the horse beans! Oh, that was funny!
xo, Cheryl