My OTTB, Freedom, had a massive abscess blow out his heel a few weeks ago. While he’s sound on it, the exit hole has left a crack in his heel that extends up to his coronary band! To stabilize the hoof capsule, my farrier put on a bar shoe, but she also recommended packing the area with “Sugardine”, a combination of 10% povidone iodine, or Betadine, and sugar.
I’d certainly heard about the use of Surgardine in the past as a standard home remedy for thrush. I also know that SugarDyne is now marketed as a standalone treatment. So I looked into the science behind the concept.
It turns out that sugar has been used as a wound treatment for centuries. Sugar is an antimicrobial agent. It inhibits bacterial growth, draws fluids, and is gentle on new tissue. Combine it with an iodine solution and you have a substance that does an excellent job at preventing infection and which is easy to use. In fact, in many countries, a sugar therapy is still used over antibiotics to treat infected wounds because the ingredients are readily available, inexpensive, portable and effective. The makers of “Sore No More” also recommend mixing their “The Sauce” product with sugar to make an effective treatment for thrush and abscesses.
When using Sugardine as a therapy, it’s important to pack the area several times a day as the efficacy of the solution wanes as it becomes diluted.
According to Wiki Answers, the efficacy of sugar is impressive:
A variety of case reports provide amazing data supporting the use of sugar in treating infected wounds. Dr. Leon Herszage treated 120 cases of infected wounds and other superficial lesions with ordinary granulated sugar purchased in a supermarket. The sugar was not mixed with any anti-septic, and no antibiotics were used concurrently. Of these 120 cases, there was a 99.2 percent cure rate, with a time of cure varying between 9 days to 17 weeks. Odor and secretions from the wound usually diminished within 24 hours and disappeared in 72 to 96 hours from onset of treatment.
Sugardine is easy to make: simply mix white granulated sugar with either 10% providone iodine or Betadine until you have thick mixture about the consistency of honey — approximately twice the amount of sugar to the iodine, but exact proportions are not critical. Keep it in a covered container and it will last indefinitely.
When using Sugardine to treat a hoof ailment such as thrush — or in my case, trying to keep the area where the abscess drained free from bacteria — you should clean and debride the area then pack it with gauze (or a cotton ball) soaked in Sugardine. I’m using gauze pads that I’m inserting into the crack left by the abscess. If you’re treating for thrush, you should pack the Sugardine into the clefts. Unlike some home remedies for thrush (such as bleach), Sugardine is not caustic and it will not damage healthy tissue. It can also be used on scrapes, cuts and, on humans, to treat burns.
Here’s a video that explains and shows how to make Sugardine.