Five Applications for Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment

Back in the day, our Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment was known as “the medicine chest in a bottle”.  AVL promised to cure everything from boils to bunions back at the turn of the century, and today it remains a tack box essential for equine health and wellness. We wanted to take a closer look at some of the key applications for the horse world’s most trusted liniment – some of them may surprise you!

Provide relief for aching muscles

Applications for Absorbine Veterinary Liniment


Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment was invented in 1892 to soothe the tired muscles of Wilbur F. Young’s workhorses. They were in harness most of the day helping Wilbur deliver pianos – hardly light work! You can bet a little liniment at day’s end felt mighty good.


Horses of today have very different sorts of jobs, but soothing those aching muscles is still the favorite use for our liniment. A once-a-day rub down with Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment on large muscle masses will provide fast relief and recovery, as the natural ingredients gently warm and stimulate circulation. Apply the liquid liberally to the shoulders, neck, back, croup and thighs, and massage in circular motions.



Soothe joint pain due to exercise, arthritis and old injuries

Applications for Absorbine Veterinary Liniment


Joints are also common areas of aches and pains in hardworking horses; a whole lot of weight and pressure is applied to these key junctions on a regular basis. This is even more critical for performance horses, who’s training may include jumping, spinning, sliding, twisting, and exerting at more extreme levels.  Regularly applying Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment to hocks, fetlocks, knees, and all the tendons and ligaments in between will help soothe any pain due to training, and help keep those joints from stiffening up.


Additionally, horses approaching or enjoying their golden years may suffer from arthritis, or feel a little creaky from the wear and tear of friskier times. Old injuries can also act up and cause pain, especially on colder days. The deep penetrating warmth of Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment will provide fast relief from swelling of tissues due to arthritis. Be sure to treat your senior horse to an AVL massage regularly.

Kill germs

Applications for Absorbine Veterinary Liniment


Absorbine® Veterinary liniment is an antiseptic liquid, which means it effectively kills the bacteria and fungus that may be causing issues for your horse, whether it is a mysterious patch of crusty skin or a stinky hoof. Regularly applying to problem areas can help things clear up quickly and prevent future infection.


For hooves, Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment is a great preventative measure against fungal and bacterial conditions in the sole and frog. Apply the liquid to the underside of the hoof once a week to get ahead of infections. AVL can help treat a variety of hoof conditions such as abscesses, cracks (bacteria on the leading edge keeps cracks splitting), thrush, and white line disease.


AVL is also great for skin health because it kills germs on contact. Use it to clean and treat bacterial and fungal skin conditions like rain rot, scratches, sweet itch, and tail itch. Applying the liquid to the affected area three times a week will help disinfect, heal, and stop any itching.


Prepare him for a workout and then help him recover

Applications for Absorbine Veterinary Liniment


Good circulation is a critical factor in giving your horse the best possible workout, and for helping him feel his best afterward. Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment is designed to increase circulation, and an application before and after your ride is a great routine that promotes wellness in the joints and muscles for top performance.


A pre-workout application of Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment to the horse’s muscles, joints, and legs will help warm him up and ease him into exercise. The liquid will increase circulation to the muscles, helping to relax and prevent injuries.


A post-workout rub down with AVL will help speed muscle recovery by increasing blood flow to the areas that worked the hardest. Apply liniment where your horse typically experiences stiffness or swelling, and gently massage. Another great practice is applying AVL to the legs and then lightly wrapping to soothe and prevent swelling. But remember: never rub the liniment in if you are wrapping, as the added friction will create a very intense sensation. Keep a gentle touch and your horse will enjoy relaxing warmth that is great for the legs.


Invigorate with a body wash

Applications for Absorbine Veterinary Liniment


There’s nothing more refreshing than an Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment bath after a tough workout for full-body relaxation. It’s easy: just add a splash of AVL to a bucket of cold water, and sponge your sweaty horse down with the solution. It will cool your horse down, soothe muscles and joints, cut through sweat and dirt, disinfect, and leave your horse smelling minty fresh!


With all these applications, “medicine chest in a bottle” isn’t so far off. Certainly, no tack box should be without a bottle of Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment. Whether it’s a muscle rub down, a warm up for achy joints, an antidote for itchy skin, or a spa-day cleanse, your horse will thank you.


19 comments on “Five Applications for Absorbine® Veterinary Liniment”

  1. Bob says:

    Love the product. What is the recommended applications per day for Bigeloil gel for joint soreness.

    1. Sean says:

      You can apply Bigeloil Liquid Gel 3-4 times a day for joint soreness. Thank you!

  2. Nick says:

    This product is truly awesome! My daughter uses it on her quarter horse.

  3. Jeri says:

    Is this safe for my dog if she would lick it?

    1. Sean says:

      Hey Jeri, it should be OK if it’s only a little. But if you were applying it every day and she was licking it all off every time, discontinue using it.

  4. Nancy says:

    This product is absolutely good. I always use this one for my horse. This item is really wonderful. What are the prescribed applications every day for Bigeloil gel for joint irritation? Another thing is, may I apply this for my cat also? You know, I’ve 3 lovely cats also.

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hello Nancy, thank you for writing us! You can apply Bigeloil Gel 3-4 times daily. Do not use a liniment on your cat under any circumstances please. Our liniments are not approved or designed for use on cats. If your cats need some support, we recommend our The Missing Link Feline Supplements which you can find here: https://missinglinkproducts.com/purchase/cat/ We wish you and your kitties the best!

  5. Beverly Green says:

    Can I use this on a goat leg sprain?

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hi Beverly, yes Absorbine Veterinary Liniment is approved for livestock like goats. Test it on a small patch of skin before using on your goat as some animals have more sensitive skin. Apply the liniment 2-3 times daily until her movement improves. Thank You! -Team Absorbine

  6. KC says:

    This is really more out of curiosity than anything. But, I wonder if it would help cool a horse with anhidrosis faster than just cold hosing alone?

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      We’re not sure about helping with that particular affliction, but it does cool an animal faster than water as it evaporates more quickly, and has cooling ingredients like menthol. Thank you!

  7. Margaret says:

    I have the gel and can I add it to water and used my hand to massage it on my horse’s legs or put the gel directly on my horse legs with water?

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hello Margaret,

      You can use both the gel or liquid Absorbine Veterinary Liniments either way – you can apply them full strength or dilute them with water. If you are applying full strength and intend to over-wrap the area wit a bandage, just remember our adage “If you rub, don’t wrap”. So in that case do not rub the liniment valorously, simply smooth it on and then wrap. If you are not intending to over-wrap, rubbing is ok and will increase the action of the liniment. Thank you for your great question!

  8. cassidy palmer says:

    If I’m using ice boots, should AVL be applied before icing or after, or not at all ?

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hello! We’d suggest alternating between the two to encourage the pumping action of vasodilation. This article describes using our liniment and cold therapy this way for minor leg strains but it might be also applicable for your situation. https://absorbine.com/learning-center/using-absorbine-veterinary-liniment-to-help-treat-a-horses-minor-leg-strain/

  9. Chris says:

    Is this safe to use on my goats front legs- and hooves joint area for arthritis ?

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hello Chris, yes you can use Absorbine Veterinary Liniments on your goat’s legs and hooves, and major muscle groups if needed. Apply 2 times per day is our recommendation. For any first time application, start first with a small 2″ area and leave for 30m to make sure the animal is not overly sensitive before applying therapeutically. Always avoid sensitive skin areas like armpits and navels, and avoid mucous membranes like eyes and noses.

  10. Hilary says:

    Can I just massage full strength on my horses back then tack up and ride? Or would the saddle and saddle pad cause too much heat?:)

    1. Team Absorbine says:

      Hello Hilary, you are correct – that would cause too much heat. We have a really old saying at Absorbine – “If you rub, don’t wrap”. This adage applies to putting liniment under the saddle before a ride. Either apply the liniment and rub it in if it’s going to be open to the air, or apply it smoothly and gently and put a covering over it for longer-lasting effect (like a blanket or stall wrap) But do not rub the skin then cover it with liniment on. Putting liniment on then putting a saddle over it would create an undesirable rubbing and covering action.

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