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Cryotherapy for Horses: Is It Worth It?

Dr Mark is a veterinarian and raises livestock and horses at his small ranch in Brazil.

Cryotherapy can definitely benefit your horse.

Cryotherapy can definitely benefit your horse.

Is Equine Cryotherapy Worth It?

This type of therapy has been around a long time, and it is worth spending the time using it if your horse is suffering from laminitis, lameness, or other issues. There is even some evidence that cryotherapy may be used to prevent clinical signs in horses that have damaged their hooves through excessive exercise. (1)

In my area, even the cowboys use a crude form of cryotherapy by soaking a horse's hooves in cold water after a hard workout. It may not be as effective as the cold water boots that are sold and used on racetracks, but anecdotally it does have benefits.

Cryotherapy is definitely a treatment that can benefit your horse.


  1. van Eps, A. W., & Pollitt, C. C. (2004). Equine laminitis: cryotherapy reduces the severity of the acute lesion. Equine veterinary journal, 36(3), 255–260.
  2. Roszkowska, K., Witkowska-Pilaszewicz, O., Przewozny, M. et al. Whole body and partial body cryotherapies – lessons from human practice and possible application for horses. BMC Vet Res 14, 394 (2018).

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Mark dos Anjos DVM