View Full Version : Spinoff of a Spinoff- Hoof Packing for Thrush

Aug. 19, 2009, 06:52 PM
So I was reading the other thread on how to pack a hoof, and was wondering if anyone packs hooves to get rid of thrush.

I am dealing with an awful case of thrush with my mare. She got it at my previous (emphasis on previous) boarding barn. I moved her about a year ago and have been trying to treat the thrush ever since. I've tried Thrushbuster, peroxide, and Tomorrow Dry Cow. I have treated almost everyday for a couple of weeks several times and the thrush seems like it's under control, and then I'll go a few days without going to the barn and picking her hooves, and it's back, nasty as ever. She has it in the central sulcus and crevices on both sides of the frogs.

So, new plan of attack is needed. I work full time and don't live particularly close to the barn, but I can make it there most days. I'm thinking, after reading the other thread, that packing seems like it would do the trick more than just cleaning once a day and applying whatever product. Questions though (as I've never done this before):

What product would be best to use? (I know there is one specifically for thrush, also epson salts poultice, ithmammocol, etc.)

If, on the rare occasion I miss a day at the barn, would it hurt if it were left on for more than one day?

She goes out in the day and is stalled at night. I'm guessing I would need to use duck tape and/or vetwrap to keep the packing in. What way works best for turnout?

How long should she need to be packed daily? After it seems like I have the thrush under control, I think I'm going to try Durasole to hopefully minimize reocurrance. Sound like a plan?

FYI, before it gets asked (;)), she is a 15 year old mare, mostly retired, easy keeper in perfect weight who lives on a ration balancer, grass hay, and goes out in a dry lot. She is shod in the front and bare in the back, and that is working well for us. :)


Aug. 19, 2009, 07:17 PM
If it were me, I'd consider something like CleanTrax.

That said, given that it's continued even after changing environments and all this treatment, i'd be semi-concerned that there's an immune issue as well. Is this horse dealing with a metabolic issue? On corticosteroids for arthritis/joint probs? Getting a good diet? If their immune system is compromised, it makes more sense that it's persisting.

Aug. 19, 2009, 08:39 PM
I looked at the Clean Trax, and it seems worth a shot. But, it says on the KV Equine site though that it gets mixed with water for soaking? So it provides just one treatment? I don't know about soaking, I have only soaked one of her hooves once before (long time ago for an abcess) and it didn't really go over well...the Red Mare is not the most patient. And I'm dealing with multiple hooves.

She does not have an immune/metabolic issue that I know of. She was overweight last year when I moved barns and developing a cresty neck, so at the new barn she has been on the ration balancer, grass hay, and dry lot, and she has shed all the extra weight and now looks great. I also had blood tests run in Feb. when she got spring shots, and all came back fine. The only supp she gets is MSM.

Forgot to add, I think a lot of the problem is that it's been really wet here this year...all of the mud in her dry lot is not good for the thrushy tootsies.


Auventera Two
Aug. 20, 2009, 09:11 AM
All you need is one treatment - or if the infection is really deep seated, then you might have to do two treatments, a few weeks apart.

I've cleared up some horrible, long-standing cases of thrush with only one Clean Trax treatment. One horse's foot was so rotten, that you could easily flex the foot in half with just thumb pressure. The sensitive frog was exposed, and he had abscessed out both heel bulbs. He was an older horse, and the owners were newbies. The farrier they had been using told them to use Koppertox, which of course does nothing. They did that for a few months, then their farrier had an accident and couldn't work anymore. They got me, we did Clean Trax, and within just a few weeks, the frog was nearly healed completely.

If your mare doesn't have the discipline to stand still, then sedate her, and get the soaking done.

For horses that are mildly figety, you can give them a hay bag with alfalfa, or something really tasty that holds their attention.

No matter what, Clean Trax soaking is a pain in the arse, but it is the BEST treatment you can find for thrush.

Aug. 24, 2009, 06:14 PM
you will not always treat thursh with one or two treatments of whatever
as if its constant then it can become secondary and can be very painful at this time so a vet is a must have as well as qualified farrier as they are the only ones that can treat lower limb actions

thrush comes from wet and or dirty enviroment
and if one doesnt treat it with respect then it can become secondary

its a bacterial infection which some horses are more susceptible to than others
Thrush in horses is a foul smelling bacterial infection affecting the feet. It should not be confused with canker, which is an altogether more serious infection. Fortunately, canker is rare as it is a difficult condition to cure, whereas thrush usually resolves with correct management.

Careful stable and hoof management is essential if thrush is to be prevented. As the bacteria are killed by oxygen, regular use of the hoof pick will allow air to the foot and reduce the ability of the bacteria to take hold.

Keep stables clean with plenty of good-quality, dry bedding. If horses are in for long periods, bank the beds during the day to allow them to stand on an area of clean, dry concrete.

Some horses are more susceptible to this condition than others, and foot conformation can lead to a predisposition to thrush. For example, a deep cleft in the frog may become packed with sand after working in an arena. If not carefully cleaned, this could lead to irritation and allow bacteria to enter.

The prime cause, however, is one of hygiene — standing in droppings and urine. The damp conditions of a dirty stable provide the perfect environment for the anaerobic bacteria, (those needing a low-oxygen environment) which cause thrush to flourish.

Diagnosis and treatment

The most obvious sign of thrush is a foul-smelling, black discharge from the frog, which itself may have softer spots and appear irregular in shape. The horse is unlikely to be lame unless the decay has invaded the sensitive inner tissues.

If a horse has thrush the underlying cause needs to be identified and removed. The horse should be moved to a clean, dry environment and the feet cleaned daily.

The farrier or vet will need to remove the decayed tissue, and depending on the severity of the condition, this may need to be done over more than one visit. The feet may need to be bandaged or dressed with topical medication. Every vet and farrier has their favourite remedy, most of which aim to dry out the feet.

Thrush will never resolve unless the hoof hygiene is good — it is the equine equivalent of athlete's foot. A damaged frog is the perfect entry point for the bacteria that cause tetanus, so ensure that the horse has adequate protection against this.

read this link by thomas 1 and do as he says if however the horse isnt clearing up then you need to investigate it further with xrays and vet and farrier

Hampton Bay
Aug. 24, 2009, 09:39 PM
Try a hoof supplement if her thrush is that much of an issue. I like SmartHoof. It has really helped keep the chronic thrush away for my mare.

For mild thrush I like to use HoofHeal dressing, but your case sounds like it needs more than that. I did have some luck with packing the frog with borax and covering it with vetwrap and duct tape. There was a visible change within a week, and this was a pony whose hoof you could squeeze together at the heels just by pressing with one hand. And I have weak hands!

Aug. 24, 2009, 11:34 PM
Thanks guys. We have actually had a couple of dry weeks, and her hooves look really good right now. I think I may try Durasole. If that doesn't work, I will do the Clean Trax. I also am putting her on Glanzen Lite...it has biotin and other hoof ingredients in it. Do you think she would benefit from a separate hoof supplement on top of that?