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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2012
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    116

    Default Persistent thrush- third opinion? UPDATE

    I was out of town for a month and though someone picked out his feet while I was away, I got back and my 2 year old had developed a wicked case of thrush in his right front and left hind. The vet prescribed metronidozole ointment, which cleared up the central sulcus thrush in the hind foot, and improved the front after 2 weeks of bandaging. The vet rechecked after the first week, when he was still lame, and said it looked better and to just keep treating, and the farrier had the same opinion.

    It's been about 5 weeks now, I am still cleaning with chlorhexidine and treating with antibiotic daily or every other day, but no longer bandaging due to wet weather (he lives outside 24/7). Yet the thrush WILL NOT go away, and tonight he is lame again. Has anyone dealt with an infection this bad before? I want to call the vet out again, but all she did was look at the hoof, and prescribe antibiotics. Is there anything else that can be done? Should I get a second (third) opinion? I do really trust this vet, and she did say that it would take a while to heal, but it's been over a month and I hoped he would have at least been sound by now. I'm not sure what else to do.
    Last edited by nuevaburro; Aug. 20, 2012 at 01:27 PM. Reason: update
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2010
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    290

    Default

    A bunch of young horses in pasture got bad thrush, including my youngster. The farrier recommended we spray really strong peroxide (30% I think). This helped a bit but obviously caused discomfort. Later in the process of getting rid of the thrush (and it seemed to take forever) we used a product called Keretex. Now we are using something actually made for cows called "Tomorrow" which the feed store sells.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
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    16,393

    Default

    White lightening? I've read that it is very effective.

    Has anyone considered canker?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    809

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    White Lightning! Cleared up my mare's bad central sulcus thrush in 2 soaks! I couldn't believe it. It hasn't come back, and the crack is now more like a divot, and nicely filled in with healthy frog.
    "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
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    1,395

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nuevaburro View Post
    I was out of town for a month and though someone picked out his feet while I was away, I got back and my 2 year old had developed a wicked case of thrush in his right front and left hind. The vet prescribed metronidozole ointment, which cleared up the central sulcus thrush in the hind foot, and improved the front after 2 weeks of bandaging. The vet rechecked after the first week, when he was still lame, and said it looked better and to just keep treating, and the farrier had the same opinion.

    It's been about 5 weeks now, I am still cleaning with chlorhexidine and treating with antibiotic daily or every other day, but no longer bandaging due to wet weather (he lives outside 24/7). Yet the thrush WILL NOT go away, and tonight he is lame again. Has anyone dealt with an infection this bad before? I want to call the vet out again, but all she did was look at the hoof, and prescribe antibiotics. Is there anything else that can be done? Should I get a second (third) opinion? I do really trust this vet, and she did say that it would take a while to heal, but it's been over a month and I hoped he would have at least been sound by now. I'm not sure what else to do.
    Just to clarify the anitbiotic the vet prescribed was topical?

    I think after 5 wks if you have been treating the thrush religiously and you still have a sore horse that it is time to start thinking systemic antibiotic.

    I rescued a horse with a low body score of 2. She had thrush all 4 around and when I picked out the 2nd hoof the frog pealed back to a bloody infected remnant. I so I soaked and packed and booted. I can tell you in just afew days she was much better. Within 10 days she was no longer lame and within a month the boot was off and healthy frog was returning and everything at least starting to look normal again.

    That was as bad a case as I ever care to see. If she had not improved rapidly I would not have hestitated to use a systemic antibiotic. So if your horse is not improving after all this time it is time to fall back, call in reinforcements, and start plan B.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2002
    Location
    my desk
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    861

    Default

    As far as topicals, this is the only product that cleared up a very stubborn case of thrush for my horse last year: http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...4ae5&gas=udder.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2012
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    116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    Just to clarify the anitbiotic the vet prescribed was topical?
    ....
    So if your horse is not improving after all this time it is time to fall back, call in reinforcements, and start plan B.
    It is a topical ointment, yes. When I asked about systemic antibiotics the vet said they don't reach the hoof.

    There has been improvement in the appearance of the foot, and the central sulcus is not as deep now, but there is a deep crevasse/hole on one side of the collateral groove and he is still sensitive and intermittently lame.
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave



  8. #8
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    Feb. 11, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuevaburro View Post
    It is a topical ointment, yes. When I asked about systemic antibiotics the vet said they don't reach the hoof.

    There has been improvement in the appearance of the foot, and the central sulcus is not as deep now, but there is a deep crevasse/hole on one side of the collateral groove and he is still sensitive and intermittently lame.
    I disagree with your vet. Antibiotic do reach the hoof. So I guess the cow that I spent 2 wks running in the chute and hammering her with twin pen every other day to treat hoof rot (same thing as thrush) got better on her own by our vets opinion.

    It would not be my 1st choice in a horse and topicals generally work in most cases. But if this is persisting for 5 wks I would be adding a round systemic antibiotics in addition to the topicals. Cuz if it is not improving by now despite your attempts and then it has invaded the frog to the point topicals can not penetrate too.

    Or you have another problem such as an abscess punking around in there adding to your horses misery.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
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    I think that by now if your vet and farrier haven't been able to put their heads together and solve this problem that you should consider replacing both of them.

    Seriously, here you are on an internet forum trying to figure out how to solve a very common problem that competent professionals solve on a routine basis in the course of their daily work.



  10. #10
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    May. 3, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    Seriously, here you are on an internet forum trying to figure out how to solve a very common problem that competent professionals solve on a routine basis in the course of their daily work.
    Is thrush this bad that common? I've never seen it make a horse lame before. Vet said she wasn't even sure it was thrush, but didn't know exactly what else it could be.

    My frustration stems from feeling like more could be done than just putting various topical treatments on it. For one, I expected the farrier or the vet to debride the area, but neither did and there was a whole mess of (what looked to me like) necrotic tissue.

    I'm not necessarily searching for another solution if the treatment protocol seems in line with what you would expect in a situation like this (according to the fine folks of the internet bulletin boards).

    The vet and farrier said it could take a YEAR to completely heal. That just seems extreme for something that popped up over a few weeks- it's not like this horse was neglected for months or years, he has always had regular trims and vet care, etc. Like I said, it is just frustrating, and it would help to hear if anyone went through something similar.
    "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave



  11. #11
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    Feb. 19, 2006
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    Sevierville Tn
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    New vet and a new farrier. That is my treatment protocol too. At the very least, a new farrier. A year??? Pfffftttt!



  12. #12
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuevaburro View Post
    Is thrush this bad that common?
    I only see it in horses new to my practice. Had 7 of 8 at the summer camp this year lame with thrush due to the camp allowing them to go 9 weeks before calling me. Several had bleeding frogs. Got them all cleaned up in less than a week. Frogs were more than an inch from touching the ground and despite daily hoof picking and application of topicals the thrush got out of control.

    I've never seen it make a horse lame before. Vet said she wasn't even sure it was thrush, but didn't know exactly what else it could be.
    In horses where the heels have been left so long that the frog never touches the ground a central sulcus infection can work its way through the frog and digital cushion and out the back of the foot. Getting it cleared up involves OTC antibiotics and a trim that places the frog in contact with the ground so that it receives weight bearing stimulation.

    It is very common in halter type and western pleasure QH show horses - almost an epidemic in my area. The prevalent ignorance is to not trim the heels on these horses and "stand them up" - keeps them landing toe first which is what the judges want in a QH western pleasure class.

    My frustration stems from feeling like more could be done than just putting various topical treatments on it. For one, I expected the farrier or the vet to debride the area, but neither did and there was a whole mess of (what looked to me like) necrotic tissue.
    I expect a competent farrier to be able to debride an infected frog with surgical skill, but not a vet as it is not part of their medical training.

    Farriers trim frogs every day and should be intimately familiar with that structure and to what extent it can be debrided without cutting into sensitive structures.

    I'm not necessarily searching for another solution if the treatment protocol seems in line with what you would expect in a situation like this (according to the fine folks of the internet bulletin boards).
    Based on your reported progress this participant thinks your treatment program sucks goobers.

    The vet and farrier said it could take a YEAR to completely heal.
    BULLSHIT! That isn't rain. Somebody is peeing on your leg.

    That just seems extreme for something that popped up over a few weeks- it's not like this horse was neglected for months or years, he has always had regular trims and vet care, etc. Like I said, it is just frustrating, and it would help to hear if anyone went through something similar.
    Yea, to reiterate, I see it any time I come into a new account where the previous hoof care regiment was lacking in regard to adequate trimming combined with an environment where thrush has the opportunity to thrive.

    Frogs that work for a living don't get thrush - not talking about those guys that work for Budwiser.



  13. #13
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Twin Cities
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    Some horses do have problems with persistent thrush because of deep sulci or other anatomical variations, but it sounds like you never had the issues before.

    The thing that makes treatment hard sometimes is just getting the treatment to all the crevices, etc. I think this is why the White Lightening is successful in hard cases- the gas gets in.

    When I was a teen we had a farrier who had been an apprentice to a farrier from the Old Country (hard core, little OLD Sicilian dude with accent & everything). Sometimes OLD guy would come along for kicks & he told me the only thing that would get the hard cases of thrush was iodine crystals mixed with something that made colored smoke...

    He said it bubbled & gave quite a show, which apparently made quite a stir back home in the village.

    A few years ago I did some googling to figure out what this was, I concluded that the reaction might be painful. But the idea is the same: the bubbles & gas drive the antiseptic deep into every crevice.

    I also found out it is hard to get iodine crystals these days b/c they are used for making meth. I found a website telling a cooker to go to farm supply store & say they had cattle with hoof rot.

    Good times.

    Good luck



  14. #14
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Twin Cities
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    Also, if antibiotics aren't working, note thrush can be due to fungus, or other non-bacterial critters. Sometimes it is a combo of all of the above.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Vet said she wasn't even sure it was thrush, but didn't know exactly what else it could be
    After a friend of a friend, had to euthanise her horse who was consistently misdiagnosed with thrush - despite several anomalies - get another opinion ... & another ... as needed, until the condition is resolved.
    In this case it was canker & despite surgery & initial improvement, horse relapsed & there just was not enough healthy tissue left



  16. #16
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    Aug. 7, 2005
    Location
    Georgia
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Taylor View Post
    I disagree with your vet. Antibiotic do reach the hoof. So I guess the cow that I spent 2 wks running in the chute and hammering her with twin pen every other day to treat hoof rot (same thing as thrush) got better on her own by our vets opinion.

    It would not be my 1st choice in a horse and topicals generally work in most cases. But if this is persisting for 5 wks I would be adding a round systemic antibiotics in addition to the topicals. Cuz if it is not improving by now despite your attempts and then it has invaded the frog to the point topicals can not penetrate too.

    Or you have another problem such as an abscess punking around in there adding to your horses misery.
    I really don't know if it would be the same but when I bought a saanen buck who arrived with hoof rot so bad he was walking on his knees my vet had me give him penn shots as well as treat with topical meds. It worked.
    You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.



  17. #17
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    Nov. 5, 2000
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    9,427

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    We had a horse come in from Europe with persistent, chronic thrush in 3 feet. We tried all the usual remedies for months but nothing cured it. Thanks to advice on this forum, we finally tried cow mastitis treatment and it worked GREAT. Thrush cleared up after a week or so of daily treatment, and although it did try to come back in one foot a few months later, a second round of treatment knocked it out for good. There have been ZERO thrush problems every since. So my advice is to get Today or Tomorrow from Tractor Supply or Valley Vet and give it a whirl.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    6,340

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    I also have a horse with persistent thrush. It seems to be resistent so some antibiotics as treatments work for about 3 months, then relapse.

    It is extremely painful for him. I have tried equipack and various antibiotics (systemic as well), along with different trush remidies such as hydrogen peroxide, thrush buster, white lightning and the list goes on.

    The central sulcus has never been affected. One collateral sulcus is contantly affected, and bleeds. On that side, the sole is starting to lift away from the hoof. Sigh. Seems to be under control for a few months and then within a few days becomes horriblle again. Vet is going to be in contact with a specialist and farrier will be up in the next week.

    Horse is happy as a clam walking around outside, but lame to ride.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 17, 2012
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    Talk to me about "canker"--I've never seen it. Hope it stays that way, but how does it present?



  20. #20
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Canker is a hyper-tropic proliferation of undifferentiated epithelial tissue. I has the appearance of cauliflower and reproduces in a similar manner to cancer - bad cell proliferation.

    Most often seen in badly neglected draft horses, but it does occur in other breeds. In the early stages canker can sometimes be treated with chemical debridement.

    Later stages require surgical debridement as the canker cells develop their own blood supply and the area resected requires cauterizing the margins.

    Canker surgery should be performed by a team involving an experienced podiatry board certified veterinary surgeon and a highly skilled farrier - as the farrier may actually participate hands-on in the surgery along side the veternarian. Followup may require a bar shoe with a removable hospital plate to facilitate changing dressings at the surgical site.



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