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thrush

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  • thrush

    OK, this may sound like a dumb question, but what exactly is thrush and how do you tell if a horse has it?

    I have heard that it is white and powdery and appears anywhere on the sole of the foot.

    I have heard that it is black and spongey and appears on the frog.

    Thank goodness none of the horses I know have it, so I have no opportunities to be shown a case of thrush in real life.

    I have heard that it should be treated with diluted bleach, but how? Soak? Sponge? Spray?

    I have heard that it should not be treated with bleach, but with Thrushbuster or Koppertox.

    I have gotten confused!
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

  • #2
    Black, gooey stuff that if found, is normally found in the crevices around the frog. Common with poor stall cleaning, or muddy conditions.

    Koppertox or Thrushbuster gets rid of it. It can prevent it if you use it during times of lots of rain.

    I've heard of diluted bleach being used, but not ever seen or used it. I've used thrushbuster during the rainy season when feet were staying wet longer.

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    • #3
      I also use a off the shelf thrush treatment if we have a long stretch of wet weather just to cover my bases on my horses. I have seen people use bleach and used it once myself as a preventative in a pinch.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have Mexican Mustangs that came from out west and aren't used to the humidity in our area. Periodically they will get thrush. We use Tomorrow paste - it was recommended by the farrier and works great.

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        • #5
          You know by the smell! Black over ripe frog tissue and a smell that will knock you down...Can't really describe it other than...rot.

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          • #6
            The white-chalky stuff is just old sole that's shedding on its own.

            Thrush is black, can be gooey and stinks to high heaven. It's a combo of yeast and bacteria.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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            • #7
              It can also show up as a hole or rotting away of the frog.. you might not see any stinky black goo, but the bacteria/fungus can eat away at the tissue in the frog, producing a deep cleft in the frog, and/or holes/crevices along the edges.

              ThrushBuster or other treatments are a good preventative when you're dealing with a lot of mud and moisture!
              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

              PONY'TUDE

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                Black, gooey stuff that if found, is normally found in the crevices around the frog. Common with poor stall cleaning, or muddy conditions.

                Koppertox or Thrushbuster gets rid of it. It can prevent it if you use it during times of lots of rain.

                I've heard of diluted bleach being used, but not ever seen or used it. I've used thrushbuster during the rainy season when feet were staying wet longer.
                It is black, spongey, and in the frog area ( in my limited experience) it also stunk too. I used diluted bleach, just poured it on the area and tried to keep him in a drier area, which was hard when it never stopped raining . Even with the wet ground , the bleach did the trick.

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                • #9
                  Thrush is an anaerobic bacterial infection of the frog. When it infects the central sulcus it can eventually work its way through the frog and the digital cushion causing a split between the heel bulbs.

                  Bleach is a bad idea for treating thrush.

                  Mild cases can be treated with just about any topical disinfectant. Chlorhexadine or betadine scrub work fine for this.

                  Severe cases, like a deep central sulcus infection are most effectively treated with antibiotics. Over the counter antibiotics such as those sold for treating mastitis in dry cows are inexpensive and readily available in most farm supply stores.

                  Don't use bleach. Your horse is not laundry.

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                  • #10
                    Need to be aware, also, that in that crack that develops between the heel bulbs, the hoof can then develop a nasty yeast infection which thrives off dead thrush bacteria. Therefore, when treating for a thrush that has invaded the heels and CS badly enough to cause the heel bulbs to split BOTH the yeast and the thrush needs to be addressed. White Lightening and Clean Trax are both effective in killing both the thrush bacteria and the yeast fungii but yeast also is systemic so the overall diet must be addressed as well.

                    Maybe a simplistic addition but once the thrush and the yeast are being treated then the overall CAUSE of them both needs to be closely examined and fixed, too. Mechanical form and functioning of the hooves, diet, husbandry, environment, exercise/movement ... all of these directly affect the hooves and how they are able to fight against a recurrent invasion of thrush and yeast (both of which are always in the ground and around). Treating the bacteria and the yeast without making other changes needed is about as effective as pi**ing into the wind on a nice sailing day ... (or any other day) *grin* So, care needs to be taken to 'fix' ALL the elements that lead up to thrush and yeast invasions.
                    --Gwen <><
                    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the knowledgeable replies and all the good info.
                      "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- George Bernard Shaw

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I pick feet when the horses come in out of the field to their stalls most days. If it's been muddy, the frogs start getting a little squishy, and I put a bit of Thrushbuster into the crevices, maybe once a week. If a crack starts developing between the bulbs of the heel, I'll put some there as well. I bed on pine shavings, and pine shavings have natural antibacterial properties. Just cleaning the feet and letting the horse stand on the clean bedding usually keeps thrush from developing.
                        Man plans. God laughs.

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                        • #13
                          Ditto Tom with the no-no on the bleach.

                          A good scrubbing or soak with Chlorhexadine and dry it completely. Then spray in athelete's foot spray daily for a while. Works like a charm.
                          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                            Ditto Tom with the no-no on the bleach.

                            A good scrubbing or soak with Chlorhexadine and dry it completely. Then spray in athelete's foot spray daily for a while. Works like a charm.
                            I find chlorhexadine is better at treating athletes foot (mine) than the athletes foot spray. And costs a bunch less.

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