What Is Thrush In Horses?

Lack of exercise and reduced circulation in the hoof can also make hooves prone to thrush, as can poor hygiene and inadequate living conditions. Huffpost is now a part of verizon media, tell your doctor right away if you get a rash while taking DIFLUCAN. Safe and effective; contains no formaldehyde or cancer causing agents. However, it’s always a good idea to be as sanitary as possible when dealing with any infections, whether it’s found in yourself, a family member or your animals. As it progresses, the frog tissue deteriorates, looking uneven and ragged and producing a smelly discharge.

This can cause the horse to become uneasy during regular hoof maintenance and create unnecessary problems for you or your farrier. Take care not to poke and scrub too vigorously – infected frog tissue can be painful and can easily bleed. Unfortunately, these are ideal conditions for your horse to develop thrush. Tetanus antitoxin must be given, if the horse is not fully vaccinated up-to-date or if vaccination status cannot be confirmed. As if that’s not complex enough, yeasts and fungi exist in both “live” and spore form. In these cases, management of the problem with Banixx spray, several times a week, is a must to control the problem. Do not suggest using these products, the hoof is living tissue that is damaged and wounded by thrush.

However, severe cases thrush can also invade the white line, sole, and sensitive layers of the foot. The frog is soft or spongy underneath but looks normal and dry on top. Even if you keep everything clean and dry, your horse may stand in a fresh pile of manure or urine every day. Among these is ample moisture for forage production in pastures and paddocks. Pay special attention to the collateral grooves (area on either side of the frog) and the sulcus (center of the frog toward the back of the foot). The problem starts when the bacteria get through the outer horn of the frog leaving dark colour ooze. It is best, however, to speak with the horse's veterinarian, to be sure these home remedies are effective and, more importantly, safe for use on horses. A proactive approach goes a long way in keeping your horse happy and healthy.

If you’ve been around or owned a horse long enough, you have most likely encountered one of the most common horse hoof issues called thrush. This will look after the health of the frog. As with some of the homemade thrush creations, these products can dry out the hoof and should be used carefully. Form the habit of picking and wire-brushing the hoof bottom clean, a quick scrub with Dawn Detergent, every day, then spraying the entire surface with a microbe-killer; keep the foot off-ground for fifteen or twenty seconds to allow some penetration of the spray. Typical thrush products are used daily until the hoof is healed, but always check the product label for treatment instructions. In severe cases there may be a discharge from the frog. The good news is with a little maintenance you can prevent your horse from getting thrush. It is not unusual after cleaning such hooves to notice a topical black coating at the sole and frog.

You will likely know it when you see — and smell — it. The condition is rare and more often occurs in the southeastern United States. Research tells us that bleach and hydrogen peroxide actually lengthen the healing time and can cause significant pain. If you are reluctant, even as an adult, to do so, spend time with those who are more comfortable around horses.

Barefoot Dressage with Shannon Peters

Treatment of thrush is based on a few key efforts. Do not mistake thrush in your horse for another condition that can appear in the sulci called canker. That opens the field to most of the on-the-shelf products that we wipe on or spray on.

  • Check out this Michigan State University Extension article to help manage the mud at your horse farm.
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  • If the horse is kept in a run-in shed, the area should be cleaned weekly to help minimize the buildup of organic matter, such as manure.
  • The hoof and frog become soft and crumbly allowing the bacteria and fungi to penetrate and establish themselves leading to infection.


However, a horse can become lame through treatment by continual probing or squeezing of the tender heel and frog areas affected by thrush. Thrush can lead to serious problems for your horse and finding the correct treatment can be difficult. Thrush is a bacterial infection of the hoof, most commonly seen in the sulci (or grooves) and frog area. Found mostly in small children and older adults, human thrush is caused when a yeast known Candida, which is naturally found on the body, grows out of control. Regular turnout and exercise. Certain conditions and environments predispose the frog to bacterial or fungal infections; horses live in the presence of manure and soil where potentially destructive organisms proliferate, particularly if dirt and debris remain trapped in the crevices or grooves (sulci) of the frog. Good nutrition can help your horse’s immune system. A strong offensive odor will originate from the infected hoof.

How Many Applications Does It Take To Treat?

Have your farrier come out and trim the overgrown frog. It’s not usually a serious condition, and minor cases can be easily treated. The stable manager said that her horse had a stubborn case of thrush and recommended that his daughter use one of commercial products that they kept around the barn. Thrush thrives much more in areas where horses are kept in a corral or a very small pasture. Make sure your horse gets plenty of exercise. Bar shoes and pads should be removed and the frog, its grooves and the sole trimmed and paired back to visually healthy tissue by a vet or farrier allowing air to reach the affected tissue. One species of bacterium (Fusobacterium necrophorum) is particularly aggressive, invading and destroying the frog, sometimes exposing the deeper sensitive tissues. At least once a day, thoroughly pick the hoof, paying special attention to the sulci.

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Some treatments can be picked up at your local feed store such as Kopertox and Thrush buster, which work well for treating thrush. First is to understand and correct the particular environmental conditions that have led to the development of thrush. An unhealthy frog is recessed—shrunken inward from the surface level of the rest of the hoof—and is smaller in size than it should be. Open and calloused, atrophied or over trimmed frogs may be susceptible to development of thrush. Water, Isopropanal, Formalin, P. However, we do understand that this is often difficult to achieve and that we are all doing our best for our horses but, these efforts are often limited.

In horses, thrush is not serious, unless it is left untreated. Repeated use of these strong chemicals can be harmful to the surrounding healthy hoof tissue and slow the healing process. Many horses will begin associating the chemical treatment with pain. With early treatment and good stall and environmental management, the prognosis for complete recovery for cases of thrush is good. We also tried Hooflex Thrush Remedy by Absorbine. That means trouble is coming, and you should take countermeasures right away.

Regular exercise promotes blood flow, which is essential for healthy feet. If you decide to use your bare hands, take care to scrub under fingernails as well. There are some such as bacon grease, bleach, or turpentine, but these types of treatments are generally highly discouraged by vets due to the other issues they can cause. Having the foot trimmed is essential. Horses who stand for long periods in manure-laden footing are more likely to develop thrush.

There are also silicones available that can fill in that void, but that, too, can trap moisture and air, so a lot of farriers will dust the foot with copper sulfate granules or powder before putting the silicones in there.

Managing Lameness

Although thrush is a somewhat common condition, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Home remedies for yeast infections that really work, sometimes, these yeast penetrate beneath the surface of the skin and cause infection. It erodes the tissues of the frog which leaves a black ooze on the surface. If it has an upright heel and deeper crevices, be aware your horse should exercise regularly and use anti-fungal spray.

This constant flexing pushes out dirt and debris. “Clorox will burn the skin. Using straight bleach or a commercial thrush product every day can dry out the frog, however. Treatment can be relatively easy and inexpensive, especially if caught early. As thrush is contagious, you will need to disinfect your stables in the event of an outbreak. 11 natural cures for a yeast infection, clinical practice guidelines for the management of candidiasis:. Sound healthy horses have been known to stand in some filthy stalls and still not get thrush, while horses in poor health (hoof or body) have been noted to have very advanced cases.

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Daily hoof picking is recommended, but it should be used delicately. The distinct, rancid odor of rotting flesh is a sure fire sign of thrush. Horses are physiologically dependant on movement and should be allowed to be outside of their stalls daily. A 30-minute soak in apple cider vinegar or dilute chlorine dioxide (Oxine or White Lightning, for example) will do the job on the microbes, but not their spores. But not so for the anaerobes. When your farrier trims the area, the bulk of the microbes will be removed, but you still need that topical treatment to finish it," explains Travis Burns, a Certified Journeyman Farrier, who is a Lecturer and Chief of Farrier Services at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. "When the frog has been trimmed you can scrub the entire hoof with a stiff brush and warm water. We asked the researchers who developed Thrush Stop for their secret?

Lameness or other limits on exercise can prevent your horse from exercising. Diflucan® (fluconazole) tablets patient information, these treatments have not been well studied. The remedy was such a hit at the barn and the near by horse farms that they formed a new company called SBS EQUINE to manufacture and distribute the product they called Thrush Stop. The tell-tale foul odor of thrush is something no barn owner wants on the farm. Thrush is a bacterial – fungal infection that eats away at the healthy tissue of a horse’s hoof.

A severe form of thrush with substantial tissue damage might be confused with another condition called canker. This article is original content produced by US Equestrian and may only be shared via social media. Baby butts: a review of motherlove diaper rash and thrush, i was interested in trying it because it is a rash cream that is safe for use with cloth diapers! The hoof will need daily cleaning and medicating in the treatment of Thrush. It is important to differentiate between hooves that are simply smelly and those that have thrush.

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Be gentle with the hoof pick - some cases are potentially created by an overly aggressive use of a hoof pick. Take preventative radiographs; these are always helpful to assess the true state of the hoof, i. Remember to clean the frog and the sulci. If you feel your horse's hooves can benefit from hoof packing due to consecutive days of jumping as is common with the training of hunters, jumpers, and three day eventers we've got you covered. How is thrush diagnosed? This goes far beyond horse thrush and affects the health of your horse in general.

Recommended Medicine

The infection itself leads to degradation of the frog and can cause enough damage that portions of the structure have to be removed by your vet or farrier. This leaves a blackish ooze on the surface. The 6 biggest mistakes in treating candida, refined carbohydrates, like white flour, and even fruits can all contribute to Candida overgrowth. You can use it to deposit a pea-sized glob of medication at the very bottom of a frog cleft. This, in turn, stimulates continued frog health.

It will help you address the symptoms, but what is ultimately important is to fix the root cause by trimming the hoof appropriately. When you pick out your horse’s hooves, pay attention to any abnormalities. An alternative is to place the hoof in a medicine boot or substitute, with 3-4 ounces of Banixx, once or twice a week while your horse eats. As well, horses that don’t receive enough exercise either through workouts or turnout are prone to thrush. In summary, thrush is a hoof hygiene issue that can be prevented with regular environmental and hoof maintenance. Unique formula creates an antiseptic barrier between the infection and healthy tissue by bonding to the hoof protein for long-lasting protection. Thrush, the bacterial infection which occurs on horses’ hooves, is common during excessively wet periods. TA Cream is effective in combating Athlete’s Foot – a fungus infection – and Clotrimazole is a powerful treatment, especially useful in combating thrush.

When horses are confined to a stall or paddock, they are often not able to “self-clean” their hooves. Swab down the sides of the frog as if you were picking out the hoof. Thrush is an infection of the central and lateral sulcus of the frog of the horse's foot, most often involving bacterial infection, occasionally fungal infection.

The central sulcus groove has a crack!


Many horses get thrush from standing in a dirty environment, like an unclean stall or a pasture full of mud and muck. The cleft of the frog can be packed with cotton soaked with disinfectant solution each time you rebandage the foot. Thrush is the destruction of a portion of the horse’s hoof called the frog. However, a moist environment should be avoided in animals with thrush. In addition, be sure the horse’s hooves and stall are being cleaned daily with removal of wet spots and manure. The frog and its sulcus should be scrubbed daily with dilute iodine solution or other antiseptic solutions.

How can I get the remedy all the way into the grooves and cracks?

If the thrush is deep, this is something you may want your farrier or veterinarian to do. How can thrush be prevented? No matter how severe the thrush, the horse first needs to be moved to a clean, dry environment.

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Thrush in horses is an infection that inflicts the hoof. This tip easily reaches into all crevices and the bottle can be filled with any liquid remedy you provide, chemical or homeopathic. This is not thrush! Regular exercise and turnout keeps the blood flowing to the foot and promotes healthy hoof growth. This will allow Banixx to do its best work.