Thrush In Horses: Tips and Cures

Despite good hoof hygiene and exercise, horses sometimes get this unpleasant condition; rapid recognition and proactive management can prevent deeper damage. The key is to focus on healing the frog from deep to shallow, inside out. I have cured thousands of deep thrush cases with it, but am now shying away from the antibiotic cream in favor of antiseptics because of concerns about creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. Before using the thrush treatment solution, you should clean the hoof properly. Wear latex gloves and thoroughly wash hands after cleaning or inspection. There seems to be some debate whether thrush in horses is more of a fungus or bacteria. The tissue that looks like spongy, rotten cauliflower is fragile and bleeds easily with finger pressure.

  • Occasionally, the infection can result in swelling of the lower limb.
  • Then give your horses hooves a scrubbing with detergent or disinfectant and warm water.
  • Fusobacterium necrophorum, an anaerobic microbe (most suited to living in an environment lacking oxygen), is the most common infectious agent associated with thrush in horses.
  • Thrush produces a foul smelling black discharge in the affected sulcus of the frog.
  • However, most horses are kept in stalls and are inactive during most days.

If you clean and open up the thrushy areas, sometimes this is enough to resolve it, but I always use bleach as well, for two reasons: With a higher heel the frog recesses below it, allowing more debris to accumulate. Severe cases are usually first treated with animalintex poultice, then move onto this long-term treatment regimen (Figure 1).

If the foot is out of balance or has contracted heels, or if lameness keeps the horse from using the foot normally, that raises the risk for thrush. A to z: balanitis (for parents), in all, 22% required extensive plastic surgery of the penis, including buccal mucosa grafts, demonstrating a more severe and morbid clinical course. The good news is with a little maintenance you can prevent your horse from getting thrush. These may be a combination of stall-cleaning regimens, the horse’s elimination habits, bedding choices and even hoof conformation.

What might have helped clear up the thrush problem with a couple of treatments might then turn into another problem due to a ‘too much’ or ‘too often’ approach. Such clefts are well-protected hidey-holes for thrush-causing microbes to start their damaging work. You may also notice some odor. An alternative is to buy the product, “ToMorrow”, from your local Agway, Tractor Supply, or equivalent. Read our blog to find out more about this condition that many owners struggle with. This can create nicks and abrasions in the frog where thrush can set in. The perimeter of the foot is bounded by the hoof capsule.

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“Self cleaning” means that when a horse puts its foot to the ground be it in walk, trot, canter or even gallop, the debris that builds up in it, especially around the frog, is expelled by the movement of the foot itself. Once you've smelled it, you know it. It's a good, multipurpose liniment to have around that treats ailments from sore muscles to rain rot and thrush. So it is best to switch formulas if one isn’t working.

The thrush condition in horses is actually quite similar to the human version, and when we are able to nail it completely in humans, we should have it licked in horses, too. Seeing that blackish discharge associated with thrush or even catching a whiff of its unpleasant odor can ruin anyone’s day. This is if the horse is bearing weight equally at all times, which we know is not the case, so these figures are the minimum pressure exerted upon the ground by the foot. Horses are made to move. “You don’t want to dry and irritate sensitive tissue, especially if the thrush already is involving sensitive tissue,” he said. The feet may then be scrubbed clean using a detergent and/or disinfectant and warm water, before the frog is coated with a commercial thrush-treatment product, or with iodine solution, which may be soaked into cotton balls and packed into the clefts.

As with most health issues, prevention is key, and thrush is no different. There are several ways to apply your preparation, whether homemade or commercial. How the thrush treatment works! Water, formalin. “The normal foot is slightly concave and the laminae that attach the coffin bone to the hoof wall are slightly elastic,” he said.

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In such cases, a horse can become lame and resent probing or squeezing of the tender heel and frog areas affected by thrush. Can you have sex with a yeast infection? potential risks, symptoms. While daily use of a hoof pick is essential, care when using it is required. It is identified by a particularly unpleasant smell and an oily, black discharge.

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Keratonolytic (keratin-dissolving) bacteria, including the sheep foot rot organism Fusobacterium necrophorum, attack the softened tissues of the frog, causing it to rot away. Daily use of antiseptic medications that are formulated to kill fungi and bacteria in the foot is also key to preventing the development of thrush. Then pull the plunger out of your catheter tip dosing syringe or applicator and top load a half syringe-full with a butter knife or Popsicle stick. Using straight bleach or a commercial thrush product every day can dry out the frog, however. It only requires one application, and has been shown to work wonders. The most common culprit is fusobacterium necrophorum, which causes a variety of diseases, including navel ill/joint ill in foals, diphtheria in calves and foot rot in cattle.

However, user reviews show that it is very effective in treating thrush in horses and donkeys alike. It’s a scenario every horse owner dreads: Many years ago, Dr. The second--and most important--aspect of treating thrush: Thrush B Gone is a simple product with a simple name. If your horse does develop thrush, there are several products that can help you resolve it. Remember the bacteria, S.

If your horse has limited opportunity to exercise, they will often stand in their stall for long periods of time. Not only will these changes help clear up a case of thrush, but it will help prevent its return. It acts upon contact and besides thrush, it also treats while line disease. The infection affects the clefts of the frog and sometimes the sole of the foot, especially along the white line. The horse with thrush should be housed in a clean, dry area.

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Thrush is often caused by damp, moist, dirty ground or stable conditions. Since they both do virtually the same ting, Less Side seems to be the better option. Gel formula stays put without running or waste. Want more articles like this delivered to your inbox every week?

Thrush is most commonly caused by Candida bacteria that become trapped in organic material packed around the deep parts of the horse’s hoof, specifically in the region of the frog, usually during periods of rain and deep mud. It’s not usually a serious condition, and minor cases can be easily treated. Remove manure from paddocks regularly and keep watering areas as dry as possible. This will look after the health of the frog. If you shoe your horse with metal shoes, keep the shoeing system simple, and remove metal shoes once in a while to improve circulation. In the early stages of thrush there is merely a little dark coloration and grime around the frog, or dark soft spots along the white line of the sole—plus the bad odor. Initially, it might be difficult to identify the presence of thrush, since in the early stages the horse is not lame and might show no other clinical signs.


(20 minute soak in a sealed plastic bag - detailed directions here). Being “anaerobic” means this bacteria does not like fresh air. Moving outward from there is the frog itself. Using a medication designed for thrush, use a swab wrapped pick to soak it in the solution and then take care to swab down the sides of the frog, very much like as if you were picking out the hoof. Thrush typically does not cause a horse to be lame. Getting the best thrush treatment for horses can help you prevent a lot of problems down the road. Thrush eats away at the tissues of the frog, leaving a blackish ooze on the surface. Try to keep your horse in the driest field if at all possible.

Wash your hands thoroughly after treatment or wear latex gloves.

Learn To "Read" Your Horse's Hooves

That’s a good practice. Use daily until all signs of thrush are gone and hoof/frog has healed. Keep your horse's living areas clean and dry. But some horses can get thrush even if kept in a spotlessly clean place. The application should continue until the whole infection is resolved. It grows best with low oxygen (so wrapping is not the best treatment), and horses with a deep sulcus or contracted heels are more susceptible to thrush.

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My farrier says that my horse has thrush. After the solution activates (turns yellow) dilute with one gallon of water. Symptoms, abdominal pain and fever don’t belong to the symptoms, and if they occur you should contact a physician. Here’s another product with an equally straightforward name. The bottom line is that any one of these products will prove to be the best thrush treatment for horses you’ve ever encountered.


With a variety of remedies available at your local farm & feed store, how do you find a remedy that works? It only develops in horses with unhealthy frogs. I think that immune health also affects how easy the thrush is to take care of, i. Left untreated, thrush can affect the sensitive layers of the hoof, and possibly even result in lameness. How will I know if my horse has Thrush?

The presence of thrush in a horse’s foot represents a management issue. This article originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Practical Horseman. 50 mixture of water and either hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar. Do not mistake thrush in your horse for another condition that can appear in the sulci called canker. In that case, the condition can slowly progress to the point of lameness as infection eats deeper into sensitive parts of the foot. Copper sulfate is being used here by Mequon, Wis. They naturally come out of the hoof as the horse is moving.

A healthy frog shares the load-bearing function with the other structures of the hoof and helps to absorb concussion. One of the most significant of these is that it is more affordable. When using the Monoject 412, for most sulci, I cut ½” (12mm) off the tip of each syringe as the stock tip is too skinny for cream to pass through it. Allow the hoof to dry before applying your thrush treatment. Some are also strong smelling and highly staining, although this can be beneficial in that you definitely know where the product has been applied. Candidiasis (yeast infection), trichomoniasis is a condition caused by the microscopic parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Because some farriers routinely remove these flaps, many owners have never seen them. The microbes that cause thrush thrive in areas with little to no oxygen.

Your farrier will need to trim his hooves in a way that puts the frog and heels of the hoof capsule back on the same plane.


All environments should have good drainage. Most horsey folk think that thrush is a condition that horses develop because they are kept in dirty conditions but this is not always the case. On the three horses on which it was used, we saw improvement or a complete removal of thrush when used regularly.


What’s especially great about this product is that if you are showing and you’re worried about the treatment being visible on your horse’s hooves, this one isn’t. This can then lead to thrush. As the infection invades the deeper structures of the foot, the condition will certainly become painful. This is why it is also important to clean and pick the hoof every day and maintain a clean environment for your horse. Other ingredients in the formula form an anticeptic barrier against infection that binds to hoof protein for long lasting protection. Treating thrush needs a two-pronged attack:

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Loss of frog shape and integrity Standard texts on equine health often suggest that horses develop thrush as a result of sub-standard living conditions. What to eat to beat candida, foods to Avoid! For example, horses living in manure and mud might be working hard each day, getting a lot of activity and moving in a natural manner that promotes good vascularity (blood supply) in the foot, which is key to keeping the hoof healthy. Let the frog dry before moving on to the next step.

What’s the best way to treat it? The goal is to get into all the cracks, so don't be afraid to apply a bit of pressure. There are also several home remedies. Thrush is a relatively common bacterial infection that occurs within the region of the horse's frog.

Use once a week in wet environments, once every two weeks in dry environments. If there are underlying causes left unresolved, healing will be prolonged, and re-infection is likely. Typically, thrush is characterized by a foul, rotten odor from the bottom of the foot, along with dark brown to black discoloration and moist softening of the frog and horn tissue generally centered around the sulci of the frog and along the white line. Most people tend to think of thrush as a wet weather problem, but in dry environments, deep, tight, infected sulci actually cause more lameness than in wet environments. Presently, no one knows what triggers canker. Thrush is a very common bacterial infection that occurs on the hoof of a horse, specifically in the region of the frog. Usually a couple applications is enough to kill all the bacteria.