You are confident that you are taking care of your horses very well.
You give them the best quality of food and sanitize them regularly.
And you think the spread of illness will never reduce your horse?
The answer is NO.
Sooner or later, someday, you will smell rotten, pick out your horse’s hoof, and notice a black, tarry substance coming off on their hoof pick that seems to be the source of the odor. Your horse has thrush.
But do not worry too much; this article will give you some simple homemade thrush treatments for your horses.
How Do You Know Your Horse Has Thrush?
Thrush is a common bacterial infection that softens the frog area of the hoof, causing it to disintegrate. It mainly occurs in clefts, grooves, the center of the frog, or on either side of the frog.
Depending on the extent of the infection, thrush can cause varying levels of lameness and, at its worst, permanent damage.
Thrush isn’t a serious condition, and minor cases can be easily treated. However, if left untreated, it can penetrate and destroy the deeper, sensitive tissues of the foot.
Here are the signs when the horse has thrush on their fog:
- Foul odor.
- Discharge – generally black, sometimes with pus.
- Ragged, cracked frog.
- Tenderness upon pressure.
The Cause Of Thrush
The primary bacteria that causes thrush already lives naturally in the soil, mud, manure, and stall areas of a barn environment.
Formally known as pododermatitis, thrush occurs when Fusobacterium necrophorum, an anaerobic bacteria, invade the hoof structure.
This bacteria grows in the damp horn of the horseshoe, although it can occur in horses that stand in predominantly dry environments. In severe cases, the horse can be lame.
If the horseshoe is narrow, creating small gaps, where dirt accumulation would become a paradise for F. necrophorum.
Horses who are given regular exercise to increase blood circulation in the foot will limit the growth of this bacterium.
A simple but effective method is to clean the horse’s foot every day, which can increase the balance when the horse moves and create a breathable stable.
Homemade Treatment To Thrush
The first thing to do is to isolate any horse that has thrush. Then scrub the frog with a stiff brush, warm water, and a bar of antiseptic soap. After that, let the frog dry.
Any loose flaps of the frog need to be trimmed away with a hoof knife to remove infected tissue and allow air and any anti-thrush treatments to reach the infected areas and facilitate healing.
Here are some methods that can be used:
Sugartime is a simple paste consisting of equal amounts of white sugar and a povidone-iodine solution. Soak cotton pads with sardine and pack them into the crevices of the frog daily until you see improvement.
Diluted Bleach Treatment
One old and effective standby for thrush treatment is diluted bleach. Use small cotton facial pads and soak them with bleach diluted with 10 parts water. Clean the hoof, then place the soaked pad deep into the crevices of the frog.
Other Effective Agents
Some people use homemade concoctions made with bleach, formaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, antibiotic ointments, and athlete’s foot creams. These preparations should be used under consultation with a veterinarian.
Hundreds of readily available commercial products such as Kopertox, Copper Sept, and Thrush Buster are specifically made for this purpose. They commonly come in liquid form, but pastes, creams, aerosols, and hoof packings are also available.
Above are some of the recipes that I would recommend to you. The most important thing when choosing one of these methods is your persistence. Keep using a method for a long time until you get the results. However, if you have not improved for weeks, try to find a more appropriate way.
If you still do not know how to apply the remedy, follow the steps below.
Four Easy Steps To Apply The Treatment
This technique is absolutely safe and can deliver medication into the areas where it is most needed without damaging surrounding tissues, which is most effective if applied daily. It is suitable whether you use a commercial or homemade preparation.
- Make your own cotton swab by wrapping a wisp of loose cotton tightly around the end of a hoof pick.
- Soak the cotton in the treatment solution.
- Swab down the sides of the frog as if you were picking out the hoof goal to get into all the cracks. Don’t be afraid to apply a bit of pressure.
- Swab the cleft of the frog and any other crevices on its surface. The swab will become darker, a sign it is picking up exudates and dead tissue. Repeat the process, using fresh cotton, until the swab comes out of the hoof nearly as clean as it went in.
This technique does not require you to be a skillful person, but you will have to be patient if you completely stop the fungus. And do not forget to be careful with your horse; sometimes, the sudden pain can make them lose control a little.
Cleaning the Fog – Source: Shutterstock.com
Never Meet Thrush Again
Prevention is better than cure.
Regular exercise and turnout keep the blood flowing to the foot and promotes healthy hoof growth.
Make sure the horse is properly trimmed and/or shod regularly to ensure a balanced hoof that supports the horse.
Remove manure from paddocks regularly and keep watering, then rinse the areas as dry as possible to provide a clean, dry environment.
Do not despair if you have done all the preventive measures but thrush still appears again. Recognizing its onset and taking solutions to eradicate it will ensure thrush doesn’t turn into a more severe and possibly debilitating problem.