One day, when you wake up in the morning and notice that there is a black, tarry substance coming off on your horse’s hoof.
You are worried and get confused because you don’t know what disease is that.
The answer is your horse has thrush.
So, what is thrush in horses? Is it serious?
Thrush is a bacterial infection that appears in the horse's hooves, particularly around the sensitive frog, which is on the bottom of horses’ feet.
The responsible organism which is Spherophorus neaophorus attacks the tissues of the frog, then makes it rot away.
Causes of thrush in Horses
Some people think that the reason is the bad management routine.
However, it is not always the case.
Some horses kept in perfect accommodation still get affected.
There are several main causes of this infection:
- Dirty environmental conditions: The bad conditions of an unhygienic environment can help the anaerobic bacteria to grow, which causes thrush.
- Try to keep horse’s bedding always clean
- Poor foot conformation: Horses who have long and narrow feet are likely to develop thrush. Also, the frog may be packed with sand and become dirty after working in moist or muddy areas. If it is not carefully cleaned, this could lead to irritation, then allow bacteria to enter.
- Poor foot care: Not clean the feet regularly.
Symptoms of thrush in Horses
Symptoms of thrush can depend on each individual horse.
If your horse catches this disease, he will show some of these following signs:
- The hooves of the horses infected with thrush will have a noxious rotting odor.
- In some cases, the frog may have black or dark brown discharge around it.
- Some horses will have a white coating near the frog, which indicates the starting point of the infection.
- The horse often appears completely fine, with no lameness evident or clear discomfort.
Treatment of thrush in Horses
Taking good care of horse’s feet is really important to avoid thrush
Once thrush has appeared, the underlying cause needs removing.
First, move him to a clean, dry environment.
Replace any wet bedding with a good-quality, tidy one. Make sure to clean his feet daily to prevent the infection from getting worse.
If the infection becomes worse than expected, you also need to use antibiotics or spray.
Until the thrush vanishes, limit your riding, because the horses’ feet can be tender when running, which may cause danger for the owner.
So, now you can be clear: “what is thrush in a horse?”
Thrush is very common in horses.
And the lucky thing is that this infection rarely causes the health hazard.
However, if you do not treat it immediately, it will keep coming back.
To treat thrush and avoid the returning, make sure to keep your horses’ environment always clean and dry and take good care of your horse’s feet.