General Horse Care

CONSIDERING THE BASIC HEALTH 
COSTS OF OWNING A HORSE
by
Cathy Rowberry

What is Thrush?

Thrush is a disease of the foot that is found in the frog (wedge shaped structure on the bottom of the foot) and the sulci (the grooves next to, and in the middle of the frog). A nasty foul smell and a black discharge is seen when picking out the horses hoof in the area of the frog. It is thought to be caused by a bacterium and is generally associated with poor management practices or conditions. Cleaning your horses feet regularly and keeping the wet manure out of your horses paddock or stall is a preventative measure but it can occur in the most well cared for horse as well. Thrush is quite often found in horses that wear full pads underneath their shoes as cleaning the hoof on a regular basis is not possible.

Treatment: First clean the feet and remove as much of the black discharge as possible. Allow the feet to dry. There are specific medications available to you for drying out the hoof and treating this infection. Please be careful with these products though, they are strong tissue irritants and are capable of causing chemical irritation or burns to the frog. For extreme cases consult your vet as sometimes a hoof pick is not enough to tackle this problem. Thrush can cause enough degeneration of the frog that part of it may have to be removed by your farrier or veterinarian.

Thrush is a disease of the foot that is found in the frog (wedge shaped structure on the bottom of the foot) and the sulci (the grooves next to, and in the middle of the frog). A nasty foul smell and a black discharge is seen when picking out the horses hoof in the area of the frog. It is thought to be caused by a bacterium and is generally associated with poor management practices or conditions. Cleaning your horses feet regularly and keeping the wet manure out of your horses paddock or stall is a preventative measure but it can occur in the most well cared for horse as well. Thrush is quite often found in horses that wear full pads underneath their shoes as cleaning the hoof on a regular basis is not possible.



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