Friday, June 27, 2008

What is Thrush in horses?

Thrush is a bacterial infection of the spongy, triangular shaped part of a horses hoof called the frog. Thrush can be easily recognized by the strong, foul odor that comes from the dark stained (usually black) material that is picked out of the hoof. It has a very characteristic smell that is not easily forgotten.

If not treated, thrush can travel into the laminae of the hoof and cause lameness.

Thrush is relatively easy to treat and cure. The bacteria that causes thrush dies almost instantly when it comes in contact with air. Therefore, thrush is normally caused by not keeping the packed mud, manure, etc. picked out of the hoof, thereby giving the bacteria that causes thrush the perfect dark, dirty environment to grow.

Treatment includes cleaning the hoof out thoroughly and the horses living quarters cleaned (or the horse moved). Pick the hoof out every day, followed by a daily application of a commercial product, (like Thrush Buster), or a natural product, (such as vinegar), in order to kill off the bacteria and help the hoof to heal.

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Please feel free to email me your horse questions and I'll do my best to answer them or at least point you to someone or someplace that can. (Scroll down to the "About Me" section and click on "View my complete profile" to send me an email) I look forward to hearing from you! ~Melanie