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All About Thrush

Winter is here and, for many areas of the country, that means the onset of wet weather, a reduction in riding, and more stall time for horses. For some owners, it’s less time spent with their horses and more time spent snugged up on the couch with the remote. All of which could mean an uptick in the risk of your horse developing thrush–that gunky, smelly, black discharge oozing from the bottom of his hoof. Continue reading…

You’ve seen it many a time–a horse gallops across a field and dirt clods fly every which way. With normal activity, your horse’s hooves are subject to a natural cleansing process that scours the bottom of the hoof and removes debris collected there. Any reason for inactivity, such as lameness or constraints on exercise and turnout, can influence how successful the natural cleaning action is that comes with moving across dry ground. It doesn’t require a fast run to accomplish this; even just regular movement at a walk and trot will be beneficial. Continue reading..

Thrush is a very common word for those of us who have spent any amount of time around horses. It is one of the more common diseases of the equine hoof. But does everyone know what thrush is? How do you prevent it, or how do you treat it once it has set up shop within your horse’s hooves? Continue reading…

Q. My 13-year-old Morgan has had very bad thrush for six years. The most recent treatment our vet recommended is soaking the feet in Epsom salts and packing them with iodine-soaked gauze. He’s stalled when it’s wet, and the stall is cleaned daily. We’ve tried this for about six weeks; as with the other treatments, we’ve seen little to no improvement.
Do you know any other treatments or possible solutions?

A. Read the response from A.C. Asbury, DVM, Dipl. ACT.

At some point, probably all of us have used some type of product to try to improve our horses’ feet. And many of us haven’t seen the results we wanted, so perhaps we tried another. And another. Despite our best efforts, some of us despair of ever having horses with those tough feet that don’t crack and hold all the shoes until the farrier’s next visit. One of our online readers put it best: “I need a miracle!” Continue reading…

FACT SHEET: Thrush is a common infection of the horse’s hoof characterized by a black, necrotic, foul-smelling material. The central or collateral sulci (grooves) of the frog of the hoof are typically affected, but in severe cases thrush can also invade the white line, sole, and sensitive layers of the foot, potentially resulting in permanent lameness. Download this free fact sheet now.

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