It's been a rough spring for us! We've never had thrush here before so I am a total newbie to all of this. I've been spending hours at a time searching the forum to find out what people do for thrush and I've learned a ton!
We had the vet out less than a week after the initial diagnosis by the farrier (he had scraped it out) since we freaked out because we had no clue what we were getting into. I did bleach/water soakings in between the two. He soaked it and put formalin on it and instructed us to do the same the next day then not worry about it as it should be fine. I did that and then didn't worry so much - first stupid mistake. It was OK for a bit - I was doing frequent cleanings - but then it came back.
I invested in an itty bitty brass scrub brush and have been doing picking 2-3 times per day and once including scrubbing with the brush and bleach spraying, then drying since last Tuesday. The picking for several weeks though. It seems to have started to bring it under control, but I have gathered from my research that bleach isn't the best as it kills healthy tissue, too. Duh..makes sense. So tonight I started with ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) in place of bleach. It seemed to work nicely tonight. My first question - does the ACV need to be diluted or is straight better?
Oh yeah, and in this time my other horse seems to have developed it even though I was cleaning his hooves too.. So, I've been doing them both the same. It's been an icky wet winter/spring. It started getting wet in about February and never dried up completely until last week. Now it's been raining again for the last 24+hrs.
Also, this doesn't seem to really be so much in the frog as it is in the sole and along the edge of the hoof. Would this be more like white line disease? I meant to take pictures tonight, but I forgot. The frog looks black and icky, but I'm not sure. Farrier comes Tuesday so I will see what he says.
Part of the problem I am sure is that he goes 8 weeks between visits?? We never used to go this long... With our old farrier it was 4 in the summer and 6 in the winter. Or maybe 6 in the summer and 8 in the winter. I don't remember. We've had this same farrier for several years now and it's always been 8 weeks. They had some chipping but it was never a huge issue. I plan to see if he can come back in 4 weeks to make sure we get this under control and they don't get long. Then maybe switch to 6 weeks if all is well and see how that works? What are your thoughts?
I have Tomorrow Dry Cow on order as of yesterday, so hopefully that gets here early this week.
The other issue I'm having..
My old guy is 31 and has had arthritis since we got him at 20. After the last farrier visit I think something major happened to one of his joints (Vet is not sure what. He recommended X-Rays but the closest were at least 4hrs away and much more than we were willing to put in money wise - read more below. Besides that, we were fairly sure we knew what happened and what was causing his pain) He started leaning very very heavy to one side, then progressed to circling when he'd put his head down as he couldn't keep his balance. He would (and still very infrequently will) lean on something to rest when he was near something stable enough. We started him on Smartpacks - the senior stuff with glucosamine, etc. once/day right away and 1gm bute 2x/day, and this seems to have nearly resolved the issue. He only leans when he starts to get tired it seems like. But as a result of this the hoof he was leaning on is all broken off and uneven from the pressure and the hoof he was favoring (the one with the thrush) seems to be falling apart. My biggest concern is that the frog seems to be falling off. Could this be from lack of stimulation? Or would it be the thrush?
We plan to have him put down in the fall as winters have become too hard on him. We feed him a lot of mashed senior feed (Purina and Triple Crown) and do all we can for him, but it's just his time we feel. Summers are Okay and falls are great, which is why we are doing what we can to keep his feet under control and him comfortable until then. He seems very happy now that he's back on pasture and even canters around as of the last few weeks since his hips/"knees" have been better.
I plan to get pictures tomorrow, so hopefully those will help.
I think that's it for the novel...I hope it all makes sense!!