Any words of wisdom? Long Thrush lameness ... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-16-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Any words of wisdom? Long Thrush lameness ...

Horse is AQHA quarter horse we ride English, he jumps, was shown over the summer, is usally ridden 5 - 6 days per week, once per day. Horse gets 1/4 scoop of grain twice a day, grass pasture at night (with round bales), and is in with hay during the day. He is on a hoof supplement.

8/30 horse is lame on left front. Barn owner says he blew an abscess out his heel. I start applying Empson salt soaks for 15 - 20 mins in hot water once per day.

9/2 horse won't walk out of his stall. Barn owner wonders if he has abscess on other side. It's now the right front that seems to be the most painful. Start soaking both feet.

9/4 Walking much better, but still not trotting sound.

9/6 Farrier came. Says horse has thrush. I did see a little black on his frogs but no foul odor. Missed that it could be thrush as I was thinking it was an abscess! Horse had rather radical trim and has half pads now applied, which, strangely, prevent me from cleaning out about 1" of his feet near the base of his frog. Applied Thrush X and Mastitis Cream (cow penicllin).

9/8 Tried lysol soak per advice of many well researched forums, trying to avoid Thrush X as many are saying it is too harsh on their feet. Also used athletes foot cream up inside the crack and under shoe pads. Horse went out as he was walking well. Regimen is scrub foot, spray water through pads, lysol soak, and apply Mastitis cream and shoot cream into the crevice in the middle of his frog.

9/9 horse won't even walk out of his stall. Very lame on right front. Slightly swollen above the pastern. Barn owner says he probably felt much better and ran around like a mad thing with his friends.

9/10 horse will walk but is VERY tender on both front. He has had road founder in the past from a short trim/hard ground. I start to worry about founder, but no pulse on either front and feet are cool. Barn Owner is away.

9/11 farrier looked at him, said no danger of founder, just still lame from thrush. Said horse had "raw meat" up inside the frog where there is an indent. Said to use a jet of water under pads to keep it clean and continue other treatments.

9/13 Barn owner says to use Thrush X, so I did (second time, aiming for about once a week with this per bottle instructions). Horse is being "turned out" at night in the indoor rather than go outside with rocks and recent heavy rain.

9/16 horse is still lame. Feet look dry and hard, but he still hates to pick them up. Now using the lysol soak less often (every other day) but continuing the mastitis cream.

OK, folks, anyone have ANY words of wisdom? I don't care that I can't ride, I just want him healthy. Maybe I should go ahead and do the Thrush X once a day, but I think the worst of the infection is deep in a crevice up inside his frog. I don't have access to it due to a) I think it's way up in there and b) the pads on his shoes. His feet now LOOK perfectly healthy where I can see his frog, no odor anywhere and heels are not soft, which they were at first when we were treating the abscess.

The farrier is well respected by my barn friends and the barn owner is very knowlegable (sp, lol!). My husband, who knows nothing at all about horses, says I should call the vet. But maybe this is just a long term healing process? Thanks for reading all the way through!!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-16-2011, 10:34 PM
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Yes, you should probably take him to an equine specialist -- one that specializes in lameness problems. You usually have to take a horse to one of the equine centers to access a good lameness Vet.

Short of that, I would go back to the farrier. Did your farrier use hoof testers? He should put pressure on the entire frog from tip (point of frog) to heel crack. I am guessing it is a deep heel crack and he will be a LOT more tender there. Once they get real deep, you can clear up the thrush and still have a really sore heel. I have soaked a cotton ball or make-up removing pad with Lysol Concentrate, poked it up into the center crack and had the farrier put on a straight bar shoe with no pads. This usually keeps the horse sound until the frog grows out -- if that is what it is.

Just remember, you can have a cracked Coffin Bone or some other thing that requires a Vet and x-rays to pin-point.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-16-2011, 11:18 PM
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Any horse of mine who's this lame for this long wins the "vet visit" consolation prize. I've had a QH who seemed to just keep a case of thrush no matter what and he was never this lame. ThrushX seemed to work well for him but putting water under pads creating a wet environment to treat what is generally believed to be caused by a wet environment.......I have to question that. At this point I'd be wanting a proper vet diagnosis and proper medication for the issue and for the pain.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-17-2011, 01:12 AM
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Dont forget that a contracted heel will perpetuate deep sulcus thrush. If your horse has a contracted heel, you also need to make a game plan to help his heels sopread back to a more normal width. I also like to stuff the Sulcus with cotton soaked in a medication. You want to keep the thrush at bay but also heal the deep part of the hole. Thrush can hide up in there and travel around where you cant see and cause some major pain. it isnt always just a superficial thing. Ditto the vet at this point.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-17-2011, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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OK, thanks, sounds like time for a vet visit. Can they do oral antibiotics or oral anti-yeast/anti-fungus to treat deep thrush? And since nobody "knows" whether its fungus or bacterial, why is it not routine to do a culture to find out what it is and therefore target the treatment?
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-17-2011, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MaryMary View Post
OK, thanks, sounds like time for a vet visit. Can they do oral antibiotics or oral anti-yeast/anti-fungus to treat deep thrush? And since nobody "knows" whether its fungus or bacterial, why is it not routine to do a culture to find out what it is and therefore target the treatment?
First things first... barn owners are typically not farriers or vets.

Thrush is a generic term used to describe an intrusion by any of several dozen varieties of fungal/bacterial organisms. Regardless the variety, nearly all of those organism share a common trait. They are all anaerobic and, excepting canker, are treated with debridement and generic antimicrobials. Specific culture identification isn't typically done since treatment protocols are so well established in terms of effectiveness.

While thrush infections occur in a large percentage of domestic horses, the on-going lameness you have described that could be attributed to thrush infection is rare. It is likely that something more serious is going on.

Since thrush is an anaerobic infection, covering with pads is usually contra-indicated unless the foot is first packed with an antimicrobial (e.g. Magic Cushion) and other problems necessitate the use of pads.

Given the time period you've described, veterinary intervention seems prudent.

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-17-2011, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mark. I have no idea why the farrier put pads on the same day he discovered the thrush. I don't know a lot, but yeah, that seems to keep me from being able to keep it dry. The horse never had pads before and has always been sound except for the road founder.

I'll update when I get a vet report.
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