Is It Thrush? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-10-2011, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Is It Thrush?

I'm guessing my Shetland pony has thrush, and I think it's pretty bad, especially in the front. She lives outside in her pasture all year round, and when it gets damp out it's impossible to keep her hooves clean... Anyway, a few days ago I noticed her hooves smelled horrible when I picked them out, and I know that's a symptom of thrush. Today I picked out her hooves again, and they still smelled bad, and underneath all the mud in only her front hooves, there was light brown-white-ish-colored crumbly stuff that I thought might be her hoof?? but luckily there wasn't any in the back hooves... I thought it was very concerning, tho, so I went out and bought thrush treatment and treated her hooves. Is this thrush?? Or is it something worse than that?? Did I do the right thing?? Should I call the vet?? (I've had horses with thrush before and we treated it and it went away, but I don't think it was ever as bad as her's right now.)

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-10-2011, 05:00 PM
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I'd say you're correct. Keep treating it & your pony should be fine.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-10-2011, 05:10 PM
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Thrush is black-grayish tarry looking stuff.

light brown-white-ish-colored crumbly stuff

That sounds more like the sole is flaking out. It looks kind of chalky. It is normal for the sole to flake and look chalking now and then. That is how the old stuff sheds off and reveals the fresh stuff underneath.

While thrush can get into the sole, the first place it attacks is the frog and the grooves around the frog. Is the frog blackish/oozy, nasty looking? If so, that is thrush.

I will often treat my guys for thrush just at the start of something smelly/black, before it ever gets bad. I use a generic Coppertox type product. Some people feel that is rather strong and can damage healthy tissue, but I personally haven't had any negative issues with using it. And you get more for your money that some of the other thrush products. The one made by Absorbine is pretty good too. It is a clear liquid that kind of smells like onions.

The vet is your call. If it's not a horrible case of thrush (and she's sound) then I would just try treating it with an over-the-counter product. Picking the feet daily to expose them to air is one of the best things you can do for thrush. Even if they just go out and step in the mud again. At least the area is exposed to air which can kill/discourage the bacteria from getting worse.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-10-2011, 05:35 PM
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I have always treated thrush with a bit of household bleach. Seems to work pretty good.
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-10-2011, 05:57 PM
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You know, lots of people describe thrush as black and oozy. But by the time it's at that stage, you should have noticed it. OP, I suspect you have caught it long before it gets that far. - good for you.

Yup, keep those feet clean and as free of the muck as you can. I know it's hard. Wash with lysol or sunlight dish soap using a stiff bristled brush. Some athlete's foot cream helps, but if you have really wet fields right now, a commerical product may be called for as it will adhere better.

Also, keep the hooves well maintained. If your farrier hasn't been out in the last three weeks, get him/her out ASAP. Then (s)he can advise you on future care.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-11-2011, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! ;)
From the looks of it, the thrush is mainly in her two front hooves, because the frog is kinda nasty looking, but I can't really tell if it's oozing black stuff because of all the mud and junk around it, but I wouldn't doubt it's there.
I just went to the feed store yesterday and bought the most expensive thrush treatment... some dark green, nasty smelling, radioactive-waste-like thrush treatment... I'm guessing it's pretty harsh because it says on the back "it comes off clothes easily with lighter fluid"...
Hopefully she's on the mend now .

Every horse is an angel... They just don't need wings to soar!
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-12-2011, 06:30 AM
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I second the bleach thing!
Prinella is offline  


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