Thrush & Abscess - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Question Thrush & Abscess

What exactly is it that causes thrush/abscess in horses? And what are some good treatment options?
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 03:43 PM
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I was told that thrush is caused by warm moist conditions, like a horse standing in a stall that isn't cleaned. Can also happen when a horse stands in mud. Apparently it is always present in the ground, but becomes a problem if hooves dont get cleaned in the presence of mud, urine , manure, etc. Air kills the bacteria.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 05:11 PM
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Thrush occurs when horses stand in a moist enviornment for too long. It causes their feet to get soft, and bacteria love moist warm feet. I use iodine on a horses foot if it has thrush.

I'm not exactly sure what causes abcesses. I think that they can occur naturally, and if the horse stands in a wet enviornment. I think, but not entirly sure. To treat abcesses you use a certain kind of salt (name slipping my mind!) and add it to water. Then you soak your horse's foot in it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 05:59 PM
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Epsom salts for soaking an abscess, I use Peroxide on thrush (mixed with a 1/3 water) it has been the only thing that has killed the thrush on my mare's feet, I wish though I didn't have to use it because it is so harsh.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 11:59 PM
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Thrush is an opportunistic infection, either bacterial &/or fungal. Same thing as 'white line disease/seedy toe except it effects the frogs. Opportunistic meaning it doesn't affect healthy feet in healthy environments. Yes, too much standing around in moist environs does indeed make a horse susceptible to it. But unhealthy feet in dry environs can also suffer, particularly frogs that are off the ground because of high heels &/or contracted. Paring away daggy & infected tissue, opening up squished central sulcii and treating with a *non-necrotising* disinfectant is how I'd handle it, along with trying to treat the actual problems that allowed the thrush symptom to happen. Nutrition/diet also plays a part I believe & horses with well balanced nutrition are much less susceptible.

Abscesses can come about from a number of causes. Stone bruises can become abscesses, seedy toe or thrush can abscess if trapped & affecting live tissue. Contaction/constriction causing tissue to die can become abscessed and occasionally puncture wounds happen & get infected.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 12:05 AM
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We rescued a 3yo mini mare that had only seen a farrier once in her life, and had been left in a muddy paddock. She had thrush in all four hooves because of this and I treated it with Iodine sprayed directly onto the bottoms of the hooves, then left her to stand on concrete until the iodine dried to her hooves.. Did that twice a day and in a week it was gone.

My gelding is prone to abcesses, popped 3 last winter *head desk*
It can be caused (as far as I'm aware) from soft hooves and a foreign object becoming lodged inside the hoof, causing the infection there while trying to get the foreign object out. Eg if a nail pokes a hole in a hoof or something. Or a stone bruise can turn to an abscess too
My boy popped 3 consecutively after using a different farrier, not sure if that coincidence or not but yeah.

I soaked in epsom salts and bandaged with poultice (a hoof is the most awkward thing to bandage ) that kept it out of the mud while it was healing too.
The 3rd and last time, I had my normal farrier come out and he dug the abscess out, since then, no more problems. *crosses fingers*

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 09:24 AM
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Vinegar works well in getting rid thrush too. I mix it with some water. Most times I get a new horse it's had some thrush. A little or a lot. In cases where it's deep or a location where I'm not going to cut away that much frog to keep it expose to to the air I'll clean out the black goo, rinse it with the vinegar solution and pack it with cotton or gauze soaked with tea tree oil. I've seen one packing left for a week do the trick, but I'm a bit anal about thrush and tend to replace it after about 5 days and keep it packed for 10 days to 2 weeks. Probably over kill but really dislike thrush and having it eat away the frog.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 07:17 PM
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Oh, forgot to say about abscesses, as a rule I would NOT allow a vet to dig for them & if they are the foot needs to be kept clinically clean until adequate horn has grown back and needs to be protected until even more horn thickness has grown.

If a horse is 'prone' to abscesses - meaning more than once in a blue moon, this can be considered as a symptom of other hoof problems. Eg. inadequate protection for thin soles on hard/rocky ground.
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