Ok, here it goes. My 21 year old gelding who I have owned for 10 years now got thrush a few months ago. He's never had it before and neither has my mare so I'm new to dealing with this personally. I live in Ohio and it's been especially rainy this year and he's been moved to a stall with horrible drainage problems (don't get me started on that), so I'm thinking this has been a big part of the cause.
I've been researching thrush and different treatment options and would love to hear some opinions on what works best. I've had his feet trimmed (the farrier didn't take off enough of the infected area in my opinion, left flaps that trap moisture so working on trying to find a new farrier), scrubbed his feet with Dawn soap and hot water and used Thrush Buster. It was looking better, his hooves were starting to harden up again - and then the owner of the barn where I board decided it was a good idea to turn him out in the muddiest pasture there, mud halfway up his legs everyday for at least a week or two even after I had asked her to stop. Usually I beg her to let him out and she never does, now that I ask her not to she does constantly (and all the sawdust being delivered has been damp on top of that). So his feet couldn't dry out at all during this time and now they look their worst. I'll try to get some pics tomorrow, but his frog is just falling apart and is almost not there it's so soft, same thing for the grooves/sulcus.
Another issue I have is that the barn where I board is about 25 minutes away and I just can't go out there everyday to pick his feet and clean the stall right now as suggested. I usually go out 2-3 times a week. So I need something tough enough to not need daily application. So please anyone who has experience with this let me know what you think. I'll list the things I've been reading and thinking about try for everyone to weigh in on.
Cider vinegar, salt water solution, neosporin, athlete's foot ointment, diaper rash ointment, Thrush Buster, treatment then cotton on the hoof and wrapped, or anything else you've tried. Oh, I was also considering using Witch Hazel even though I've not heard it mentioned. I know it helps to dry out areas without damage and it's a miracle worker for many ailments I've had. Any help is greatly appreciated, I want to get this cleared up before he shows any signs of pain. Thank you!
Oh and he's been kept barefoot for years.
My farrier said 4 weeks ago that my boy has thrush, he said to keep him off the wet and to clean his hooves twice a day (He's stabled at night, It's winter here so when he's in his paddock it can be hard).
The farrier said to do nothing but this, I've never experienced thrush either so i also would be interested to know what else i can do to help!
Nothing's going to work if you can't get his feet dry and get the crap trimmed off. But as for topicals, but best by far is Dry Cow Tomorrow mastitis treatment. My farrier and vet swear by it.
Thrush is such a pain to get rid of! As mentioned above (and only in simple cases) keeping the horse in clean, dry footing and cleaning the foot daily should be enough to clear it up, but since that's not an option for you, there's another way to go about it - although without the cooperation of your BO it could be a frustrating and lengthy battle.
Thrush bacteria cannot survive in the presence oxygen, which is why it's important to keep a horse with (and without, for prevention) thrush on clean & dry footing. Since you're not happy with your current farrier, I'd have a new one out asap or explain to your current one of the situation you're in and have him remove as much of the infected area as possible so that all the thrushy nooks and crannies are exposed for the most effective treatment.
Once you've got as much of the infected area removed as possible, invest in a lot of cotton balls. Clean out the hoof as best you can with water to start, then soak a cotton ball with a betadine solution, hook it onto the pick of a clean hoofpick, and begin picking the gunk out of the cleft of the frog and the "v" shape surrounding the frog. Repeat several times with freshly soaked cotton balls until you find there is no/very minimal material coming off anymore.
I've heard some good things about Kopertox (it's waterproof, so possibly pretty beneficial in your case?) and they will refund you if you're not satisfied. There's also Thrush Remedy by Absorbine, but Thrush Buster by far is the most recommended product out there for treatment.
Yes, he sure does need to have a chance to let his hooves dry out. Gosh I can't believe you are still wallowing in mud - I mean I believe YOU, it's just unbelievable. I might be considering moving the horses, if possible, if you can't get this cleared up. Unless your horse can have some time on dry ground or a dry stall, you are really fighting an uphill battle.
Is the horse hitting toe first or flat-footed when it walks at liberty on flat ground, or hitting heel first?
If it's hitting heel first, it isn't that sore but still needs attention.
Flat-footed is ok but not great. Toe first means those frogs are really sore and need extra care.
To treat the hoof on the days you can get to the barn:
1. Be sure to always soak the frog out good. I use a very dark mixture of betadine and "baby butt warm" water. It would be ok to put a capful of clorox in the mix but no more than a capful. Too much clorox is invasive to healthy skin plus, if the horse is really sore, even that little capful in a gallon of water could be too much.
1. You could buy a soaker like White Lightening or Clean Trax<--sp??
That isn't something you would do every day, just follow the instructions on the box.
2. ToMorrow, the cow mastitis treatment, is some of the best stuff I have ever used and can be applied twice daily, if need be.
Since you can't be there every day, I would recommend pouring Absorbine Hooflex "Thrush Remedy" on, around, and in the cracks (including the sulci). It is absolutely non-invasive to healthy tissue and will stay in the hoof for several days. I use it as a preventative, once a week.
Hooflex® Thrush Remedy – Hoof Care – Products – Absorbine
Tractor Supply carries it and a couple of the local feed stores also carry it.
The ToMorrow is generally found at the Co-op but, if you don't have a co-op feed store, your TSC may carry it.
Be diligent about treating the hooves on the days you can get to the barn and be patient.
I agree that, if you see flaps of frog, to very gently snip them off without cutting into the healthy frog.
Diet can also make a huge difference, believe it or not - what's he eating?
Hope this helps:)
If you can not get out there every day then please ask someone to treat your horse's feet for you on the days you can not get out there.
My barefoot trimmer does not recommend any of the over the counter thrush remedies. She says that they do kill the bad bacteria, but also can kill the good bacteria. This is what she recommends and it has worked very well for me.
Clean the foot as best you can with Dawn dish washing soap. Dilute Lysol all purpose cleaner, (the liquid stuff that is yellow, NOT the brown stuff) in a bucket of warm water according to the directions on the Lysol bottle. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. To me it works much better then anything else I have tried and is cheaper. Here is her link. She has lots of great information on her site.
Total Balance Natural Hoof Care
Lysol kills everything too so I am not sure how one can say it does anything different.
According to both my trimmer and Pete Ramey, it does not kill the good bacteria. I don't have anything to back that up other then their word, but I know that it worked for me better then anything else I had tried.
Lysol advertises it kills 99.9% of bacteria.
Logic would make it hard to believe what your trimmer is telling you.
I am sure Dry Cow/Tomorrow/Today kills no where near that broad of a spectrum of bacteria.
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