Tea tree oil for thrush prevention? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-22-2020, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Tea tree oil for thrush prevention?

Has anyone ever used (diluted) tea tree oil for thrush prevention? I have some tea tree hydrosol just sitting around, and I'm thinking about taking it out there and spraying it on their soles when their pasture is muddy.

No one has thrush currently. There's been a couple times in the last few months where I feel like I've nipped it in the bud on one of them, though. Rather than waiting until they get it, then applying chemicals, might it be better to apply something natural as a preventative?

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post #2 of 14 Old 03-22-2020, 03:30 PM
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I have heard it could work but Ive never tried it.

Since you have some sitting around and its muddy, theres no harm in spraying their hooves:)
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-22-2020, 08:57 PM
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A student at my university a couple years ago isolated the bacteria responsible for thrush and tested it against multiple chemicals. Tea tree oil was actually quite effective against it.

The issue, though, is that tea tree oil is incredibly strong and I would be hesitant to put it on a horse's hooves unless they were already showing signs of thrush. And keep in mind... all things are chemicals, it just depends on whether they are produced synthetically rather than naturally! Just because chemicals are produced naturally does not make them better, and vice versa. Also, bacteria can become resistant to chemicals regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic, so the overuse of any antibacterial compound is discouraged when it is not necessary (aka, discouraged when applied as a preventative rather than an active treatment).
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-22-2020, 10:45 PM
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If it's diluted to where it won't burn, then it works pretty well to fight small levels of the bacteria. Wouldn't use it for a bad case of thrush just because it's hard to really tell how much you're diluting the oil and how strong it'll be. It will hurt if it's too strong and won't work if it's too weak.

On a side note, I'm pretty sure hooflex has tea tree in it, and I'm also pretty sure absorbine liniment does too.

The best preventative is cleaning hooves as much as possible, imo. The best treatment I've found is Tomorrow (Cephaperin Benzathine) for treating thrush if it happens.
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 07:24 AM
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Yep, it works. But agree with April & Swiss that so long as it's strong enough... and pure or not watered down enough, it's strong stuff & can hurt/damage if on/close to live tissue.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 08:15 AM
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Never thought of using tea tree for it, but I can see how it will work, especially if you have some lying around.

I personally use lysol spray for thrush and it works wonders and is fairly cheap in comparison to thrush-x etc. But it's pretty hard to find right now!
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprilswissmiss View Post
A student at my university a couple years ago isolated the bacteria responsible for thrush and tested it against multiple chemicals. Tea tree oil was actually quite effective against it.

The issue, though, is that tea tree oil is incredibly strong and I would be hesitant to put it on a horse's hooves unless they were already showing signs of thrush. And keep in mind... all things are chemicals, it just depends on whether they are produced synthetically rather than naturally! Just because chemicals are produced naturally does not make them better, and vice versa. Also, bacteria can become resistant to chemicals regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic, so the overuse of any antibacterial compound is discouraged when it is not necessary (aka, discouraged when applied as a preventative rather than an active treatment).
Just curious... what else did you guys test? What worked best/didn't work etc?
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post #8 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I already sprayed this stuff on my skin to test it. Where my skin was a little raw, it felt ever so slightly burn-y for a few minutes. Where the skin was whole, I felt nothing.

I do pick their hooves every time I see them, whether I ride them or not, but I'm only out there maybe four times a week, so there are days where I know their hooves are just full of wet manure and mud.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interstellar View Post
Just curious... what else did you guys test? What worked best/didn't work etc?
I wasn't part of the project, I just happened to pass their poster during the student research presentations, so I don't remember much. I know they tested at least four different things, tea tree oil and bleach being two of them that I remember. I want to say tea tree oil actually worked a little bit better than bleach. Not that anyone is going and putting bleach on their horse's hooves - it was just a lab test.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-23-2020, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aprilswissmiss View Post
A student at my university a couple years ago isolated the bacteria responsible for thrush and tested it against multiple chemicals. Tea tree oil was actually quite effective against it.

The issue, though, is that tea tree oil is incredibly strong and I would be hesitant to put it on a horse's hooves unless they were already showing signs of thrush. And keep in mind... all things are chemicals, it just depends on whether they are produced synthetically rather than naturally! Just because chemicals are produced naturally does not make them better, and vice versa. Also, bacteria can become resistant to chemicals regardless of whether they are natural or synthetic, so the overuse of any antibacterial compound is discouraged when it is not necessary (aka, discouraged when applied as a preventative rather than an active treatment).
Did the student put out a list of most effective treatments?
I used Pete's Goo, mastitis liquid, few OTC bottles and now on diluted bleach. The bleach is quickly working, while the rest did nearly nothing.

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