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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a month ago, my horse blew an abscess through his frog. At least, I think it was an abscess. Now part of his frog looks yellowish and it's tender to the touch. Is this normal? What is it?


He is a 20 year old grade gelding. He's a little bit lame on that leg, but he also has arthritis in that fetlock. Our weather has been so back and forth from warm to freezing that the slight lameness may well be due to the arthritis. However, he does not like me poking the yellowish spot, especially near where the abscess blew.


In the second pic, I circled the yellowish spot in yellow. The green arrow is the abscess hole. The red line is a crack that has opened up on the side of the yellowish thing. Sorry for the pic quality and the mud. He doesn't like to hold that leg up for very long, and the pic was taken on a flip phone.


My farrier will be here Friday. The horse is due for a trim but not overdue.



Any ideas what this is?
 

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That looks to me like a seriously thrushy frog. Perhaps there was an abscess as well...

Unfortunately, wet footing is not good for hooves, and can weaken(like your soles after a long bath) them & make them more susceptible to infection too. So keep your horse on dry footing if at all possible, or mostly dry. Or at worst, pull him out & keep him on dry footing for at least some time each day. Packing with salt can help to not only treat infection, but dry the hoof some, by osmosis.

Thrush(& seedy toe - same beast but in the wall material) thrives in warm, dark, airless environs. Unfortunately hooves that are contracted & weak heeled like his, are 'prone' to infection too, so depending on your environment, it may be a matter of just managing what you are stuck with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I've been afraid to treat it with anything harsh because of the abscess hole. I don't want to impede the healing on the inside. What would be safe to put on it?


Unfortunately, I can't keep him out of the mud. He does spend some time inside on a dry concrete floor every day. Also, when we've been riding the other horses, I've been cleaning his hooves and leaving him tied on the concrete so that hoof can dry out as much as possible.
 

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Right now, with the rain and all we're having down here, keeping hooves dry is a big challenge. I've got ONE out of ten who seems more prone to deep sulcus thrush (the groove in the frog) than all of the other nine combined. If it's not raining during the day, and it's not too sloppy out, I let him out in the pasture and bring him in for the night so he can stand in dry bedding. Of course, that assumes the barn isn't flooded, that hasn't been too bad this year.....yet.

If you can pick his feet out while he's tied out on the concrete that will help a lot to get that mess started clearing up. For deep stuff like that I use Tomorrow (it's a cow mastitis medicine that comes in a tube with a small tip syringe to put it in small, tight places) and I do the feet that need it once a day. For the stuff that's around the frog, I use Thrush Buster or Koppertox, just wear gloves.

https://pbsanimalhealth-prod-weblin...df5e781fddf7d2fd97427/detail.jpg?c=1574798417

The feed stores around here sell it by the tube, it's about $3.50/tube, IIRC.
 

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There are so many folks talking about their horses living in mud, that I am almost convinced there are more horses living in continual mud than aren’t.

Fortunately I don’t have mud issues and that can be addressed by folks whose horses are home but it costs money.

So I went hunting for water barriers for hooves. There are many products out there, some good, some worthless, and not all of them seem safe or efficient for the heel bulb area.

I found this product that might be able to be used in mud conditions but the heel bulbs will need to be thoroughly cleaned and patted as dry as possible, a paper towel will work:)

https://www.smartpakequine.com/pt/p...MIu7SWlNHt5wIVEtvACh31KAofEAQYASABEgImj_D_BwE

To reiterate, I found a lot of water barrier products, maybe there is something better that someone knows about but, if I had horses living in constant mud, I would try this “Pure Sole Hoof Mud” first.
 
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Packing with salt can help to not only treat infection, but dry the hoof some, by osmosis.

Can you please describe the packing with salt and what kind of salt to use.
I've rarely heard of this and don't know how to do, what to use or when it is appropriate to do this...
Thanks.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I wonder if extra strength diaper rash cream would be gentle enough to push into there. Probably wouldn't be enough on its own to kill the thrush, but it would help a bit, until you can get a professional opinion, and maybe not be too harsh on the live tissue that's trying to heal. Could put the diaper rash cream into the hole and pack it with cotton balls to keep mud from getting up into it.

Disclaimer: I have not done this, but I've read about lots of people using similar treatments.
 

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HLG, you can make a saturated saline solution to soak feet, or you can make a salt 'scrub' with enough water to make it a paste or a putty consistency. You can 'pack' the paste into the sulci & any other crevasses/separation & wrap/boot to keep it in/clean for a while. Any salt will do. I use unrefined sea salt, because that's what I use for supps(& my own kitchen use).
 

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There are so many folks talking about their horses living in mud, that I am almost convinced there are more horses living in continual mud than aren’t.
Unfortunately, the relentless rain and resulting widespread flooding did not help matters in Central MS :cry: Even our high ground pastures are completely waterlogged, but at least the horses are not knee-deep in water. The water table has risen so much, it just can't go anywhere... Wish I could re-direct some rain!

So I know exactly how you feel @mkmurphy81!
What seems to help a bit (and stay put for a few hours out in the pasture as well if the hoof was reasonably dry when applied) is 40% zinc oxide (diaper rash ointment) mixed with copper sulphate powder (8oz ointment with 1 teaspoon copper sulphate)… Or you could add Tomorrow to the hole and "plug" it with diaper rash ointment...
 

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I also love salt scrubs and soaks (Epsom salt and warm water). The first thing I do with my mare when I see her is either salt bath or scrub her feet and apply thrush buster once a week or fortnight depending how bad weather is. But she gets to be stalled dry for a few days... But as for packing how long @loosie and at what strength? Salt or saline is great for wound care. Rinsing, scrubbing etc. Maybe creating a paste to put on overnight or a few hours. But a several-day salt packing I think would compromise the foot more, no? It'd deal with the thrush sure but at the cost of healthy cells/bacteria and potentially create further discomfort? Encouraging salt-loving bacteria? I can't really comment as never salt packed a hoof before, these are just things that pop up in my brain when I see a picture of that hoof. Fortunately never been in that position!

Is there anyway to completely create a barrier to wrap the feet when in turnout. Once a day unwrapping, letting dry, salt rinsing and fresh wrapping? Sure sounds a lot of effort o.o Man stalls.. I used to be one of those people that thought horses have to be out 24/7. But since having stall as an option and a mare that loves the luxuries of a solo net and a soft warm bed... I'm glad for the opportunity to have somewhere dry just for her feet!

Let us know what you end up deciding OP and how it works out. Your'e certainly not the only one with thrushy woes ;<
 

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Yeah I don't know if there are 'salt loving bacteria' but salt(Na) - I don't know about other 'salts' like Mg Sulphate - is a good general anti bacterial. I wouldn't leave feet wrapped like that for more than say, a few hours though, certainly not days on end. If you can keep feet clean/dry enough in boots, putting lime/dolomite in the boots for extended periods can be effective though.

Having come from muddy environs, I appreciate it can be difficult/impossible to manage well, without facilities & time though - I've struggled with this too, not just seen my client's problems. What I would do, if circumstances don't allow for more, is to clean & dry the horse's feet well, use a salt paste, then confine the horse to dry footing/bedding for a couple of hours each day. That way, some extended time for the salt to work, & a little time for them to dry out before being subjected to mud again at least. Unfortunately, in this sort of situation, it may only be about managing the feet from getting worse, and it may be difficult to actually improve them greatly. Depends how much time & effort you can 'put in' as to what you 'get out'.
 

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I

Is there anyway to completely create a barrier to wrap the feet when in turnout. Once a day unwrapping, letting dry, salt rinsing and fresh wrapping? V

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^^^^Some sort of barrier “hoof plaster” was what I was looking For on line.

If the horse has to be out 24/7 with no relief from the mud, booting the hooves is a dangerous thing and wrapping them is a waste of time and money.

Boots could twist in the mud, get sucked off, or rub the horse raw if they were left on more than 6-8 hours.

Wraps just wouldn’t stay on the heel bulbs.

I was looking on the. Eat for something water proof & mud proof, that might actually act as drying agent to the central sulci and the heel bulbs.

I posted a link to a product but, much as I don’t like Koppertox, it might be the one thing that would protect the heel bulbs.

It can’t be said enough that hooves subjected to this type of environment on a daily basis need care on a daily basis — that can be tough if the horse is boarded and I don’t know what the answer is to that.

For those who have their horses home, there are several companies who make mud abatement mats for outdoor areas. They make them for cattle runs, equine paddocks, etc.

I can’t stress how important gutters, downspouts, and drain dishes under the downspouts are on a barn of any size.

The other smartest thing I did to my barn was add a 20 x 24 overhang where the horses come out of the barn into the paddock. There is never any mud under the overhang.

Yes it all cost extra money up front but that was 17 years ago and the gutter system and overhang are still earning their keep. They were money well spent for the health of the barn and my horses:)
 

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Soak with Epsom salt & betadine, then pack the area with Duret Epsom Salt Poultice gel (it's green) & wrap it up. Works WONDERS!!

Also for thrush you can try Thrushbuster. That helped my mare.
 

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with Duret Epsom Salt Poultice gel (it's green) & wrap it up.
Totally random fact that may or may not ever be useful to folks following this thread...that poultice gel @PoptartShop recommends is AMAZING for clearing up bumblefoot in chickens, if you ever find yourself with that problem!


I feel for you @mkmurphy- we don't have mud YET (a month from now will be a different story), but standing on snow all winter also reeks havoc on frogs and soles, keeping them soft and wet, and thus more prone to getting torn up when we have ice mixing into the footing and making it sharp. People don't think of snow as being bad for thrush-like conditions, but it can be. And when they live out 24/7, finding dry options can be really challenging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What seems to help a bit (and stay put for a few hours out in the pasture as well if the hoof was reasonably dry when applied) is 40% zinc oxide (diaper rash ointment) mixed with copper sulphate powder (8oz ointment with 1 teaspoon copper sulphate)… Or you could add Tomorrow to the hole and "plug" it with diaper rash ointment...

I have zinc oxide and copper sulfate on hand. I'll try that mix.


Stockholm tar packing in the hoof and over the frog is good for clearing up infection and for keeping water out. You can buy this https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/bickmore-pine-tar-16-fl-oz, here in the US. There are other brands but I know Bickmore makes good products, love their Gall Salve too.

I'll look into this, too.


The mud is a constant problem here. I have a big barn, but no stalls. It's a giant run-in right now. The horses can go inside any time they want, and there's plenty of room for them all. However, they would rather stand in the water by the pond and eat all the little green stuff that grows out there. The hay is in a relatively dry spot near the barn, and there's a water trough in a relatively dry spot near the barn. Where are my horses? Way out in the mud.
 

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You might want to have it checked to make sure it's not canker
Yeah always worth considering, but I don't think it looks like it to me. Canker is more a growth, a protrusion of tissue, while thrush eats away the tissue.
 

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If you're going to use CS, which is good for killing many infections, just go extremely easy on it, esp when the infection is deep like that. And for that matter, things like thrushbuster too - I'd avoid that, at least until a good amount of new, healthy skin has covered the area. It can harm & retard growth of healthy tissue as well as killing the infection.
 
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