3 Steps to Handling Horse Thrush

Posted on
November 17, 2018

Keeping and caring for your horse can be a hefty task, so it is crucial to routinely check them for minor afflictions.  While horse thrush, a common condition amongst domesticated horses, usually poses few long term health issues, it can be one of the more unpleasant ailments to tackle.  In order to best beat this pesky infection, it is important to keep three key points in mind.

  • Understanding what horse thrush is, and knowing how it originates.
  • Recognizing the signs of thrush so you can act quickly.
  • Treating thrush with an anti-fungal spray to help alleviate the infection.

Understanding Horse Thrush

Answering common questions

horse in barn

Before treating horse thrush, it is helpful to know some of the basics surrounding the infection.  The infection stems from a bacteria called Spherophorus neaophorus, which destroys the frog of a horse’s hoof (located on the soft underside).  If left untreated, the mild and smelly infection can severely damage the hoof, causing lameness and pain.

In an interview for Practical Horseman magazine, veterinarian Dr. Stephen O’Grady details how thrush can develop, even in well-cared for horses.  Many people believe it is due to damp and uncleanly conditions, but—as O’Grady notes—any recessed or poorly-formed frog is extremely susceptible to thrush, even when the horse is housed in “immaculate” conditions.

Recognizing Horse Thrush

Knowing the signs to act quickly

close-up of horse hooves on ground

After understanding how the infection originates, it is just as important to recognize the early signs and symptoms.  General signs include an overall decaying appearance, along with what has been described as a “black ooze” seeping from the cracks in the hoof. In addition, your horse may be more sensitive to a hoof pick than usual.

If you notice this, it is important to purchase an anti-fungal solution right away, before the bacteria continues to fester and work its way deeper into the frog.  The sulcus, or the center part of the hoof, is already agitated, and so it is best to treat the infection sooner rather than later.

Treating Horse Thrush

Taking care of business right away

horse outside in snowy winter

One way to take care of horse thrush is to use aatopical spray, such as Fauna’s Anti-Fungal Spray.  This spray aims to cure any pet infection in just days, making it the perfect applicant for horse thrush, alongside other common infections (such as ringworm and cats and dogs).  Treatments of thrush calls for using the product daily, as it is crucial to kill the current fungal bacteria before taking steps to prevent recurrence.  Many veterinarians emphasize the importance of sweeping out all of the infection, oftentimes using cotton swabs, so this spray formula should assist in killing the bacteria in all of the hooves’ crevices.

To wrap up, be sure to notice the signs as soon as possible to best treat the animal.  Keeping your horse’s stable conditions dry and clean is a start, but routine checkup and treatment application will also help in the future.

Posted on
March 1, 2018