What is Hoof Thrush?
If you smell a foul odor while picking your horse’s feet, chances are he has contracted hoof thrush, a frog-eating, anaerobic bacterium. You need to treat thrush in horses hooves as soon as you notice the first sign of this menace.
Hoof thrush can occur whether your horse lives mainly at pasture or in a stable, especially in wet weather. In my natural hoofcare practice horse hoof thrush is one of the main causes of pain and lameness in horses.
Thrush problems for horses are essentially fostered by poor hygiene. It’s difficult to comprehend the seriousness of something that appears so subtle, but due to the horse’s hoof construction, it can be detrimental if not dealt with properly. Horse hoof thrush can cause excruciating pain and lameness.
Is Hoof Thrush Dangerous for Your Horse?
The frog has two distinct layers–the external skin is called horn tissue and the corresponding vascular layer of tissue is called the sensitive corium. Beneath the inner sensitive layer lies a pad-like shock absorber that reduces concussion for the horse’s hoof and his entire limb, called the deep digital cushion.
A properly functioning frog is absolutely necessary for the hoof to function. If the frog is infected with thrush, the horse shifts weight to the front of the foot, landing toe first instead of heel first.
The signs of thrush will be noticeable at the deep crevices of the frog (sulci) when a black, puss-like discharge accompanied by a foul odor is present.
Thrush is likely to take over a hoof that is left in unsanitary conditions. A wet environment that primarily consists of urine and acidity from manure is a breeding ground for the anaerobic bacterium that are attracted to any necrotic (decayed) tissue that exists on the horse’s frog. Not stopping at that, the bacteria will form deep-seated pockets and literally drill into the frog, eating away at the remaining healthy tissue.
How To Treat Hoof Thrush In Horses
One way to prevent thrush is by a thorough, daily hoof picking. It’s not necessarily true that horses at pasture won’t get thrush. They can, in certain seasonal situations like rain and snow.
Horses left in wet muddy areas increases the odds of contracting thrush. Horses that spend time in unsanitary conditions like dirty stalls, are also more susceptible to the bacteria.
Probiotics Help Treat Thrush In Horses
A horse with a strong immune system has a much greater chance of being able to fight off the harmful bacteria that causes thrush. There are more than 100 trillion microorganisms that live in the gut microbiome. These microorganisms called probiotics, communicate with immune cells to assist in regulating the immune response.
Since as much as 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut, those microorganisms help support and strengthen immunity. Probiotics for horses help maintain balance in the gut to keep your horse healthy.
If your horse already suffers from thrush you must take action immediately. Clean the infected area thoroughly and apply Hoof Rescue Naturally daily until all infection is gone and the frog has completely grown back. Depending on the severity of the infection it could take several weeks for the frog to regenerate itself. Don’t stop treatment until this has happened.
For the healthiest hooves use Hoof Rescue Naturally with Better Hoof Naturally- Natural Hoof Supplement for Horses