Thrush

Thrush

By: Dr. Lydia Gray

What is it?

Thrush is an infection of the frog of the hoof and of the grooves (sulci) on either side of the frog causing a thick, black, smelly discharge. Once thought to be caused by a wet and dirty environment, experts now believe certain factors contribute to the development of thrush even in the cleanest situations. The horse's hoof design and movement in action provide a natural cleaning mechanism. However, abnormal hoof shape, improper trimming, insufficient exercise, chronic lameness, poor diet and poor circulation can all disrupt the natural cleaning mechanism and allow infection to set in.

What can be done about it?

The infected hoof should be picked, cleaned and medicated as recommended by the veterinarian or farrier. However, unless the underlying cause of the Thrush is diagnosed and corrected, it will return. The hoof should be balanced as much as possible, the horse should be turned out as well as worked, and any causes of chronic lameness should be treated.

What else do I need to know?

There are several bacteria and fungi thought to be involved in Thrush, including Fusobacterium necrophorum. If these organisms invade deep enough and infect living tissue, the horse may become lame from the condition. In a serious case like this, the veterinarian and farrier may need to work together to perform more extensive cleaning that involves removing dead and infected tissue before healing can begin. In this situation, it is even more important that the primary reason for Thrush be identified and treated.

About Dr. Lydia Gray

Have questions? Contact us »
Connect with us:

Meet the SmartPakers

Brittany and Nate
Ever since I was the girl with 1,000 breyer horses and the raggity braid in her hair, I was always obsessed. In second grade I moved into a town with a barn right down the street, which is when I started taking lessons...

Learn more »

Read our blog

Supplements and Feeds for Senior Horses
I run barrels and ride a 14yr. old mare, she will be 15 next month. Should I put her on any certain supplements or a senior feed? All she gets now is a 12-4 pellet feed. She is doing ok

Read More »

Healthy horses, happy riders.
SmartPak is committed to a greener planet.
Sign Up Now!
Free Catalog Get Yours Now!

SmartPak Equine is the premier online provider of horse supplies and equine supplements.
Questions? Call us Toll-Free at 1-888-752-5171. © Copyright 2013 by SmartPak Equine LLC. All Rights reserved.