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    How To Prevent and Treat Equine Thrush

    Equine thrush is a common hoof condition. Thrush is described as an infection localized in the soft triangular-shaped "frog" of the hoof, especially the grooves on the sides and middle of the frog called the sulci. You can identify thrush by its foul odor, a dark colored discharge, soreness of the frog and deformation of the frog's shape.

    Equine thrush is a bacterial infection caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum. This anaerobic bacteria is a natural part of a healthy horse's gut flora. In the course of normal life, it passes through the horse's system and gets picked up on their hooves. If the horse is very healthy and its living conditions are perfect, thrush will likely not be an issue. Thrush infections are encouraged by dark, wet living conditions and attack already weakened hooves. If left untreated, thrush can progress enough to weaken the soft tissues of the sole which can lead to secondary fungal infections. Therefore, it is important to use a product that is both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial to be sure that you are covering both types of infection.

    Though thrush can happen in just about any barn, it can be successfully managed when a comprehensive hoof care plan is implemented. For the best chance for a thrush-free horse, follow these steps:

    • Schedule regular farrier visits — usually every 6 weeks
    • Clean your horses' hooves often — once a day is ideal, but at least a few times a week
    • Fight back against bacteria and fungus with a thrush-specific antimicrobial product
    • Keep paddocks and bedding as clean and dry as possible