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Thrush in Horses, Equine Thrush

Horse Thrush (aka equine thrush) is an infection of the frog in which bacteria causes horn to rot producing a black residue which produces a strong unpleasant smell.’The bacteria in question is called ’Fusiformis’ and lives in the soil liking conditions where there is not much’ oxygen.’When dirt collects under the foot over a long time without being removed oxygen levels drop creating just the right conditions for this kind of bacteria to multiply.

The problem starts because of poor foot care and perhaps the use of foot pads because in such situations dirty areas without much oxygen build up.

Thrush is normally controlled with good foot care and dry clean stabling. The frog should be well trimmed and scrubbed clean each day.’When cleaning out the frog the owner should pay special attention to the cracks either side of and around the frog.

The following treatments are common
  1. Iodine solution (not if the affected foot is sensitive)
  2. Formalin (not if the affected foot is sensitive)
  3. Copper sulphate
  4. Antibiotics (eg in the form of sprays)
  5. Other materials that kill off the bacteria

Persistent cases of equine thrush may be caused by a weak immune system and/or poor horn growth because of dietary imbalance but a dirty environment.’ Not picking out the feet often enough is the most important cause of the problem.

Thrush in horses is referred to as either equine thrush or horse thrush


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