Thrush Buster for Horses

We were especially pleased with the product during the cold winter months when liquids and soaking horses’ hooves become problematic. Oral candidiasis, how do I deal with thrush? Allow the hoof to dry before applying your thrush treatment. In width, it is at least 2/3 of the length of the frog.

The bacteria and fungus live naturally on the horse’s hooves and in the environment. Torn or ragged pieces of frog should be trimmed away, since they provide nooks and crevices where thrush may get started. Presently, no one knows what triggers canker. The feet may then be scrubbed clean using a detergent and/or disinfectant and warm water, before the frog is coated with a commercial thrush-treatment product, or with iodine solution, which may be soaked into cotton balls and packed into the clefts. However, we do understand that this is often difficult to achieve and that we are all doing our best for our horses but, these efforts are often limited. The product is not caustic and can be used as often as necessary to keep thrush under control and allow hoof tissue to thrive and prosper. Thrush is a bacterial infection that occurs in the tissue of the frog, the V-shaped structure located between the sole, wall and bars in the heel area of the hoof. Try to limit your horse’s access to areas that could become simmering soups of bacteria.

  • Do you have any experience with this condition in horses?
  • The surviving deeper-seated microbes have a low oxygen environment to divide with subsequent re-eruption weeks later.
  • In some cases, a veterinarian or farrier will need to come out to pare away the infected tissues.
  • If dealt with early, thrush can be simple to treat, Fraley said, before it ever causes lameness or more serious issues.
  • 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.
  • Check really well the bulb area with bar, plate and any other shoes that cover up much of the frog and the grooves.

Due to the misalignment, the frog’s contact surface with the ground is limited, which in its turn compromises the stimulation. But not so for the anaerobes. Horses that wear hoof pads are susceptible to thrush, since the pad holds moisture against the bottom of the foot.

  • Treatment can be relatively easy and inexpensive, especially if caught early.
  • Keep your horse’s dwelling clean by mucking the stalls daily.

Treating Thrush This Winter

“That foot isn’t functioning normally, and maybe the horse is guarding its foot and the heels are contracting secondary to pain,” Fraley explained. Thrush is a rather smelly infection that attacks the frog in a horse's hoof. The nature of your horse’s environment impacts the health of his hooves to some degree. The chlorine in the soaking solution turns to chlorine gas that infiltrates deep into the cracks and crevices of the foot and results in more disinfection than material applied to the surface. I have experimented with bleach but I’m told that bleach kills healthy tissue as well as the infected tissue so it is not an ideal solution.

He said “there must be a better alternative,” so Dr. Besides the odor, thrush can also lead to chronic foot problems and lameness. Make sure it is safe to use on your own skin and contains natural ingredients. Pick hooves often and keep an eye out for any changes in your horse's hooves. Getting the frog level with the foot will greatly encourage a healthy frog and necessary movement for the efficient self-cleaning mechanism to function. Look carefully for any abnormal changes when you pick out your horse's hooves each day - the earlier you’re able to identify thrush, the better. They are usually squirted or sprayed onto the cleaned sole of the foot every day to every other day.

This is the small indentation in the middle of the frog toward the back of the hoof, which is where the infection typically occurs. He has found diapers to be useful as part of a foot bandage since they “breathe. How serious is the thrush on a horse’s feet? Severe cases will improve faster if you switch from straw bedding, which holds more moisture against the horse’s hooves, to shavings or sawdust.

More H&H Plus

Antiseptic soap like betadine or chlorhexadine is recommended. However, since thrush can also occur in the mucous membranes of humans, as a yeast-like microscopic fungal form, some argue that a fungal organism call Candida albicans can play a much greater role. Yeast infection (vaginal): symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, some of the medicines used to treat yeast infections are available without a prescription, but you shouldn't just buy one if you think you have a yeast infection. Learn the signs and ways to treat thrush in your horse. Horses in the American West develop thrush less frequently and the ailment is often less severe. For best results, please make sure your browser is accepting cookies.

It also causes excessive drying, which damages the structure and can lead to cracks.

Other Items in Thrush Buster

Once the problem is identified, steps can be taken to eradicate the infection and prevent recurrence. Concentrated formula quickly and safely kills the bacteria, fungus and yeast that cause thrush and other infections of the hoof wall, sole and frog. Stimulating hoof flexion through natural movement will help to increase blood supply to the frog, decrease the accumulation of debris, and oxygenate the wound. These microbes flourish in dark, moist places, making a dirty equine hoof the perfect host, in particular the grooves (sulci) on either side of the frog. It’s not the remedy, it’s the application! If the infection is deep and the frog soft and painful, apply raw honey by saturating cotton balls and carefully place into the frog. I recommend applying it with a paint brush (less risk for getting too much on the foot) and some people use a small syringe so they can control the amount being applied,” she says.

When the frog has been trimmed you can scrub the entire hoof with a stiff brush and warm water. To prevent thrush, the best offense is a good defense. At the end of 2020, The Horse-Journal published the results of field trials that on the leading thrush remedies. A dropped sole occurs when the pedal bone is pushing down and loading the sole causing it to bulge downwards. With proper care and environmental changes, most cases of thrush clear up in one to two weeks.

Get your horse’s frogs trimmed regularly - don’t allow the frog to grow to a point where it overlaps the clefts in the hoof as this will keep the clefts open for “self-cleaning” as the horse walks, gallops around the field, is schooled or hacked out. Hoof picks and brushes can be used to remove accumulated debris, but if the debris is persistent, a farrier or veterinarian may be needed to assess the anatomy and health of the foot. Just what is this elusive infection, anyway?

  • Additionally, these wet conditions create an environment where ailments such as thrush can thrive.
  • The horse should be moved to a dry clean environment.
  • The objective of Dr.
  • This leaves a pocket of thrush to live on deep inside.
  • The term “thrush” gets hung on just about every hoof ache or pain that comes along, but it is not necessarily just one type of microbe that’s responsible.

Prevention of Thrush

Lack of exercise and reduced circulation in the hoof can also make hooves prone to thrush, as can poor hygiene and inadequate living conditions. Kopertox is another alternative that can be used on the bottom of the foot, and, Hague says, this is often better than using Keratex or formaldehyde. Sprays only cover the surface. There is the potential for a persistent case to develop extensive degeneration of these structures, leading to instability of the heel bulbs or a sheared heel condition.

For instance, a horse with deep frog sulci who drinks a lot and therefore urinates a lot and gets little turnout is a candidate for the development of thrush. Bowker VMD, PhD, toe first landing is the primary cause of navicular disease in horses. The horse will not show any clinical signs like lameness.

Some horse owners may associate this as “bad behavior,” when in truth it is not bad behavior. Can a yeast infection go away on its own? archives. Infection of the frog and surrounding tissues often leads to lameness. There are several ways to apply your preparation, whether homemade or commercial. Thrush is a degeneration of the frog with secondary anaerobic bacterial infection that begins in the central and collateral sulci. Over-use of products containing caustic agents can be harmful to tender new tissue and hinder growth.

How To Treat Your Horse’s Thrush

Any material that is under the foot that comes under this pressure will be forced upward into the sulci of the frog and the cracks and crevices of the sole of the foot. Thrush is an infection of the central and lateral sulcus, or clefts, of the frog of a horse's foot. Thrush is likely to take over a hoof that is left in unsanitary conditions. A well-shaped frog also has a natural self-cleaning mechanism. It is a human interest story that may provide a clue on how to successfully defeat chronic thrush and other deeply rooted infections as well, including while line disease. If you decide to use your bare hands, take care to scrub under fingernails as well. Wet geographic locations and conditions increase the likelihood a horse will develop thrush. The formula also contains a drying agent which helps destroy the moist environment where microbes tend to hide.

You can clean your horse’s hoof with a brush, pick, and file for trimming. “You don’t want to dry and irritate sensitive tissue, especially if the thrush already is involving sensitive tissue,” he said. Bv that won't go away, an article said to insert the clove at night and to anchor it to the outer world with a piece of floss. Over-use of products containing caustic agents are harmful to tender new tissue and hinder their growth. There are a variety of thrush products out there. Spraying is a quick and easy preventive procedure – but take it a step further and disinfect any crevices you see. “Clorox will burn the skin. As you continue, you notice a black, tarry substance coming off on your hoof pick that seems to be the source of the odour. Check for thrush once a week, minimum.

Managing Lameness

Thrush problems for horses are essentially fostered by poor hygiene. However, it's also important for a bandaged foot to breathe which means using one that is “breathable”. Dirt and debris accumulate in these grooves, creating the anaerobic conditions in which bacteria thrive. This tissue is very sensitive. If you have any questions about how to prevent thrush or if your horse is exhibiting thrush symptoms, contact our office for help. You must treat the affected foot with an antiseptic for seven days, then remove treatment for another seven and repeat this pattern until the condition clears. One popular self-made mixture – sugardine – combines one part white, granulated sugar (used for centuries in wound healing) to two parts povidone iodine or Betadine.

What Is Thrush?

The frog helps retain some dirt in the collateral grooves. It’s not necessarily true that horses at pasture won’t get thrush. Thrush, or Spherophorus neaophorus as it is technically known, starts with degeneration of the frog. In other words, where most horses live on a daily basis. Your horse may succumb to other infections similar to thrush that also appear during wet and moist conditions.

With early treatment and good stall and environmental management, the prognosis for complete recovery for cases of thrush is good.

Looking Back And Springing Forward!

Knowing the signs of thrush ensures fast action against the disease. Even if you keep everything clean and dry, your horse may stand in a fresh pile of manure or urine every day. When it comes into contact with the ground, it expands, pushing accumulated dirt and debris out of the frog sulci, the grooves on either side of the frog. If thrush is diagnosed early, it is easy to treat and will heal properly. Usually I wash the feet at least once daily for a week to ten days. You can place undiluted oils directly on the frog for severe cases, or soak cotton balls and tape them on or put on a hoof boot for 24 hours.

Hoof rot occurs in cattle, goats and sheep; the proper name for this type of hoof infection in horses is "thrush," or pododermatitis. The hoof will need daily cleaning and medicating in the treatment of Thrush. The best tool for this job is a wire brush which effectively takes away all necrotic material that's typically found around the frog when a horse develops thrush. I have oral thrush, which treatment is best for me?, oral thrush can be treated with a homemade mouthwash, or, in more serious cases, a prescription mouthwash or lozenge. Bar shoes and pads should be removed and the frog, its grooves and the sole trimmed and paired back to visually healthy tissue by a vet or farrier allowing air to reach the affected tissue. Horses with overgrown or contracted hooves, those who wear hoof pads, and those who get very little exercise are also more susceptible to the condition. Apply common anti-thrush treatments such as formalin, chlorine bleach, phenol, povidone iodine or other caustic solution topically to the affected area. They naturally come out of the hoof as the horse is moving.

Thrush in horses is an infection that inflicts the hoof. If you notice an unusual and nasty smell when you pick up your horse's foot, you should suspect thrush, particularly if accompanied by any type of discharge. Keep the horses hooves clean and dry whenever possible. Usually a couple applications is enough to kill all the bacteria. Alternatively, there is a DYI way on how to treat thrush in horses. But, keeping a horse on dry ground can be a challenge. But usually if thrush causes lameness, it’s because the thrush is severe. Thrush is not serious, unless it is left untreated.

Consequently, a horse whose exposed to "clean" mud that is predominantly free of manure and urine, isn't likely to develop thrush but one who stands in urine-soaked bedding for most of the day is a prime candidate.

What Causes Thrush?

Timely intervention is important so the infection does not invade deeper tissues, such as the frog and digital cushion between the heel bulbs. If this happens, the horse will likely become lame and the frog tender, so that the horse dislikes contact with this part of its body. A good place to start the fight against infection is Fauna Care Anti-fungal spray. Some horses will have a white coating on the hooves near the frog, indicating where the infection has taken hold. Can you see the black discharge in the crevices of the frog? A new approach is called for; soaking those feet in the appropriate microbe-killer long enough for the medication to soak in and do its job.

Special care needs to be given when trimming the hooves. In such cases, a horse can become lame and resent probing or squeezing of the tender heel and frog areas affected by thrush. If you think your horse is susceptible to thrush, try Fauna Care’s anti-fungal spray as a way to fight infection. How can I prevent it? It’s so insidious that it can slide in under the radar and our problem becomes repair rather than prevention; but to prevent takes vigilance and some effort on our part.

For that, soaking in a product designed to kill spores is needed. Most wild horses do not have their hooves picked every day and the healthy footed ones do not suffer from thrush problems. Thrush is a common bacterial infection that softens the frog area of the hoof causing it to disintegrate, essentially rotting it away. You can purchase commercial remedies or make homeopathic ones. When trimming the frog, do so in a way that leaves clefts open for self-cleaning when the horse walks. Make sure that your horse gets enough exercise in order to sustain better hoof quality.

Hoove Trimming

Horses with normal, healthy hooves will "self clean. "The specific organisms that create such damage are not particularly easy to identify. Apply daily until the hoof is healed.


Initially, your farrier will also treat the thrush much like a dirty wound, trimming away the loose, diseased frog tissue and possibly applying dilute bleach. At least once a day, thoroughly pick the hoof, paying special attention to the sulci. Be gentle with the hoof pick - some cases are potentially created by an overly aggressive use of a hoof pick. With a higher heel the frog recesses below it, allowing more debris to accumulate. In some cases, you might draw blood if your hoof pick touches his frog, particularly in the central sulcus.

They defined the thrush as a bacterial infection, not a fungus as it is in the human fingernail. Proper trimming and therapeutic shoeing along with veterinarian care can help solving such issues. Found mostly in small children and older adults, human thrush is caused when a yeast known Candida, which is naturally found on the body, grows out of control. Prevention is better than cure and thrush can be avoided by good stall management, and regular foot care and inspection.

The remedy gives the illusion to “heal”.

Treating Thrush

Regularly exercise your horse to ensure consistent and healthy circulation in the hooves. If the horse’s hoof is not flexing, it cannot knock dirt and debris out. It is also good to know that neither is serious, if treated immediately.

No matter how severe the thrush, the horse first needs to be moved to a clean, dry environment. It's always a good idea to talk to your veterinarian if your horse has a thrush infection, just to be sure you are using the right product(s) and treating it properly. Farriers possess full knowledge of the physiology and anatomy of a horse’s lower limb and are also trained in the creating and proper fitting of shoes.

So, in summary – there are two main aspects you need to keep in check to prevent horse thrush from coming back. There may be a few factors contributing to this. Any reason for inactivity, such as lameness or constraints on exercise and turnout, can influence how successful the natural cleaning action is that comes with moving across dry ground. That was over 30 years ago! Then, the horse may also react when its feet are picked out, and blood may be seen. The tell-tale foul odor of thrush is something no barn owner wants on the farm. It is best, however, to speak with the horse's veterinarian, to be sure these home remedies are effective and, more importantly, safe for use on horses.

Product Features

It appears as a foul-smelling, black, clay-like material in the area surrounding the frog. Form the habit of picking and wire-brushing the hoof bottom clean, a quick scrub with Dawn Detergent, every day, then spraying the entire surface with a microbe-killer; keep the foot off-ground for fifteen or twenty seconds to allow some penetration of the spray. Being a non-caustic formula allows the healthy tissue to thrive and prosper.


The solar surface of the horse’s foot, from the center to the perimeter, consists of the central sulcus of the frog, which is a narrow groove of variable depth that starts between the heel bulbs and runs toward the apex (point) of the frog (see illustration). Absorbine liniment is also a good choice. Depending on the extent of the infection, thrush can cause varying levels of lameness and, at its worst, permanent damage. Thin-soled horses, especially in moist environments, are more prone to infections. So I learned that while both infections of thrush in humans and horses have similarities, they are not connected.

Other Stable Talk Features

I have seen cleaning that is rough enough to reach to fairly sensitive tissue, even to the point of bleeding. For example, a healthy hoof has no crevices or clefts, but a potential problem will show up as a cleft developing in the center of the heel of the frog. These microbes are opportunistic and common in the soil and the horse’s surroundings. Arrow fat left icon, “Shower after exercise, avoid super tight clothing, don’t sit around in a wet bathing suit, and don’t wear a pantiliner every day since it can trap moisture,” she says. Some horses are prone to thrush and have recurrent episodes no matter how clean their environment is kept. He said to put the product in a small syringe that would allow direct application without creating a mess. The long twist cap get the ingredients deep into these crevices where organisms thrive. If the foot is out of balance or has contracted heels, or if lameness keeps the horse from using the foot normally, that raises the risk for thrush.

Another main strategy is to keep your horse’s environment clean–daily mucking of the stalls and paddocks is important. Kopertox and Thrush Buster can work well for treating thrush. Both are available on-line: The frog is soft or spongy underneath but looks normal and dry on top. This feature is not available right now. Improperly trimmed hoofs prevent oxygen from getting in the crevices. A regular and frequent cleaning regimen of the horse’s stall and environment, as well as the feet themselves, is key to preventing thrush.

In some cases of thrush, the frog will have discharge around it, usually black or dark brown in color. Below are our top picks in horse thrush treatment products. After spending numerous days — and sometimes weeks — lamenting over the presence of thrush in three different horses, discussing the best solutions with farriers and vets, reading reviews, delving into the vortex that is internet discussion forums and testing thrush treatments on three different horses over a period of time (until the thrush was resolved, really), we recommend Thrushbuster for treatment of the presence of common thrush. Packing a hoof with any product is potentially dangerous because excessive pressure can kill sensitive frog tissue. Filthy conditions in their stall can lead to thrush. Tetanus antitoxin must be given, if the horse is not fully vaccinated up-to-date or if vaccination status cannot be confirmed. A hoof pick is necessary, but a key tool in preventing thrush is a sturdy wire brush, the kind that is sold in hardware stores, the kind favored by painters or welders. Severe infection can be identified by compressing the frog with strong thumb pressure and/or hoof testers.

Getting Aggressive

That requires you to get the horse’s hoof capsule back to the healthy state. There are many tips and home hoof remedies that claim to be the answer to curing thrush, but many of these “remedies” only allow the infection to spread or kills the microbes only on the surface. You can skip this section if this sort of detail bores you, but I like to break things down into their smallest bits. If you’re not cleaning and picking out your horse’s feet regularly and thoroughly, there should be little surprise if thrush develops. Thrush is different not only because of its foul smelling black pus but also because thrush creates infection that damages the hoof tissues. Clean the bottom of the foot and frog area by removing any debris and wash the area thoroughly. Thrush is a condition that affects the frog when bacteria takes hold which results in a rather smelly foot. Do you live in a hot, dry climate or desert region?

You can easily tell if your horse has thrush. Vaginal yeast infections (for parents), how is a vaginal yeast infection diagnosed? Approximately 60 percent of the horse’s weight is borne by the front feet, thus 40 percent by the hind feet. ” We asked the researchers who developed Thrush Stop, what was their secret? Thrush is humans is also easy to spot. If hooves stay damp and aren't trimmed and cleaned out regularly, they can offer an ideal environment for thrush to develop.

Lameness or sensitivity: The crack tightens up and becomes narrow, even dry on top. Although thrush is a somewhat common condition, it shouldn’t be underestimated.