MYTH: The Farrier I have been using moved and I was forced to get a new one. The new Farrier says my horse has a bad case of Thrush. That is impossible as I clean his box stall quite often.

FACT: The two main causes of Thrush in the frog of the horse’s foot are unhygienic conditions by not cleaning their stalls every day. The build up of manure and especially wet bedding from urine that the horse is forced to stand in. Second is Lack Of Pressure On The Frog from poor shoeing or poor foot trimming. The frog becomes under-run and bacteria starts to multiply. The chief germ causing Thrush, is "Spherophorus Necrophorus."

The under-run frog exudes a black or grayish, foul smelling discharge. As the condition advances, the horse will become acutely lame because of the pressure of the pus on the underlying sensitive Laminae.

Treatment includes immediately removing the causes. Clean the horses stall every, single day. Being sure to remove not only the manure, but the wet bedding from the urine too. If possible, move the horse to a pasture or pen outside.

Remove the horse’s shoes, if shod, and/or trim the heels and walls of the foot down correctly so the frog meets the ground. Do not trim so short as to cause the horse to be tender on his soles. Using a sharp hoof knife, trim away all dead and dying tissue from the frog, exposing all the under-run tissue. This should be done by a qualified Farrier or a Veterinarian.

Wash thoroughly with an antiseptic based soap and warm water. Then once or twice daily, apply a broad-spectrum antibiotic. An excellent choice is Kopertox (contains copper naphthenate at 37.5%). White Lotion will also work if unable to find Kopertox.

Once the discharge is cured so that the frog can grow out healthy once more, discontinue treatment but remember to keep his stall clean and free of wet bedding. Make sure the attending Farrier is a good one who will trim and shoe a horse correctly so that the frog meets the ground as it is intended to.

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