Well, all three of my horses have some thrush in all four hooves. The creases of their frogs are black and the frog tissue itself in the creases is peely and in the worse hooves, it's even chunky looking. Darn. I thought I saw thrush when I trimmed them, but I was hoping that opening the creases up might help it go away, but I think the ground is just too wet for that hope. So, today I got stocked up on some products I think might help fight it. My plan is to alternate days scrubbing with 2 different disinfectants. I'll try a dilute bleach solution (I've heard some people actually pour full strength bleach onto the hoof and let it dry to treat thrush, but I think that is too strong and would damage tissue), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). I've never used hydrogen peroxide on thrush, but it seems like it might work...unless the bacteria and fungi have peroxidase or catalase (enzymes that break down the free-radical hydrogen peroxide to prevent tissue damage - that's why it bubbles when you put hydrogen peroxide on your cuts). H2O2 breaks down into water and oxygen. So I was thinking that the introduction of oxygen into the crevices of the frog might actually help kill the bacteria/fungi...isn't thrush an anaerobic thing? Well, it's worth a try.
In the past, I've also used iodine (seemed to work and is not as harsh as bleach). I'd use iodine again, but I'm out of 7% and didn't feel like going to the farm store to get more. I've also used a 50/50 mixture of antifungal cream and triple antibiotic ointment, and I think it probably works but it also seems to be slower than the disinfectant products. I don't know. All I know is that thrush is such a pain! I had to battle it last year too, and I think I still found some evidence of it in some horses even in late summer! And now I have 12 hooves to treat each day! Ick!
I'm curious what other's have used for the treatment of thrush. It also seems like getting their enclosures dried out would help too, but I'm just not sure how it's possible to really keep them dry in late winter/early spring, unless you stall them all the time, and I don't do that. Most of their pasture IS dry, except for right down in front of the barn where they come to drink...that's wet now because it was the last to melt (since the horses had hard packed the snow there). I'd better get on this though...In past experience, if you don't, it gets deep inside the frog and causes other problems (caused Cody to be short-strided).
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