The Visible Signs of Thrush


Thrush, an invasion of bacteria and moisture into the sole of the horses foot. The front and / or back feet may be affected.

Many horses that are bound to a stall or small area are more prone to thrush than other horses. Moist and unclean conditions are breeding places for bacteria.

If your horse must be defined, a daily inspection and cleaning of the horse's feet along with good stable management will protect your horse from contracting thrush.

Visible signs of thrush are a black and tarry substance oozing from the feet and an unpleaser odor. Thrush causes the frog (the grooves along side and down the center of the frog) and surrounding tissue to become soft and crumbly. As the hoof degrades even further, the heel begins to split and to bleed. Thrush is extremely painful and debilitating for the horse.

Mild cases are easily taken care of with a little help from your farrier. If the condition is left untreated, the hoof will deteriorate even further and as a result, the horse can become permanently lame.

In advanced cases you will need the help of your farrier and your veterinarian. They will need to debride the affected area and remove as much of the diseased tissue as possible. There may be a good deal of blood associated with this tissue removal if the thrush is advanced enough, so be prepared. If the center cleft of the frog is deeply involved, you will have to clean it out every day and pack it with medication and cotton, your farrier and / or veterinarian will show you exactly what you will need to do. With all of love and care your horse will be back to normal soon.