You may have continually provided the best care for your horse, but it is still vulnerable to the effects of aging and other elements present in its surroundings that you may not have total control. Even the best hoof hygiene provided to them does not guarantee that your will never have any unpleasant condition. However, immediate attention and active management of the condition can prevent, if not limit any further damage to the animal’s body and system. And this includes selecting the best thrush treatment for your horse.
What Causes the Development of Thrush in Horses?
Your horse may be actively galloping across the field. You may have been thrilled every time your trusty steed trots or wades its feet on the ground day in and day out. Dirt clods fly everywhere it goes, even gets stuck in the crevices under the horse’s hooves. Thankfully, a horse’s hooves, like many animal’s feet, have its way of getting cleaned on their own. However, the natural cleansing process that scours the animal’s hooves and removes the collected debris is affected by the quality of movement that the horse makes as it moves its feet across the ground. It does not have to be rigid and quick; even just regular movement will be just fine for your horse, though.
Take note, however, that a horse with limited exercise or movements, receives an inappropriate horse hoof care, as well as the presence of other hoof health problems can cause the horse’s sole and frog tissue to be infiltrated by bacteria and fungi. The bacteria responsible for the development of thrush are present in the animal’s environment. Wet, muddy, or filthy conditions, like an unclean stable. After some time, infection can develop. It forms a black and pasty discharge, and usually accompanied with a foul odor.
Inactive horses that are kept mostly in stalls are most susceptible to this horse hoof problem, studies indicate. However, there are certain conditions in the horse’s environments that can contribute to the development of bacterial and fungal infection in the horse’s hooves.
Signs of Thrush in Horses
A thrush infection normally affects the superficial layers of the skin. But it may be difficult to tell if a horse has thrush while it is still in its early phase since there is no clinical signs that may still be observed at this stage. But as the infection spreads and deepens, it will affect sensitive tissues as well as the horse’s digital cushion. This can be quite risky to the horse and may even cause the horse to become lame.
A severe form of thrush that has caused substantial tissue damage may be thought to be another condition known as canker.
However, canker, as described by experts, not a common horse hoof issue. But it more difficult to treat.
Like thrush, canker is also an infectious condition. It results to chronic hypertrophy or the enlargement of the horn-producing tissues of the horse hoof.
While thrush affects the lateral and medial sulci and/or the base and sulcus of the frog only, the infection that causes canker may spread even to the heel, bars, and hoof wall.
Prevention, in most cases, is the best cure when it comes to proper horse management and keeping the equine free from health issues like thrush.
As a responsible horse owner, you need to make sure to check your horse’s hooves thoroughly and daily. If there any abnormal changes, let a vet examine it closely for better diagnosis. Have the horse’s frogs trimmed properly to ensure that there won’t be any overlapping growths where thrush-causing bacteria may hide.
Proper horse hygiene management is also something that horse keepers need to take seriously as well. Diluted iodine and bleach can also be used to effectively treat bacterial infestation in the animal’s hooves, so it should be used as cleaning agents as well.
Part of proper horse care is ensuring that the animal’s environment is kept clean. Cleanliness of all living areas should be maintained, including the drainage near the horse’s stable. Keep the horse away from the breeding grounds of thrush-causing bacteria.
Any horse is susceptible to thrush. Thus, understanding the basics about this condition, including the best thrush treatment for your horse, is essential to keeping your horse safe and free from diseases like thrush.