Thrush, a bacterial infection of the frog area of the hoof, produces an unpleasant-smelling black discharge. It may lead to pain, lower-leg swelling and lameness in affected horses.
Regular turnout is key in preventing thrush, as each step a horse takes expands and contracts his hooves, pushing out dirt and debris. Standing for extended periods in manure-laden footing also increases a horse’s likelihood of developing the condition.
How to Ride a Horse with Thrush
Thrush is an infectious condition that can affect a horse’s hoof. It’s caused by bacteria spherophorus naophorus and easily identifiable by its foul odor and black discharge from both central and collateral frog grooves.
Thrush is usually treatable and preventable. Proper stall management and regular foot inspection are the two key ingredients in avoiding this condition.
Once your horse has developed thrush, it is critical to get the infection under control. This involves treating both the frog and its surrounding tissues with antibiotics and fungus to eliminate bacteria and yeast.
Treatment should be repeated until the infection is controlled and the frog heals completely – this may take some time if its health has been severely compromised.
Thrush is caused by a fungus known as candida (CAN-did-ah). Normally harmless, candida lives in your mouth and throat but, when conditions are right, can spread out of control and lead to an infection.
Your oral cavity can be affected in many ways – on your tongue, gums, roof of mouth or inside cheeks; it could even spread to your esophagus.
People with compromised immune systems, such as those suffering from cancer or HIV/AIDS, are more prone to oral thrush. Additionally, older adults who wear dentures or other health issues that disrupt the balance of microbes in their bodies can also develop this infection.
Treatment for thrush usually consists of topical medications applied directly onto the affected area. These can be obtained at a pharmacy or from your doctor, depending on what’s causing it.
Thrush is caused by moisture and bacteria interacting on a horse’s frog, or small portion of its hoof. It usually begins as an external infection but can progress deeper into deeper tissues, leading to lameness if left untreated.
Thankfully, there are a variety of products on the market to combat thrush. These include powder that can be sprayed into cracks, solutions you soak your horse’s foot in, and diluted bleach and water mixtures.
You may want to apply a topical treatment that contains both an antiseptic and fungicide. Doing so will help keep the thrush from spreading further into other parts of your horse’s hoof.
Maintaining your horse’s stall clean and dry can help prevent thrush from forming in the first place. This is especially vital for horses confined to damp or dirty conditions or those who spend their day on urine-soaked bedding.
Thrush is usually treatable with antifungal medicines in healthy individuals; however, those with compromised immune systems such as those suffering from HIV infection, cancer or organ transplantation may have more difficulty getting rid of the infection.
In such cases, your doctor may suggest taking a combination of medications that work throughout your body to stop yeast from spreading. These can come as tablets or lozenges you take by mouth and swallow.
Treatment may also involve a special diet that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and restores the balance of acid in your stomach. Additionally, taking supplements or eating foods high in vitamin C and zinc may be beneficial.
Maintaining good oral hygiene can help to prevent some cases of thrush. If you wear dentures, be sure to take them out before going to bed and clean them thoroughly afterwards.
Chris is a passionate learner and writer. When he’s not working on his blog or learning something new, he’s a full-time systems administrator and father of two beautiful girls. Chris loves spending time with his family, reading, writing, and playing hockey.