Five proven ways to eliminate thrush

Get back to sound, pain free hooves ASAP

During the wet season, I see so many horses that have issues from standing in lots of mud and “mud”. These poor horses can end up with some pretty nasty cases of thrush. Ouch + ew!
Where I’m at we’re super spoiled to have rolling hills and ample space for the horses to roam so mud is short-lived and hooves stay pretty dry and hard (I totally get it if you want to hate us a little bit). Unfortunately, many of the barns I go to aren’t that lucky so I’ve learned a few tricks over the years for conquering thrush quickly.
If you’re stuck with conditions that are creating the perfect storm for thrush you don’t have to feel helpless, put these tips to use and get back to sound healthy hooves.

Five proven practices

1. Clean and disinfect everything!

Deep cleaning brushes, hoof picks, and of course hooves is essential in stopping the spread of thrush. Odoban is a reasonable concentrated disinfectant (it was originally designed for use in hospitals) that works great for cleaning brushes, tools, and bins.  

Stall liners work well to give horses a clean dry spot to get out of the mud in their run-in shelters.

2. Manage conditions as much as possible

Moisture and mud go hand in hand with thrush and while you may not be able to move your horse to a mud-free space you can still make a difference in by improving at least some of the conditions. Strip your stalls and shelters bare then follow up with a disinfectant to help eliminate the source of the problem. If there aren’t rubber mats/liners in your stalls/shelters adding a few bags of barn lime before putting in new shavings can help a great deal with drying the ground out. Having a truly clean dry space will make a tremendous difference in drying out your horse’s feet. Thrush doesn’t like to live in clean dry hooves. I’ve found that even if you board your horse many barn owners will allow you to tackle spaces as long as you cover the cost.

3. Deep clean your horse's hooves

Before treatment, you will need to get your horses hooves really, really clean. I prefer to pick hooves first, then spray them out with water and dry them well before treating treatment.

4. CONSISTENT treatment!

There are lots of great products out there to help clear up thrush but they are only effective if they are applied consistently. I’ve found Durasole gives the most bang for your buck against stubborn thrush. For minor issues and prevention, I prefer spraying on a mixture of 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 30 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil.

5. Strengthen their natural defenses

Adding more zinc to your horse’s diet can help to strengthen their defenses against thrush, boost the immune system, and help hoof quality overall. Many complete feeds and ration balancers are pretty low on it and it’s very reasonable supplement to add. Pick some up here. 

Insightfully,

Becky

Insightful Equine is sharing our best tips for eliminating thrush so your horse can get back to riding with sound healthy hooves.

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