Thrush is a very common bacterial infection that affects the hoofs of horses. The problem is that no matter how well you care for your horse, it may still get thrush. However, there are precautions and treatments that you can apply. Getting the best thrush treatment for horses can help you prevent a lot of problems down the road.
Thrush is caused by bacteria, and inactivity and wet stable floors often predispose a horse to the condition. However, most horses are kept in stalls and are inactive during most days. This is what makes the condition particularly popular. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at thrush in horses’ hoofs. We’ll consider what can predispose a horse to the condition and how you can prevent it. We’ll also examine nine effective products for treating thrush.
- Guide for Treating Thrush in Horses
- Nine of the Best Thrush Treatment for Horses
- Our Recommendation on Treating Thrush in Horses
Guide for Treating Thrush in Horses
There are certainly products designed specifically for the best thrush treatment for horses. But, before we review them, it’s important to understand thrush itself. Specifically, we’ll look at thrush under the following headings:
- How to recognize thrush in your horse
- How to prevent it from developing
- What to look for in thrush treatments
How to Recognize Thrush in Your Horse
Thrush is an infection of a horse’s hoof, most especially the frog. It occurs when bacteria is allowed to accumulate and fester in the hoof area. Unfortunately, the bacteria that is responsible for the condition (Fusobacterium necrophorum) is naturally occurring in the horse’s natural environment. This means that if you own a stable full of horses, they are all at risk of developing thrush.
The first and most obvious sign of thrush is an odor you perceive when you clean out the hoof and feet. The odor is usually caused by the active bacterial infection in the area. Other signs include blackening of the infected areas around the hoof. You can also differentiate healthy tissue from thrush infested ones when you clean out the horse’s feet.
How to Prevent Thrush from Developing in Your Horse
Thrush is caused by bacteria, and so conditions that allow the organisms to fester will put your horse at risk of developing it. So, wet and soggy stable floors are the biggest risks to your horse. It’s best to keep the animals in an environment with dry floors.
Also, instead of hay, use saw dust or wood shavings on the stable floors. These materials are less prone to retaining moisture, and can help to keep the bacteria at bay. Horses that have developed, or are at risk of developing thrush should be kept in environments as described above.
Inactivity is also a major risk factor for horses to develop thrush. Normally, horses’ feet have a natural cleaning mechanism. When they gallop and run, the muscles and soft tissue push debris and dirt out of the hoof, cleaning it. However, in inactive horses, the lack of activity helps the dirt and bacteria laden debris to accumulate. This can then lead to thrush.
In preventing thrush, you should also clean your horse’s at least twice a day. Pay special attention to the two collateral grooves and the central sulcus. These are where dirt and debris tend to accumulate.
What Products Are Available for Treating Thrush in Horses?
Besides cleaning and physical activity, there are several commercial products that have been approved for the treatment of thrush in horses. There are also several home remedies. In the next segment, we’re going to review nine products that can accelerate your horse’s recovery when it comes to treating thrush.
One home remedy that’s recommended involves packing the hoof with a combination of sugar, powdered aspirin, borax, and betadine. However, before proceeding with this treatment, it’s best to consult your veterinarian.
Nine of the Best Thrush Treatment for Horses
Yubin Horse Leg Boot Soaker Bag
We already discussed how one of the best home remedies for treating thrush is to pack the hoof with a combination of sugar and other compounds. The Yubin Horse soaker bag is designed to accompany treatments like these.
It will keep the solution in place, giving it maximum impact on the thrush. The bag can contain hoofs of up to 8 inches in diameter. It’s basically big enough to contain the hoofs of both horses and donkeys. It also comes with three different fastening belts. One at the top, one at the middle, and the last one close to the base of the hoof. These fastening mechanisms keep the bag firmly in place.
Each product packing comes with two bags and one EVA pad. The bags are made of heavy-duty PVC coated fabric. They are lightweight, easy to rinse, and of course, reusable. When using the Yubin Horse Leg Boot Soaker Bag, you have to remember that even though they are heavy duty, they aren’t strong enough for your horse to walk around in.
Less Side Horse Hoof Soaking Bag
Here’s another hoof soaking bag. It’s similar to the first product on the list, and it’s used to soak the horse’s hoof with thrush treating solution. Less Side Hoof soaking bag is also made from heavy duty poly vinyl coated cloth. It comes with three straps. The straps are also attached at crucial pointy on the horse’s leg for maximum contact.
The product is a one size fits all, being 8 inches in diameter and 24 inches in length. It can basically fit any size of hoof you use it on. The Less Side Horse Hoof Soaking Bag has a couple of advantages over The Yubin. One of the most significant of these is that it is more affordable. Since they both do virtually the same ting, Less Side seems to be the better option.
Besides being more affordable, the bag also comes with a plastic loop that lets you hang the bag upside down for drying. It may not seem like a special feature, but it’s the little things that really matter.
Mustards Thrush Buster and Fiebings Hoof
This product is two different products rolled into one. The package comes with a 32Oz hood dressing solution and brush. It also comes with a 2Oz thrush buster solution. The most spectacular thing about this product is that it is very effective. Users have reported remarkable improvements in their horse’s hoof health within two applications.
The Mustards thrush treatment solution can be used as both a thrush treatment and prevention. You can combine the solution with the precautions we discussed earlier for the best results. Before using the thrush treatment solution, you should clean the hoof properly. Removing debris and dead tissue will greatly improve the solution’s efficacy.
Capewell Thrush Buster
This is a very effective thrush busting solution manufactured by Capewell. However, before we go any further, you should know that it is one of the most expensive product on this list. It is about 50% more expensive than Mustards’ thrush solution. The product works the same way as other thrush busting solutions. It attacks the bacteria in the sulci of the horse’s hoof and eliminates them.
The reason for its high price is still a bit of a mystery. While it’s quite effective in treating thrush, there isn’t much evidence to show that it’s much better than the affordable products on this list. Additionally, it’s just 2Oz in volume, which means that it won’t last any longer than the other solutions will.
Thrush B Gone
Thrush B Gone is a simple product with a simple name. It’s designed to do exactly what its name says: chase thrush away. The product comes in a small can of 10Oz. It only requires one application, and has been shown to work wonders. Besides being antibacterial, Thrush B Gone also has antifungal properties. The solution is odorless and doesn’t leave a stain.
The product packaging comes with a nozzle cap that allows you to spray the solution on your horse’s hoof. Thrush B Gone is meant to be applied generously on the hoof for maximum effects. It acts upon contact and besides thrush, it also treats while line disease. The solution can also work as a preventive measure against thrush.
No Thrush Dry Thrush Treatment
Here’s another product with an equally straightforward name. The No Thrush treatment solution works in the same way as the remaining products on this list. It comes in a slender and easy to grip bottle. Compared to the rest of the product so this list, No Thrush is quite pricey. However, user reviews show that it is very effective in treating thrush in horses and donkeys alike.
As you know, no thrush solution is effective if it’s not applied directly onto the affected area. This means that you’ll have to clear your horse’s hoof of debris and maybe even dead tissue before applying the No Thrush solution. But, once you do, it will clear up the infection in no time.
Therazure Hoof Thrush Treatment Clay
This product by Therazure is quite different from the other thrush treatments we’ve reviewed. It is a semisolid clay that’s applied directly on the affected area. If properly used, it can get rid of thrush and fungi infections in the hoof in a matter of days. Its clay composition has an advantage over the other liquid products. Because it’s made of clay, it can stay on the hoof for longer and even penetrate tiny holes and nooks in the hoof.
For best results, the manufacturers recommend daily application for treatment of the condition. The application should continue until the whole infection is resolved. Thereafter, a weekly application is required to protect the hoof and keep it healthy.
Absorbine Hooflex Hoof Care
Absorbine is another clay-based thrush treatment and prevention solution. To apply, you need to first clear out the horse’s hoof. You’ll be glad to know that the solution doesn’t just treat and reduce thrush in horses. It also reduces the pain felt during the infection. This pain-relieving effect is very important, especially in thrush cases where the infection has advanced deep into the horse’s tissues.
The manufacturers of Absorbine designed the product to also reduce unwanted heat around the hoof. Considering that the heat can enhance the development and growth of the bacteria, this is a huge plus. The product comes in a two or four pound plastic container, depending on which size you order.
Four-oaks Farm Ventures No Thrush Dry Formula
The Four-Oaks Farm Ventures No Thrush Formula is just as effective as any other product on this list. Except for the soak boots, of course. All you need is to apply the product directly onto the affected area, and it does the rest. As a precaution, be careful not to leave the bottle on the floor where your horse can kick or spill it. If you do, you may have to buy a whole other bottle, especially if you’re treating more than one hoof.
The product comes in a 2.5Oz bottle. It’s application is quite straightforward, and all you need to do is squirt it onto the affected area. You’ll be glad to know that Four-Oaks doesn’t just cure thrush. It can also strengthen your horse’s hooves, making them harder and more resistant than before. Additionally, it can also be used as a preventive measure for thrush.
Our Recommendation on Treating Thrush in Horses
When it comes to thrush, and most other diseases, prevention is always better than cure. We already discussed how inactivity and moist stable floors are the chief culprits for thrush. It’s thus best to reduce your horse’s exposure to these conditions as much as you can.
Additionally, you can also use any of the products recommended above to prevent the condition. A clay solution like Absorbine, when applied weekly will help to keep the infection at bay. This is especially important if you can’t execute any of the other precautionary measures.
If your horse does develop thrush, there are several products that can help you resolve it. You can use soaking bags like Yubin to keep the leg in contact with the treatment solution. You can also apply liquid solutions like Thrush B Gone, or Clay ones like Absorbine. The bottom line is that any one of these products will prove to be the best thrush treatment for horses you’ve ever encountered. You just need to apply them properly.