Help prevent your horse from getting thrush
- As you know from a fabulously written article about thrush, find it here, it’s a bacterial infection of the hoof. And thrush stinks.
What can you do to prevent thrush?
- It’s not just about dirty bedding, it’s also about how much your horse moves around.
- Pick your horse’s feet. Several times a day. Definitely after a ride and really definitely after turnout. Use the dang brush attachment also.
- Keep his bedding clean. This may involve picking his stall and paddock several times a day. Bonus- you will help keep the flies at bay.
- Keep the mud away as best you can. Use mats if he eats outside and near the water trough, and put mats in any area that he chills out in. It’s easy to create little trenches to divert water if the rains get really bad.
- Keep your horse moving! Daily exercise is key. Turn out doesn’t count as “exercise”, although he will be moving around. Get the blood pumping!
- Keep your farrier on a schedule. Somewhere around 5-6 weeks works for many horses.
Keep your vet in the loop, and in partnership with your farrier when dealing with thrush and other hoof situations.
- Any case of thrush that doesn’t clear up within a few days of diligent cleaning and purple/green/clear treatment of choice needs further involvement from the vet.
- It might not be thrush! Remember that your farrier is a hoof care expert, but can not diagnose or prescribe, which is why it’s critical that you and the farrier and the vet all get along and communicate.
- Make sure your grooming area or cross tie area is well lit. You can smell thrush, and you can also see it. Good lighting makes it possible to double-check your cleaning and medication application. And if the lighting stinks, remember your handy cell phone flashlight.
- Evaluate your horse’s diet. There is some evidence that high-carb diets can influence the prevalence of thrush in a horse. High carb diets also contribute to obesity in horses and metabolic disorders.
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