General term for an unspecified bacterial/fungal infection around the frog or in the hoof wall (becoming WLD), which typically smells foul, breaks down the tissue into a soft crumbly mess. There is much discussion about this condition as it is a widespread problem. Bacteria and Fungi exist in the horses environment already. Another factor is the strength of the horse’s immune system and the horses diet.
The trick is to keep the ground as clean as possible, draining well, and keep hooves clean. Either pea gravel or bark (shredded tree trimmings) will help keep the ground well drained and keep the hoof cleaned out as well. Taking the time to install proper material will dramatically change the condition of the hooves… No shavings or soft bedding it only holds moisture next to the hoof. If you want to provide an area the horse can roll or lie down on, then do use sand in a small area for the purpose.
Pick out the hoof around the frog, all debris in cracks and crevices at the wall. Wire brush the entire soul/frog/wall, scrubbing with dish soap. rinse hooves well. Towel or air dry. Scrub rubbing alcohol or Witch-hazel into all cracks and deep crevices.
I keep an arsenal of "remedies" handy so that I can alternate between at least 3 different ones on a 5 day rotation. Microbes are smart and they learn how to survive so I like to keep them guessing.
Great remedies to keep on hand:
- Thrush Ninja
- No Thrush Powder
- Thrush Off
- Oxine AH, White Lightening, Clean Trax
- Zephyr's Garden Thrush Spray
- Tea Tree Oil
Apply remedy to all crevices. If there is a deep groove in the center of the frog, soak cotton ball in any of liquid remedies and stuff into crevice. Change cotton ball every day if possible.
Remember to always clean your hoof pick before/after each use. Use rubbing alcohol or Witch-hazel. This will keep you from spreading it from horse to horse or hoof to hoof.
*If this is a recurring problem for your horse, then we need to go back to the drawing board and fine tune the diet.