Anyone want to commiserate on treating thrush? - Discussions - HorseGirl with Angelea Kelly - Spalding Labs

Anyone want to commiserate on treating thrush?


Anyone want to commiserate on treating thrush?

  • I battled thrush all winter- and won using "Pete's Goo," ( occasionally altering that with No Thrush dry treatment ( I've been really pleased with the Pete's Goo.

    All spring, which was fairly cool and dry, the thrush stayed away, which was great. However, we just had one solid week of intense rain, which turned our primary turnout field really muddy all over again. Despite cleaning Isabel's feet out every day, the thrush is back, and worse than I've seen in the past- I even see it in the white line at this point. It's just really depressing. Now, I'm back to scrubbing with Dawn dish detergent, and treating with the Pete's Goo. One central sulcus is so deep and "cottage cheesey," I may need to actually pack with some soaked cotton balls.

    Uggh...anyone else dealing with this right now?

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  • Sure am! I live in the Southeast so the humidity down here is enough to create a huge thrush problem year round! To add to that, my mare is on night turnout in the summer (she's a Friesian and has trouble with the sun and heat), so the morning dew adds to the moisture.

    I use a mixture of organic apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil (one pint/10 drops respectively) to treat her feet. It works beautifully and it's been a lot cheaper than buying OTC treatments! It's even taken care of some fungus related midline cracks on her front feet.

    The only problem I still have with her is the gnats! They're eating up every horse on the farm, I haven't tried Fly Predators yet, anyone know if they help with gnats too?

  • I have been battling thrush in Bubba's feet for a while. When I made the decision to start trimming them myself they were a mess! His frogs were literally falling apart in front of my eyes. This was the condition of his feet when I started:

    Left Front:

    Right Front:

    Left Hind:

    Right Hind:

    I wish I had current photos of his feet for comparison, they don't even look like they are from the same feet!

    Here are my $0.02. First I am going to assume that your horse is barefoot if you are able to see her white line. How do her heels look? If the heels are to high the frog cannot function properly as well as if the heels are contracted. See how contracted Bubba's heels were in these photos. Between his heels being way too high and his heels being contracted his frog cannot function and cannot even touch the ground on most surfaces! When this happens the frog does not get the necessary wear and therefore thrush is able to set up shop. If the hoof is trimmed in a balanced way then the frog is able to function and thrush doesn't stand a chance! When the heels are contracted the lateral cartilages are pinched together and the digital cushion atrophies. The central sulcus should look like a thumbprint not a deep crevice.

    I have found that by fixing the root of the problem (contracted & high heels) that the symptoms take care of themselves!


    Herman's Soldier 2007 Thoroughbred

    Night Before 1996 Thoroughbred

  • I know this is quite an old thread but saw it today and wanted to throw in my 2 cents. Our farm is in the humid coastal region of North Carolina and thrush is a big challenge. I've had the best success with Thrushbuster ( and Absorbine's Thrush Remedy ( Cheers! :-)

    angelea kelly / new media production since 1996 /

  • Great post, Angela. I've taken my horses shoeless and, though I pay someone to do the (wild horse) trim, I now have healthy feet all around! I'd done a lot of reading and discovered that horses feet and hooves are much, much healthier - better circulation, stronger, and thicker - without shoes. If anyone is thinking about taking their horses shoeless, do it in the spring so that, by winter, they've gotten through several months of transition. Do your research too. And don't worry if your horses' feet get tender. As long as you don't trim too much too fast, (and your horse doesn't have an injury) some temporary soreness during the transition is normal.  It makes sense: horses didn't evolve to wear metal!  And shoes keep that frog from any, healthy, contact with the ground, reducing circulation and good foot/hoof health in general.

  • Thanks Alice! Happy to hear you've had great success with pulling the shoes. That's the perfect solution for some horses!

    angelea kelly / new media production since 1996 /