Studies claim over 90% of domestic horses have an active infection in the pads of their feet, also called a frog pad. That may seem high but at least 90% of new horses we meet, present a frog pad health crisis in the form of thrush – some mild and more topical and some deep burrowing and severe.
Some people think it's normal for the horses foot to smell bad, and others have never been told how bad a problem thrush can be. Many a lameness begins with some form of thrush.
Some believe it is a ‘wetness‘ disease and that there is no thrush in the desert climate. I can assure you that there IS...it just presents itself a little differently.
When doing your daily cleaning and inspecting your horse’s feet...YES that should be a near daily chore especially for horses confined in small soiled pastures, pens or stalls, or simply standing around round bales etc. Look for some warning signs of an underachieving foot that would be susceptible to thrush. For example: a chalky flaky sole, tattered frog, deep crevices that trap manure and bedding, FLAT look to the bottom, skinny pointy frog and lacklustre bulbs.
Healthy frogs are large and robust, thick yet dense, wide and covering 2/3rds of the foot. Healthy frog pads reflect an environment that is balanced.
What does your horse’s frog look like, feel like, smell like? Is it ‘squishy’? Is it peeling off? Can you get your hoof pick underneath any flaps? What color is the frog? Does it stink? Or is it elastic and smooth? When you press a hoof pick into the centre of the frog, are you afraid it will go right through, or is there already a ‘hole’ there? When you clean the collateral grooves, does your horse flinch at all? Is there ANY bad smell?
Recognize thrush is a symptom!
It is not something that a horse can ‘catch’ or come up with in one day. If your horse presents thrush...there is a clue to an underlying unbalance in either diet, lifestyle or trim protocols.
Other factors include:
Trim, Pick & Scrub, Spray!
Daily cleaning means using a hoof pick to get at all the crevices. But even better is to follow up with a sturdy metal brush to really get everything clean. Finish it off with a hit of Magik Spray and your done! Regular use of Magik Spray is proven to heal and head off thrush!
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