Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thrush and an Update

So the other day I picked out Milo's feet rather quickly, then had a double take to his underside of his hoof - was that thrush?

Now for those of you who dont know, thrush is a bacteria or fungus (exact is unknown) that is common during wet periods. It can effect the clefts, sole, and frog. Its most commonly discovered because of a black, moist, stinky substance detected when you clean out the hooves. If any grooved or crevaced area occurs especially in the center of the frog from the heel bulbs, thats a sure visual sign of thrush as well.

Now I didnt smell anything foul this evening. I mostly noticed that the cleft areas along the outer of the frog where especially deep appearing, and he also seemed to have a crevace forming down the center of his frog. The entire frog looked rather dark as well, but Im not sure I would venture enough to say black and almost slimy. But I wouldnt be surprised if he had a mild case of thrush forming - heck, when it rains here (all the time) the mud is a terrible bacteria infested wet swamp all around his stall and gate area (this is where Milo spends the majority of his time). I took a few photos of the hooves, but since they were from my camera phone, they really dont give much information as the flash blinded out most of the detail. Thinking back to his hooves now I dont think it would hurt at all to start even a mild thrush treatment.

How does one treat thrush? Firstly, one must clean the entire hoof with mild soap and warm water. Then pat completly dry (let horse stand for a few minutes as necessary to ensure that entire hoof is no longer moist). I have read that iodine directly applied to the affected areas daily is one way to treat thrush. However, I have also heard that iodine can be quite drying. I have also read to make a "Sugardine" paste, wherby you mix Betadine and White Table Sugar into a thin paste, then apply directly into the crevace areas.  Whether or not to boot or wrap the area is up to you. While a boot might help the area stay dry and clean, for Milo, it has been known to cause rubs and sore spots on his pasterns and fetlock. So for him, I think I may just have to stick with application, then directly to pasture (with time given of course after application so "soak in").

While it may be overkill as he may not have thrush, a fifteen minute prevention cleaning shouldnt hurt anything. Unfortnutely, I dont have sugar at the barn, so application of only Betadine will have to do tonight (as I attempt to take better photos as well).

On a final note, I was super proud of Milo last night. He was standing quietly in the cross ties after our ride, I was putzing around in my tack box when suddenly the largest horse in the facility, Scout (who was being worked on leading in the back of the aisleway directly behind Milo and I), in his massive stature, knocked into the pitchforks hanging on the wall sending one crashing to the ground in a loud clatter. Scout spooked sideways runnig into the stall front, then directly out the back barn door. All the commotion jolted Milo straight forward running into the end of the cross ties. I said Woah steadily and reached to the quick release snaps on the wall, but it wasnt necessary. When Milo felt the end of the cross ties, I thought it would send him into a panic, but all he did was to stop  running into it, then come back to a standstill and whip his head around to look behind him. Scout had been calmed down and I patted Milo's shoulder as he blew out a sign of relief (as did I) and we watched Scout's owner return the pitchfork to the wall. I finished up with Milo and tossed his blanket on, and he was back down to his calm self, even leading out the back door with no spook or look. Good Milo, makes a Mom proud.

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