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Preventing Thrush in Horses

horse hooves
What Is a Farrier?

Farriers are skilled craftspeople who practice the profession of caring for the hooves of equines, including horses and donkeys. While the word “farrier” comes from the Latin “ferrarius” (meaning “of iron,” or “blacksmith”), there is a difference between a farrier and blacksmith. A farrier does receive training in blacksmithing in order to fabricate a horseshoe, but a blacksmith who works with iron might not ever work with horses.

Farriers possess full knowledge of the physiology and anatomy of a horse’s lower limb and are also trained in the creating and proper fitting of shoes. They also keep horses’ hooves trimmed to maintain the proper shape and length that are essential for maintaining balance. They use nippers to cut away sections of dead frog and sole and clean the feet to ensure a hygienic, thrush-free environment.

Thrush is a bacterial infection, and one of the most common diseases, affecting horses’ hooves. You will likely know it when you see — and smell — it. The pungent, tar-like black discharge collects in the sulci, or grooves, along the sides of the frog, the triangular structure that covers about 25 percent of the hoof’s bottom.

If thrush is left untreated and progresses into the sensitive tissues, the infection can move into the deeper grooves, causing the frog to deteriorate and resulting in great pain for the horse. In severe cases, lameness is possible if the thrush penetrates the sole and starts to erode vital structures in the foot. Sometimes, portions of the diseased frog will need to be removed by an equine veterinarian or farrier.

Prevention Tips

If thrush is diagnosed early, it is easy to treat and will heal properly.  In addition, there are precautions you can take to help prevent the condition, given that it is most commonly associated with poor living conditions. For instance, horses that often stand on damp and dirty surfaces are more prone to developing thrush, because the bacteria that cause the condition thrive in this type of environment.

To help prevent thrush:

If you have any questions about how to prevent thrush or if your horse is exhibiting thrush symptoms, contact our office for help. 

Testimonials

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N. Mesa El Paso, TX 79912

Day Open Close
Monday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am 2:00 pm
Sunday Closed Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Open Close
Tuesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Wednesday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 9807 Dyer
Thursday 9am- 4pm 5500 N Desert Blvd
Friday 8am- 4pm Pets Barn 11100 Sean Haggerty
Saturday 9:30am- 4pm Pets Barn 1790 Zaragoza
Sunday Closed Closed

Mesa Veterinary Clinic

5355 N Mesa El Paso TX, 79912

Day Open Close
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 8:00 am 10:00 am Closed
6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm 2:00 pm Closed

Paws N' Hooves Mobile Veterinary Services

Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Hours 8am- 4pm 8am- 4pm 9am- 4pm 8am- 4pm 9:30am- 4pm
Location

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

9807 Dyer

Pets Barn

5500 N Desert Blvd.

Pets Barn

11100 Sean Haggerty

Pets Barn 

1790 Zaragoza

***Last sign-in for the mobile clinic will be taken at 2:30 pm everyday***