Horse thrush is one of those horse conditions that probably everyone at one point has had to deal with. As a kid, I learned to treat thrush with bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
But today we know that these abrasive chemicals are not so good for the foot or the horse's body; and that there are natural products including the essential oils that we can use to treat thrush.
What is Thrush?
Thrush is a bacterial infection of the hoof that can be painful and sore if left untreated. It affects the cleft of the frog and can be detected easily by the foul smell once you clean the debris from the hoof. You may also see putty like material or discharge around the area of the frog.
Is Thrush Preventable?
Absolutely! My horse rarely has thrush and Florida is a breeding ground for this sort of infection. Bacterial infections thrive in hot and moist environments. So, keeping your horse's feet cleaned out and on a regular farrier program will help prevent thrush from popping up!
If your horse is prone to thrush, then using essential oils daily along with the tips provided above will help prevent thrush from coming back. Untreated horse thrush can actually create soreness and lameness issues so definitely stay on top of it!
What Essential Oils are used for Thrush?
We want to use antibacterial and anti-fungal oils. Oils containing phenols are highly anti-bacterial. These essential oils are best for horse thrush:
How do I apply the Oils to the Hoof?
First, make sure the hoof is very clean, including the frog, heel and sole of the foot. Especially pay attention to the cleft and lateral sulcus (depression between the sole and frog) of the frog.
For a severe case of thrush, I would apply several drops of oil directly on the areas of concern. Also soak a cotton ball in the oils or place several drops on the cotton ball and place in the cleft of the frog using a hoof pick.
Pack the cotton in there and it will continue to work for at least 24 hours. Do this at least once per day until you see the condition improving. This way you don't have to wrap the foot because that usually doesn't work anyway!
The Thieves product conveniently comes in a spray, household cleaner and hand soap. And I have used the cleaner and hand soap to wash the hoof in the cases of horse thrush and horse abscess prior to applying the oils.
Sometimes just one application of the thieves will help significantly! Then just pack the hooves with the cotton; and apply everyday until you see improvement.
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