Life Data Labs, Inc.


Equine Thrush Causes and Prevention



Causes of Thrush

High humidity or wet environments predispose horses to thrush. Once the organisms begin dividing in the frog sulci, the stage is set for a progressive invasion and subsequent infection of the frog tissue.

The Importance of Oxygen for Thrush

Blocking oxygen flow to the tissue of the frog and surrounding areas creates an environment for thrush to develop. Oxygen can be blocked to the hoof tissue from packed debris or the application of grease and oils to the hoof.

Strong astringents such as formaldehyde, copper sulfate, and chlorine are caustic to live tissue. These chemicals denature the proteins in the external layer of the hoof and thereby reduce the ability of oxygen to penetrate.

Symptoms of Thrush

The discharge associated with thrush is usually black in color and characteristically has a highly unpleasant odor. Infection of the frog and surrounding tissues often leads to lameness.

Prevention of Thrush

Effective thrush prevention involves a combination of:

  • Maintain a clean, dry (but not too dry) environment
  • Clean the hooves on a routine basis
  • Adequate excercise
  • Proper nutrition and supplementation can create denser and healthier frog and sole tissue that is more resistant to infection
  • Regularly apply a non-caustic hoof topical or clay to maintain a healthy hoof

Thrush hoof treatments

Treatment of Thrush

If the horse develops thrush, provide the horse with a clean and dry environment to stand. Clean the bottom of the hoof and frog area by removing any debris and wash the area thoroughly. Do not utilize a thrush remedy that contains caustic chemicals such as turpentine, formaldehyde, copper sulfate, or chlorine. Hoof disinfectants containing iodine are ideal. "Sugardine" treatments utilizing sugar-betadine solutions packed into the frog sulci have been found to be effective in many cases. Surgical debridement of affected tissue is sometimes necessary.



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12290 Hwy 72
Cherokee, Alabama
Product of the USA

+1 800 624 1873
+1 256 370 7555
Fax: +1 256 370 7509
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.