It can be caused by :
A stabled horse, a muddy paddock, a damp environment. Being in contact with his urine or faeces can increase development of bacteria or fungus.
The frog can be seen with lesions (holes, cracks), or even crevices. The frog can stink. Other more dangerous symptoms, a swollen leg that can lead to lameness. As soon as symptoms appear, it is important to act immediately as it can quickly grow. It can lead to antibiotic treatment to take care of the fungus or bacteria.
When a start of thrush is suspected:
Seek your farrier for advice (first person capable of diagnosing your horse's hooves).
If your farrier gives a negative diagnosis (frog with infected lesions), it is necessary to call your veterinary for advice.
If your farrier gives a mixed diagnosis, you can treat directly the frog.
Negative (infected hoof)
Mixed (hoof not infected yet)
SOS sabots treatment :
Advice and products to use:
In my case, my horse's frog was deeply damaged, up to heel bulbs , slight thrush smell (picture number 1), but no swelling or lameness.
To start the treatment, the hoof has to be clean (picked and washed), then start with a hoof bath with oxygenated water for 15 to 20 minutes per hoof (beware as 4 feet can be affected).
You can also do a hoof bath with sodium bicarbonate (reduces frog pH). Then leave it to dry, or wipe it. Once the foot is dry, you can use KERATEX FOURCHET’NET (200ml). It is a very concentrated product, no need to apply too much. For the product to act longer, apply cotton in the treated hoof's collateral grooves, inserted it with a small screw or nail to push it in corners(picture number 2). To finish, I used thyme honey to help the frog's healing process.
After this, it is necessary to keep a good hygiene in your horse's stable or field.
This treatment should be repeated every day for 10 to 15 days but if no improvement is visible after 15 days, seek your veterinary directly , as it would mean the hoof is infected, and a simple external treatment is not sufficient.
If improvement is due to treatment, it is recommended to continue with it after the first 15 days, but reducing doses (one day out of two,...etc) until the farrier's next visit, who will be able to tell if the treatment can be fully stopped. If you stop treatment too suddenly, bacteria or fungus could reappear. It is important to be strict in applying the treatment for it to work.
Products that do not work:
I have used several other products that did not improve this kind of problem:
- Avoid bleach bath at all costs (irritates the foot)
-Greasing frogs does not work (Kevin bacon, cade oil, Stockholm tar, etc..).
- Cider vinegar and essential oils work but for a lightly affected foot only and the treatment is much longer to obtain healing.
Other more natural treatments exist, but in case of heavy infection I have observed that they do not work.
For 2 weeks :
- Oxygenated water, 300 ml (pharmacy) or bicarbonate of soda (supermarket)
- KERATEX FOURCHET’NET, 50/200ml (SOS Sabots)
- Thyme honey 500g (supermarket)
Photo 1 : right front affected till heel bulbs (without treatment).
Photo 2 : right front hoof after KERATEX FOURCHET’NET with cotton wool.
Photo 3 : right front hoof after 10 days of treatment.
Photo 4 : right front hoof after 4 weeks of treatment and after farrier.