I am trying my best to take good care
of my two New Forest ponies. They both have good feet and are barefoot. They live
in a pasture with a run-in shelter, which is dry but it is not as dry as a stable.
The footing is nice now but we recently had a few weeks of appalling muddiness.
I clean their feet every day and I noticed in the last few days that their feet
are getting smelly, and I am a bit panicky.
think this is a thrush infection but there is no black goo at all, only a faint
dark shadow where the sole meets the frog, at the bottom of the sulcus. The stink
is not very strong, but if I get close I can sure tell it.
farrier was here a few days ago and he didn't remark on anything unusual, but
the smell haunts me!!! Since noticing it I began scrubbing their feet with water
and soap, and spraying a common disinfectant on them, even squirting some in the
cleft of the frog with a blunt syringe. The horses do not react to this at all
or to the cleaning of their feet. Tomorrow I'm picking up many bottles of hydrogen
Is this what I fear or am I over
I'm turning your question over to my husband
and farrier, Richard Klimesh.
Your ponies likely have "normal" thrush, which is nothing to panic over.
The microorganisms that cause thrush are present nearly everywhere in the soil.
They proliferate in dark, moist conditions like the mud-packed hooves your horses
had lately. Since you don't see black smelly gook on your hoof pick when you clean
their feet, there's really no reason to apply any treatment. Just cleaning the
feet as you have been doing and keeping the feet at dry as possible should prevent
thrush from causing problems.
of using hydrogen peroxide, bleach, or other harsh chemicals on your ponies feet
because they can damage healthy frog tissue and set the stage for more serious
infections. The best thrush treatment I've found is sugardine,
which is a simple mixture of Betadine and table sugar.
advanced cases of thrush I've developed the CVP
You can read more about these treatments
Good Luck !