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FACT: Thrush treatment is not COMPLETE until the Heel Crack is closed and healed.
NO THRUSH ® treats thrush, absorbs moisture, and promotes rapid regrowth.
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Heel cracks are the quickest and most reliable way to determine if a horse has or is prone to thrush and frog disease. Horse health STARTS with hoof health. If the feet are un-sound, nothing else matters.
There is more info below, but if you want to watch a video presentation for all the facts, click here...
WHAT IS THRUSH?
1st RULE OF THUMB: If your horse has soft or tender heels and ALSO has a deep crack/crevice in the central sulcus (a crevice that looks like a "plumber's crack" near the heel bulbs), your horse has thrush. (a healthy heel area should be a dimple, not a crack.)
2nd RULE OF THUMB: If your horse has mysterious lameness, (and your vet, farrier, trimmer can find no cause) look for thrush.
SEE PHOTO's HERE
NOW THE NUTS AND BOLTS::
Equine thrush is an anaerobic bacteria that is trapped in the moist, deep crevices of the hoof. It eats away at the horse's tissue, particularly the frog and sulcus area.
REMEMBER - Thrush does not just "Show up" one day. By the time you see the black goo, the bacteria has been eating away at the tissue inside the frog and heel for weeks or months. After all, the black goo is simply the deteriorated tissue. That's why it smells. So when you finally do see the black goo, the bacteria has been in there long enough to eat holes through the frog. That's why you usually first see it in the deep area of the collateral grooves and in the heel crack.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THRUSH?
First of all, it smells! This bacteria lives in dark, wet places and eats its host. Graphic yes, sorry, but it is important to stress this point. A black discharge is often visible. In the early stages, it is not as noticeable, (thrush hides and breeds inside the sulcus between the heels bulbs and in the deep grooves around the frog) but thrush is the first item to check off your list when a horse goes mysteriously lame or begins shying from typical farrier work. (Double your attention when the horse is housed in damp stalls or muddy corrals.) NOTE: LOOK FOR A DEEP CREVICE IN THE SULCUS BETWEEN THE HEEL BULBS. THIS IS A NEAR-CERTAIN SIGN THAT YOUR HORSE HAS THRUSH OR FROG DISEASE). It is important to look closely, because in this situation, the thrush has infiltrated the interior of the foot. See the example pictures on the "How It Works" link.
WHY SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT THOSE HEEL CRACKS?
With each step, the heel pad takes the ENTIRE brunt of the horse's weight. It's a tiny 2-inch piece of tissue and hide. What would happen if you had an open crack (an eternally open wound) in your heel - and then you walked around barefoot? You'd have constant infection. Do you think a horse is going to give his best performance with a crack through the center of his weight-bearing heel pad? Think about what happens to the energy (the strength) of each step. Instead of taking the weight on a unified heel pad, that energy is now separating into two halves. The two sides of the crack are yawning open, dissipating the energy. A race horse, dressage horse, barrel horse, jumping horse, etc will not give his best performance. Guaranteed. It is not physically possible.
Let's get the heel cracks closed!
HOW CAN THRUSH BE AVOIDED?
Dry stalls! Thrush thrives in wet areas. When a horse struggles with thrush, clean stalls are a must. However, since thrush creates a stinging/burning sensation to the horse, he will look to find a liquid to soothe it. In a small stall, that liquid is often urine-soaked bedding. Not good. Clean the straw / shavings at least daily. A horse with thrush will try anything to find comfort. In a pasture, he may intentionally pack his hoof with mud and manure - unfortunately this organic material will give thrush the best possible host. Daily hoof cleaning is important (remove bedding, mud, and manure with your pick. We prefer that you not "wash" with water because it adds more moisture). Once thrush is detected, apply No Thrush ®, clean the hoof daily, and keep the stall as dry as possible. (NOTE: No Thrush is effective in wet conditions, but the rule of thumb is: Drier is better.
WHAT'S UP WITH COWBOY CONCOCTIONS?
For centuries horse owners have done their best to combat thrush. Imagine the thrush problem back when Knights and Calvary were trekking over 1000's of miles of Spring wetland. Virtually every long-time horse owner has tried "friend and neighbor" thrush remedies. Those of us in the horse world are unusually open to any treatment if it works! Often we'll even try it on ourselves before we put it on our horses. Yeah, we're a little wacky - and we like it that way. Over the decades mom and pop treatments have come and gone. Extreme doses of bleach, Lysol, Hydrogen Peroxide, iodine and others have been tried. Some have partial results, and while some may temporarily help the thrush problem, they can create a hornets' nest of obvious side effects. Yet, in full disclosure, this "Cowboy Concoction" attitude is exactly how No Thrush® was discovered. We needed something that worked - and something safe. None of the commercial products had worked on a particularly thrush-crippled horse. Innovation was needed - or else!