Must-Have Items to Help Equestrians Survive Mud Season
It’s March! For many parts of the world, March brings mud, which can make horse keeping a messy challenge. Aside from the physical exhaustion of trudging in it deep mud can bow tendons, aggravate arthritis, and even lead to pulled shoes.
How wet is your horse’s environment?
Fact: Too wet can lead to the horse shoes coming off before they are due. Try to avoid letting your horse soak in mud or water.
Speaking of mud, it won’t actually yank off a shoe, but it will make the front feet stick, which makes the hind feet more likely to catch the front and remove the shoe.
As you are uncovering the reasons for your horse’s shoe pulling, be sure to use bell boots for prevention, and a hoof bandage if the shoe is pulled.
Fact: When mud mixes with horse manure, the foul bacteria can lead to thrush and other hoof diseases.
What is thrush? Thrush is a bacterial infection of the hoof, most commonly seen in the sulci (or grooves) and frog area. The bacteria is anaerobic, so it lives without oxygen, which makes your horse’s hoof the perfect spot for thrush. Advanced cases can extend to the sole and white line, and when thrush affects the sensitive areas horses can become painful and lame. It’s always advisable to work with your Veterinarian before you begin any treatment, as there are dozens of things that can happen to horse hooves. You want to be sure the proper diagnosis and treatment are in place.
What we see during a case of thrush is a black paste. However, it’s likely that you will smell it before you see it! The distinct, rancid odor of rotting flesh is a sure fire sign of thrush.
So how do you treat a case of thrush? Most over the counter topical applications are affordable and easy to use. There are lots of great options available to you at your local tack or feed shop, including our very own SteriHoof. Make sure the hoof is clean and dry before you apply! Begin by cleaning away the blackened, diseased tissue. You may want to have your farrier or vet help you with this. You can touch up the area with your hoof pick and brush several times a day. After the hoof has dried, apply your topical treatment. A mild case should clear up quickly (under 3 days.) For cases that don’t clear up quickly, or have gone deeper, please consult your Veterinarian again. Lameness is a very real possibility.
After application of your chosen medication, try and keep everything clean and dry. Hoof Wrap Bandages work over the hoof and shoe to help the healing process. These hoof bandages keep the medicine in while helping to keep the dirt and debris out. The bottom line is to be diligent about picking and inspecting your horse’s hooves. If you see (or smell) something funky, start to treat right away!
Hoof care is even more important than ever this month! Your job is to keep his hooves picked out and clean of thrush Most likely you will be picking hooves out on daily basis, and checking your horse’s digital pulse, too. The digital pulse is the first sign that something is brewing in the hooves.
Check out the video below to learn how to take your horse’s digital pulse: