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Thrush is a bacterial infection that occurs around the frog area of the hoof. The horn decomposes and forms a black material that collects in the clefts and it has an unpleasant odour. Most horses do not become lame if they have Thrush, but if it is left untreated the infection can move to the sensitive tissues of the hoof and cause lameness.


1. Thoroughly clean the foot with water and a stiff brush. Ensure you pay particular attention to the clefts of the frog.

2. Loose pieces of frog should be trimmed away by the farrier as these can trap infection.

3. If the Thrush infection has been recognized in the early stages, clean the foot daily as described above then apply either an antiseptic spray, stockholm tar or a mixture of equal parts or phenol, 10% formalin and iodine.

4. The foot must be poulticed if the infection has not been caught early and it has progressed to the sensitive tissues of the hoof.

5. Make sure the horse has clean, dry bedding if it is stabled or it can be turned out into a dry field.


Thrush is caused by a lack of stable hygiene and poor foot care so to prevent it ensure you pick your horse's feet out daily, make sure the bedding is clean and dry in the stable and have your horse's feet regularly trimmed by the farrier.

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