Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Foot: thrush

Contributor(s): Steve Adair, Graham Munroe, Vetstream Ltd

Introduction

  • CauseFusobacterium necrophorum is principal agent; unhygienic conditions.
  • Signs: disintegration of horn, offensive odor, black discharge, lameness if severe.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, anatomical location, bacterial culture.
  • Treatment: remove from unhygienic conditions, topical therapy.
  • Prognosis: good.
Print off the Owner factsheets on Caring for your horse's feet and Thrush and canker to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Unhygienic environmental conditions, eg wet pasture, deep mud, swamp, soiled stalls.
  • Poor foot care, ie foot not cleaned out regularly.
  • Shoeing pads Farriery: shoe pad.
  • Sheared heels Foot: heel - sheared.
  • Contracted heels Foot: contracted heels.
  • Deep sulci.
  • Frog deformity.

Pathophysiology

  • Unhygienic environmental conditions facilitating growth of anaerobic Fusobacterium necrophorum and other bacteria, which are keratolytic.
  • Moisture and debris trapped in central and/or collateral sulci of frog → proliferation of Fusobacterium necrophroum and other bacteria → disintegration of horn, foul-smelling discharge, detached underrun frog tissue.
  • Chronic infection may → hoof wall, digital cushion and heel bulbs → cellulitis and swelling of distal limb and lameness.
  • If structureal damage occurs, the heel bulbs may move independentaly of one another (shearing) → pain and lameness.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Kempson S A & Robb R (2004) Use of topical disinfectant as part of a hoof care programme for horses with diseases of the hoof capsule. Vet Rec 154 (21), 647-652 PubMed.
  • Reeves M J, Youich J V & Turner A S (1989) Miscellaneous conditions of the equine foot. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract (1), 221-242 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Ross M R & Dyson S J (2011) Eds. Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse. 2nd edn. Saunders/Elsevier, USA. ISBN: 97810416060697.
  • Stashak T S (2002) Ed. Adams' Lameness in Horses. 5th edn. Lea & Febiger, USA. ISBN: 081210980.
  • Hunt R J, Kobluk C N & Steckel R R (1995) Diseases of the Foot. In: The Horse - diseases and Clinical Management. Eds: Kobluk C N, Ames T R & Geor R J. W B Saunders, USA. ISBN: 07216593959837.


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