Why don't I recommend most commercial remedies?
Well, they usually contain quite a cocktail of harmful chemicals that I wouldn't want to keep around, including formaldehyde.
Would YOU put them on your feet if you had some athlete's foot? I think on a short term basis, if you had no other
choice, and followed the label, you would probably do okay, to get rid of some thrush, but it frequently comes
back right after you stop treatment, because the same chemicals that killed the thrush, also killed some of the live,
healthy tissue and created an environment just right for feeding thrush. Vicious circle.
A home remedy that I do NOT recommend for thrush
in the frog is bleach. Chlorine bleach is a known carcinogen, and again, kills healthy tissues, and it stings if it
gets on the skin or near the eyes. Too risky with little return. The only advantage here is that it's cheap, but is that a
good reason if it's the only one? Also, Hydrogen peroxide is not very helpful with thrush. I do have a use for it, but not
on the sole. So many organisms live in there in a healthy hoof, it just foams up, makes a mess and doesn't seem to really
do well for this purpose. All that fizzing creates some heat and could sting sensitive, thrushy frogs.
Treatments that I recommend :
1. Apple Cider Vinegar mixed 50/50 with water.
It's so harmless it's edible so I have no problem putting it on a horse, and since it doesn't hurt healthy tissues, it doesn't
perpetuate the problem. I use an ordinary spray bottle and just douse the whole frog and along either side. A few, with sensitive
skin, may get some mild irritation from it if it runs up above the hairline on a regular basis, but it's not going
to do any harm beyond that. It works because the vinegar will change the pH in the hoof tissues. Did you know that thrush,
as it eats the frog material (and the sweat from the glands around the frog) is an alkaline exudate? ACV will make it more
acidic, thereby making it a more hostile environment for the yeast, fungus and bacteria that make up the thrush. This also
works well as a preventative if you have a wet spell and you can't get your horse to better, drier ground. It's not to
replace good husbandry, but can help if you can't dot all those "i's" .
2. "Pete's Goo" , a mix of athletes' foot
med (clortrimazole 1% and triple antibiotic with pain relief) works wonders on a certain kind of thrush that infects the central
sulcus of the frog, making it look more like a butt crack than a valley. A cc every day for 2 weeks or more will do wonders.
ACV is more appropriate for the kind with the black, tarry, rotten smelling discharge. Pete's Goo is better for a yeasty,
dry infection. Use a small tip syringe to insert into the cleft as deep as you can.
3. Mastitis medication for cows can work, but
really, the first two mentioned are probably the easiest to come by, and work fine, but I mention this as an option. If you
have cows, this may be handy for you.
4. White Lightening or Clean Trax which are also helpful with white line disease or persisten toe cracks.
These work by vapor action and require plastic bags, so may not be appropriate if your horse thinks monsters live in those
bags. This is not the cheapest method, but worth mentioning.