Trade Zone: Hoof Care for Racehorses
Probably the most common phrase used by horse people is “No foot—no horse.” The feet are important because they provide both support and locomotion. As these two factors are
the foundation of a horse, particularly a racehorse, clearly understanding methods for detecting common hoof ailments is essential. A horse’s caretaker should be familiar with various foot ailments, particularly the signs and symptoms associated with them.
Thrush is a bacterial infection affecting the frog (particularly the medial and lateral grooves). It can occur in all four feet.
Causes of thrush—Thrush is usually caused by general neglect of the feet—allowing the horse to stand in unsanitary conditions such as manure-filled and urine-soaked stalls and paddocks. Also, excessive frog growth due to infrequent trimming may contribute to thrush.
Symptoms of thrush—The most obvious symptom of thrush is a foul odor, but other symptoms include extensive moisture of the frog, signs of deterioration, and heat. In advanced cases, a thick, black, liquid discharge from the grooves of the frog may be present, and the horse might be lame.
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