Monday, November 9, 2015

Caring for deep thrush - in pictures

First, there's nothing gross to see here, I promise.

I mentioned last week that per the vet, Paddy's weird stiffness/lameness was diagnosed to be a thrush infection deep in the RF heel. The good news is that we've been treating it 2x/day since then, and while he's not quite 100%, he's darn close. I think a few more days and we'll be good to go.

If you've never dealt with a deep infection, it's a bit of a pain. Here's what I'm doing to treat him:

1. Collect all your equipment.

You can get anti fungal cream at your local grocery store. The tip of this one fits perfectly into a 3 ml syringe, so I can load up the syringe and use it as an applicator. The syringe tip lets me get the goo deep down in the crack.

Loaded and ready to go.

Next up, thimerosal. Don't touch this stuff, lick it, get it in your eyes, breathe it, etc. It's an organomercury anti fungal agent (also found as a preservative in vaccines) - great stuff for white line disease and deep thrush, but you don't want to get it on your skin or your horse's. Wear gloves or handle with extreme caution and wash hands immediately after.

Betadine rinse with syringe applicator. I squirt syringe fulls of this up in the crack to rinse out any debris that's gotten up in there.

Also needed but not shown: hoof pick and gauze squares.

2. Collect your Haffie. Distract him with food.

This was the easy part.

3. Treat the foot. This is kind of like treating an abscess - once you get the area clean, you don't want to let him put his foot down until you get it repacked, so be sure to have all the equipment handy.

Pre-cleanout. You can see the gauze crammed in his heel from the last time we did this.

Clean foot VERY well before pulling out gauze (this lessens the chance you'll get any dirt in the crack). Here's what it looks like after I've pulled out the gauze.

Use syringe to rinse out cavity with betadine. Hopefully you can see the giant hole in his heel. Yikes! The hole itself is a lighter color because of the thimerosal.

Put about 5 drops of thimerosal right in the worst part, being careful not to get it anywhere that it could run up into his skin. Cram anti-fungal cream in on top of it.

Using a hoof pick, pack a gauze square in the crack. This keeps dirt out, the dressing in, and allows a little air to get in the deep part (and thrush hates air).

Crush the scorpion that was wandering across the backroom floor.

After 5 days, we're down to using thrush buster (which has formaldehyde in it, did you know?) and anti-fungal cream, but we're still packing it with gauze to keep the dirt out. It's looking SO much better and he's clearly moving better. Now, just gotta stay on top of things so that this doesn't happen ever again!

35 comments:

  1. Love treatment stuff! Thanks for sharing. :0)

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    1. Glad you found it helpful, but hopefully you'll never have to do it!

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  2. I've done something similar before. Your medication sounds a lot stronger than what I used (probably not as bad a case). I soaked guaze in a mixture of sugar and iodine and crammed the gauze in the crack. Something about the sugar drawing out the infection -- it was a suggestion from our farrier at the time.

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    1. I've heard of the "sugar-dyne" mixture before, but we opted to go for something a little stronger given how much it was affecting him.

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  3. I hope I NEVER have to take your advice, both for the thrush as well as for scorpions, yikes! Glad he's doing better!!

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    1. Scorpions are easy. Thrush not so much.

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  4. Glad he is doing better! and that's freaking crazy that you have scorpions. No thank you :-)

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    1. Hahaha... yeah, we have scorpions. I'll send you fun back stories on how much I love them. ;)

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  5. poor Paddy - so glad he's feeling better tho! and omg, NO to the scorpions thankyouverymuch!

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    1. The scorpion was the bonus. I cackled gleefully as I crushed him beneath my boot. :D

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  6. Replies
    1. Meh, at least it was in the tackroom and not in my house.

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  7. I did a similar treatment for my horse last year, works great! Cosmo's cracks were a little closer to the heel bulb, and I found that after a while, the gauze began to irritate him. It was great at keeping it clean, but he rough texture of the gauze basically was ripping off any type of "scab" he was growing. We had to stop the gauze for a while to let it heal. It took a while to get to that point, like maybe a month, but just something to mention.

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    1. Yes, at some point in the near future we'll stop packing it with gauze. I just don't want it to close up again and start getting gross!

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  8. We do very similar treatments, which makes me fell smart and stuff :)

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    1. Could be our vets are smart and we're just following smart directions ;)

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  9. mmm that's why thrush buster smells so good :P

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  10. Wow, that is a deep crack. Yucky.

    Not combining the antifungal with an antibiotic ointment to combat opportunistic bacteria? I seem to remember reading about using the two together on hoof care sites.

    The thimerosal sounds nasty. Why would you want that in a deep cut if it's so hazardous for skin or membrane contact?

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    1. Val, I've had my trimmer recommend the antibiotic ointment + fungal cream too! Honestly, I just didn't have any around, and the thimerosal kills basically everything, I wasn't too worried. It's a good point though, I'll get some and add it to the syringe!

      The vet wanted to me to use it for a few days because it kills EVERYTHING. That crack was so deep and nasty, and the fact Paddy was short on that foot and positive to hoof testers, that the vet wanted to get the thrush under control quickly. These pics were taken after two days of treatment, but initially there was nothing but disgusting black goo in that crack. So yeah... fine line between aggressive treatment and too much! We're down to much less drastic measures now, fortunately.

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  11. Good job! Glad to hear it's getting better with treatment. :)

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    1. Anti-fungal stuff works miracles. :)

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  12. The scorpion is a full on Nope for me. I've dealt with truth before. It's such a pita. Looks like you're getting his cleaned up pretty fast.

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    1. At least the scorpion wasn't in our house. They can hang out in the tackroom ESPECIALLY where i can see them and kill them. Muahahahahaha!

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  13. awful--the scorpion :o but at least, Paddy looks better yay!

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    1. As much as I hate them, scorpions are not as bad as disease-carrying ticks. Eugh.

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  14. Eurgh Scorpions!
    Anytime i find myself being jealous of fab far flung destinations i am brought back with a bang as to how good we have it in Europe re:wildlife & weather. No tornados or crazy storms.

    So glad Paddy Bear is healing up so well, you take such amazing care of him! He is a very lucky boy!

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    1. No scorpions, it's true, but you have this funny white stuff that falls from the sky in the winter. It must be awful! ;)

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    2. I'll take soft snow over poisonous critters any day...watch me eat my words when the ice, snow & cold hits in a few weeks/months

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  15. Wow, 5 days is pretty dang quick to clear up a serious thrush case. Have to give your method a go next time I've got one! Think I may struggle a little with the last step though... we don't get many scorpions up here. Can I substitute a mosquito?

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    1. Kate, it's not *completely* cleared up, but a week later he's about 99% sound. The gauze is definitely the key - keeps the meds in and the dirt out.

      Squish all the mosquitoes you want!

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  16. Impressive - I think the key is that the gauze stayed in and let the meds work continuously. I did this treatment with antibacterial/antifungal (which you definitely cannot get at a grocery store where I live!). It was fun to watch the hole disappear, but my gauze always got sucked out in the mud, so it took us longer.

    I was eating breakfast when I saw your scorpion photo and felt ill suddenly. Warning next time please: )

    Your horse has nice feet - look how thick the walls are!

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    1. Ugh, having the mud suck out the gauze would be annoying! Can you slap a boot on, or would that get sucked off too?

      Sorry the squashed scorpion made you feel ill... a pic of a squashed scorpion always makes me dance with glee because IT'S DEAD. And a dead one is soooo much better than a live one. Trust me on this.

      Thanks, Paddy does have good feet, but we work pretty hard with diet and exercise and supportive footing to keep them that way. Keeping a horse barefoot is definitely not easy - but I'm guessing that if he had been shod, it would have taken me that much longer to realize that there was a problem with thrush.

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  17. La la la, horse horse horse, hoof hoof hoof, SCORPION. Wait...oh, yes, Texas.

    Paddy has some great looking feet. Glad to hear the thrush is clearing up so quickly in response to the treatment!

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    1. Using the gauze to keep the meds in and the dirt out has been key, I think. Definitely a technique I would recommend!

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