Please be advised that what ever you do with your horse it is done at your own risk. You need to have certain experience to perform this safely. It is best if you consult a professional or your farrier before trying this form of treatment.
One needs to know the condition and the level of the thrush. In the presence of a serious infection or inflammation, this may not be the best choice. One needs to exercise his judgment in this case. (click on image to enlarge)
The figure one shows the depth of the crack in the frog. The sensitivity is tested and objects removed (small stones etc), then the rest of the foot is cleaned with a hoof pick.
The foot has to be washed thoroughly and scrubbed with a brush.
The hoof is then wiped off and one has to wait about ten minutes for the foot to dry out some more. This is to ensure that the following applications are effective.
The deep crack is then cleaned by pulling a piece of gauze through the crack. This may be somewhat tricky when done for the first time. The gauze is pressed with the thumb deep into the crack and then is pulled upwards with the other hand. One need to exercise caution here, because when pulled toward the leg of the horse it could cut into the horses soft tissue in the affected area. It can be done reverse way by pulling it downwards through the crack. Which ever way one prefers. You may want to wear some rubber gloves.
7% iodine is squeezed into the crack using a syringe ( no needle).
Then the foot is raised in horizontal level and the rest of the iodine is applied around the frog.
Finished result after the iodine rinse. The foot is then sat down and let dry for about ten minutes to insure the iodine effect and the adhesiveness of the following product.
Small piece of gauze is rolled up and dipped into Reducine. The size/amount of the gauze must be adjusted to the dept of the cavity so it is big enough to fill it and not too big so it wouldn’t fall out.
(The Eye Pad is ideal instead of the gauze or cotton, the latter is less desirable, but it will still work.)
The side of the gauze that has been dipped into the Reducine is then set on top of the crack.
The pick is then used to press the gauze inside the crack. One needs to use the pick in this angle (fig 9) so it wouldn’t penetrate through the gauze into the crack and causing some further complications to the already damaged area. (The pressure of the gauze will promote healing from the inside out, as well as it will help in contracted heels from getting worse)
There is a special brush called on the track the “Paint Brush” which is easily available on most tracks but hard to find in most catalogs or stores. In this case regular tooth brush is used to apply the Reducine to insure a proper penetration. Commonly used “application” brushes are not recommended for Reducine. (a little “sloppy” job in this picture and somewhat wasted Reducine, but still practical and effective)
The entire frog and bulbs of the heal are treated.
Reducine is then applied to the coronet band and the upper half of the hoof.
The foot with the gauze in it can be left like that for two or three days without additional treatments, depending on the moisture of the environment and the condition of the frog. Hoof should be treated like this not more then three times and not less than twice during one week. (Do not forget to remove the old piece of gauze) It is important that one will exercise certain judgment and adjusts the treatment according to conditions. When the gauze doesn’t fit into the crack anymore then the Reducine is used without it. The iodine bath is used only for the initial application and should not be used more than one or two treatments. One has to adjust his judgment to the conditions of the frog and the effect of the iodine.
The whole point of this treatment is to heal the frog from the inside out while keeping it from drying out (iodine alone will do that). The iodine helps us to get rid of the bacteria and infection, while the Reducine helps the frog to regenerate at the same time while preventing it from excessive drying out (frequent side effect of other remedies). The pressure of the gauze helps the frog to stay open (some air access), while keeping the dirt from entering the crack. Some folks use cotton which is sometimes somewhat harder to remove as against the gauze will come out in one piece.
Later on if too busy, one can apply just the gauze with Reducine without the entire process of washing. Most important is that the surface of the frog is not wet in order to ensure the adhesiveness of the Reducine.
Once when the thrush is gone, resume your regular hoof care.
This type of thrush is very often seen in the presence of contracted heals and often in dry conditions. Horse working on hard services also seem to be prone to this form of the disease. This alone will favor the second theory in our article on thrush.
and after…same hoof after several weeks of successful treatment