Let Equinell™ Help You
Whether your horse is your best friend, working partner, or source of livelihood, the last thing you need is hoof related lameness. Regardless of how you address it, it’s going to be time-consuming, or expensive. Most likely both. And in the meantime, your horse is miserable. Maybe he’s sore on one or two feet, so he limps. Maybe he’s sore all around. Limping doesn’t help, and he can’t tell you why he’s miserable, so he becomes surly and reluctant.
(See the three most common scenarios for lameness by clicking here.)
After a season of rest, your horse is gimpy on rough, hard ground. He stumbles across gravel, but seems OK on grass. The farrier can’t find any specific problem, so he suggests shoes, possibly with pads. This will help for a while, until his wall weakens to where the shoe keeps tearing away, or he gets sore even with shoes.
His feet smell bad, and there is black, tarry crud on his frogs and his collateral grooves. Maybe he resents having his feet cleaned, and is reluctant to pick them up for you. As the condition progresses he becomes more and more tender footed. Often there is a deeper than normal groove in the center of the frog, with blackish, ragged edges. (No, that isn’t normal!)
You find your horse is more and more reluctant to go forward, and his attitude is souring. Speed is a thing of the past, and he might start refusing tasks. Perhaps he is also becoming ring sour.
Either through another disease process or for reasons unknown, his white lines are wider than they should be, and he keeps abscessing. Nothing seems to help.
All of these are the product of slow infection. Horses were meant to walk on dry, rocky, CLEAN ground all day. Standing still, especially on ground that isn’t perfectly clean, causes problems. And you can’t keep a stable clean enough to prevent problems. The bacteria that cause these infections live in the horse’s gut, and feed on urine. So even in the pasture the horse walks in them.
What to do? Obviously, keep the area as clean as you can. Make sure your horse is seen regularly by a farrier. Pick the feet as often as possible. Give as much pasture time as you can. Most horse owners do these things already. If they were enough we wouldn’t still have the problems.
What you need to know: First, when you read about thrush, most sources state that it is a mild fungal infection, and is the result of unclean surroundings. Wrong on all counts! Thrush is a bacterial condition in horses, caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum. This is an anaerobic bacteria, and they didn’t know it was present, because they couldn’t culture it. This is the cause of the awful smell. It isn’t mild, either. Although in horse’s hooves it seldom causes death, (unless you count the horses that were sold off for chronic lameness) it causes a multitude of other illnesses.
And third, thrush commonly occurs in horses that are kept on rubber mats, in stalls that are cleaned at least once per day. It happens in horses that have their feet picked several times per day. Once it’s in there, it finds a nice place to grow, and if oxygen can’t reach it, I guarantee a hoof pick can’t, either. Same with white line disease. In this case the culprit is likely Candida albicans. But once it’s out of the reach of a hoof pick there is nothing you can do. And each abscess or blowout leaves a wider area or a hole in the white line to invite more problems.
But there are medicines available to help, sure. If you go to the hoof care section in a farm or horse supply store you will find several things on the shelf. Friends will suggest more. Some seem very attractive; they don’t cost much, and they make big promises. However, if you sit down and do a little calculating you find out this isn’t necessarily true.
First, a bottle might not cost much. Say it costs ten dollars. How often do you need to apply, and how much do you apply at a time? Figure this out by the week, or the month. This is the best – probably the only way – to compare prices. Now, put a dollar value on your time. Applying twice a day eats up some hours. With some formulations you might need to add in ruined clothes, too. Even safety glasses and disposable gloves.
Does it work? That’s the ten thousand dollar question. Maybe it works, but the problem comes back in a few weeks. Maybe it works about the same as picking your horse’s feet twice a day.
Now let’s say your horse is shod for tenderness. That is expensive, even if the shoes stay in place and never cause problems. If you could take the shoes off, would you?
Equinell™ can’t solve every problem, but it can help with these.
It penetrates fast to the base of the infection, and in most cases it relieves the discomfort in a week or less. It gets rid of the black, smelly drainage. White lines grow out narrower. In short, it helps return hooves to their natural appearance and function. And after the initial weekly applications (if needed) you will apply it once per month, or at trimming time. It never hurts to clean feet often, but it shouldn’t be necessary.