Fungus and Thrush in Horses: What You Need to Know
Even when you feel like you’re doing everything right for your horse and his hygiene, there’s always the possibility that he will come down with a case of thrush or a fungal infection on his skin. These conditions are quite common in horses, and even in those with pristine living conditions.
If your horse has come down with one of these problems, don’t worry; you likely haven’t done anything wrong, and even if something is not quite right with his stabling or grooming circumstances, the problem can usually be rectified without much trouble.
Even so, it’s a good idea to understand what causes fungus and thrush in horses and how to help care for these problems when they arise. In this article, you’ll find out the basics about these two horse conditions and learn what to do if you suspect your horse has been afflicted by one of them.
Causes and Symptoms of Fungal Infections in Horses
Fungal infections in horses are almost always caused by ringworm. Although it sounds like a parasite, ringworm is actually a fungus. It’s caused when ringworm spores are present and settle onto the horse’s skin. This is much more common in moist or humid conditions.
Ringworm is commonly found in the horse’s saddle area and may be exacerbated by frequent saddle use in moist conditions. This is a contagious fungus that can quickly spread to other horses, other animals, and even to humans if not cared for properly and completely.
Symptoms of ringworm in horses include:
- Large lesions on the horse’s back or saddle area
- Crusted skin, with or without scabs
- Hair loss in the shape of a ring on and around the lesion
- Hives or other rash on or near the area of infection
- Flaking skin, especially after a few days
Causes and Symptoms of Thrush in Horses
Unlike ringworm and other, similar fungal infections, thrush occurs on the horse’s hooves most of the time. It is also technically a fungal infection as well, but is caused specifically by yeast (Candida albicans). Thrush usually starts deep within the hoof and spreads to other parts of the hoof over time.
Thrush infections are caused by exposure to fungus and to moist environments. When horses are kept in these conditions and are unable to walk or run for a length of time, their hooves cannot be naturally cleaned the way they should, and may be more prone to developing this condition.
Symptoms of thrush in horses include:
- Discharge from the crevice of the hoof
- Obvious sensitivity of the hoof or leg
- Very foul odor coming from within the hoof
- Frequent, easy bleeding of the hoof or leg
- Other signs of pain and discomfort in your horse, including restlessness or loss of appetite
Caring for Fungal Infections in Horses
Fungal infections are usually caught early, since they cause visible skin problems in areas that you are more likely to pay attention to on a daily basis.
Give Your Horse a Gentle Bath
Before doing anything else, give your horse a gentle bath to loosen any dead or flaking skin and scabs. Dry him thoroughly and make sure you house him in an environment that is dry and clean while he heals.
Apply Helpful Product to Promote Rapid Healing
Curicyn offers a product for skin and wound care for horses that leaves behind little to no scarring on the infected area. This Original Formula is designed to help care for a variety of different skin conditions that may arise in many different animals, including any fungus infection your horse may encounter.
Disinfect All Tack and Grooming Supplies
Disinfect all of your horse’s tack and grooming supplies so the ringworm doesn’t spread to any other animals or to you.
Wash Up After Being With Your Horse
Always wash up thoroughly after handling your horse, especially when he’s dealing with a ringworm infection.
Caring for Thrush in Horses
Since it can take some time to recognize thrush in horses, the condition has usually gotten severe before owners notice something is going on with their horse’s hooves. It’s very important to address the situation as soon as possible to give your horse the best chance for recovery.
Put Your Horse in a Dry and Clean Environment
The first step in treating thrush is to put your horse in a dry environment and make sure that environment stays as clean as possible. The hoof should then be trimmed by a professional and should be closely examined and cleaned every day by you.
Have the Infected Area Removed
A vet or farrier should remove the infected part of the hoof using a hoof knife. This may be very painful for the horse. It also requires a great deal of caution so no one ends up getting kicked. Dead skin cells and tissue should be scrubbed away with a wire brush. In addition, the hoof should be cleaned very carefully so it can heal.
Use Helpful Product to Care for Your Horse’s Hoof
Curicyn provides a Wound Care Clay product that is designed to help promote rapid healing for this exact condition as well as many different kinds of wounds your horse may experience. This serves as a great aid in helping care for thrush in horses. This is because it helps you cover parts of your animal that may be difficult to bandage or that experience a lot of every day movement, such as the hooves of your horse.
Preventing Fungus and Thrush in Horses
With the right information to help you along, you should be able to make any necessary changes to your horse’s habitat, grooming, and daily routine to help reduce the risk of thrush or fungus in the future. And in the meantime, you should also be prepared to care for these conditions if they arise in your horse.
These conditions are both very treatable, especially if they’re caught early, and shouldn’t cause any significant lasting problems.
At Curicyn, we’re proud to be your partner in helping care for different conditions that may arise in your horse. We provide a variety of products because we want to help promote rapid healing for any ailment your horse may encounter so they can get back to their healthy selves. If you have any questions about our products, never hesitate to contact us. We’re here to answer your questions and are happy to work with you on helping your horse.