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Discussion on Thrush, now lameness

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Victoria L. Zinsser
Posted on Thursday, Jun 29, 2000 - 10:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr. O.,
It's me again...I have the horse with Lymphoma Cancer, and is on the Dexamethasone (about 8 days to go). Here's the latest. My horse has been had Thrush when I purchased him, last year. I cleared it up immediately. Then It came back in the wet fall/winter conditions(the boarding stall wasn't he driest). I moved him to a new barn, where the care is immaculate, and the thrush cleared up..anyways, the point..In the last 4-6 wks, since his last trimming (no Thrush) the Thrush came back, with a vengence! I was treating it, but the farrier came on Tuesday and trimmed it out so much, that all 4 feet are bleeding and raw! He is soooo lame that leaving his stall for a couple strides is extremely painful! I called the farrier about it and he said that it NEEDED to be done. (my horse wasn't lame before Tues.) My vet looked at it and advised me to wash the feet well with a Betadine Scrub, then dry completely, put cotton over and wrap with Duct tape. Do this for a 3-5 days and keep him in. I was told not to put Thrushbuster on yet. Could the Dexamethasone have caused the Thrush to be this bad? The pasture and stall conditions are clean and dry. He has, however, been urinating alot more, and I'm sure the steroid would have something to do with this. Do you agree that the farrier should've cut that much of the frog? All of the new/white tissue is showing. Should I be saturating the the cotton with Betadine for the wrapping? Should I be keeping them wrapped, and not treat the thrush? Sorry to throw all of these questions at you, but I unfortunatly couldn't be at the barn this morning when the vet was there.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Posted on Friday, Jun 30, 2000 - 12:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Though the corticosteroids lower the bodies resistance to infection, it would not likely cause a direct increase sensitivity to Thrush. The reason is this is an infection of the horn (dead) tissue and is not surveyed by the immune system. There is no doubt one of the side effects of corticosteroid administration is increase drinking and urinating, perhaps this has indirectly caused problems by keeping the feet wet.

Not having examined the horse I cannot comment on the actions of the farrier. Your vet is right you should not put the formalin containing Thrushbuster on exposed (raw) sensitive tissue. It will kill the healthy tissue (besides burning like heck) and scarring with abnormal horn being produced. Whether to put betadine, which will also help prevent return of the thrush underneath the bandage is a judgement call. I think I would be painting or lightly spraying the sole with betadine myself but you need to follow your vets instructions, he may have his reasons not evident here. Talk it over with him and let us know what he says.
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Victoria L. Zinsser
Posted on Thursday, Jul 6, 2000 - 7:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Dr.O.
I have been putting the betadine on the hoof, after the scrub, and keeping the stall clean and dry. He is done with the Dexamethasone, since Tuesday. His feet seem to be healing. We had him (per my vet) on Bute for 5 days. He seemed to be fine, so I took him out to the arena and let him walk around, then made him trot a bit (not riding). He seemed fine. The next day (yesterday) I lunged him VERY lightly, and...totally lame!
Tonight he was again completely lame when I brought him out of his stall to clean the feet. I don't know what to do. Is it normal to be lame this long? It's been 9 days since the trimming. I'm frustrated. How could I have avoided this in the first place? I realize he is prone to Thrush, but I pick his feet at least 5 days per week, and always before AND after I ride. He gets plenty of exercise, and is turned-out daily in a large, grassy (not muddy) pasture. The stall is very clean...picked daily and stripped once per week, or more. I knew the thrush was returning, so I treated it with Thrushbuster that weekend, but it didn't seem as bad as it ended up. Is there any other kind of maintanence that can help? How about the supplements, like Farrier's Friend, etc., do they actually help? Any advise would be very appreciated!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Posted on Saturday, Jul 8, 2000 - 5:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The best advice I can give you is if you are having unexpected problems you need to have a professional come out and examine the problem, determine the cause of the trouble, and prescribe a treatment. It is not clear from your post why your horse is so lame.
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