Oscar was one of the first horses I met when I first started here at Agnew’s. He is normally a happy cob but over winter he had been a tad grumpy. His owner and their farrier had found that he had thrush in all of his feet but that the right fore was the worst.
Thrush is one of those problems that can sometimes be simple and straight forward to sort but it can also be more difficult to shift in certain situations.
If it is a mild infection usually careful cleaning of the area, dry and clean bedding and some topical antibiotics can solve the problem, however Oscars infection was a little more serious than that.
Thrush is caused primarily by bacterial infections, or occasionally fungal infections. The most aggressive type can be caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum which can be particularily aggressive and can be very difficult to resolve.
Oscar’s case was made even more complex as though the thrush infection seemed relatively mild, even with topical antibiotics it wouldn’t resolve. Oscar was tested for PPID or Cushings as this can sometimes cause illness’s to rumble on. Oscar’s results showed that he was indeed suffering from cushings and so was started on treatment for this. The combined treatment soon had Oscar back to his normal and cheerful self.
Unfortunately as winter continued I got a call from Oscars owner, who was terribly worried as the thrush had come back suddenly and more aggressively than his previous episode. When I got to Oscar, his feet and frogs had a very severe infection of thrush and all of his frogs were very spongy. We debrided the thrush infected frogs as much as we could but there was still a lot of thrush infected tissue left. The problem was this was now a surgical case. Oscar was referred to Liverpool where under general anaesthetic, used a laser to debride the infected areas of frog. Oscar stayed in horspital for another 7 days were he could receive the right kind of pain relief and his dressings were changed daily.
These have healed slowly over time and as now back to normal. Oscar is doing really well and we’re all hoping he continues in the same vein for some time to come. Shelley