The farrier came out this morning, and it’s official: Valentine has thrush. I’m actually relieved, partly because I know for sure now, and partly because the farrier didn’t seem all that concerned. Whew!
If you remember from my earlier post, Valentine had foot issues. He’d been sort of limping, he had stinky feet, and over the last few days, he wouldn’t let me clean his feet. I decided it was time to call in a professional. So Gabe came out and took a look. His diagnosis was that Valentine’s right front hoof has thrush, and that’s why he wouldn’t let me touch his other feet – it hurts him to to put weight on the right when I lift up the left. Gabe suggested we use Kopertox, but approved what we’ve already been using (Hooflex Thrush Remedy). I told him the pasture was pretty muddy, and asked if we should keep Valentine stabled while he’s being treated. He thought that was a good idea. He also suggested that, once the mud has dried, we trot Valentine up and down the road in front of our house to knock the mud loose, since Val won’t let me lift up the feet for cleaning.
So the plan for the next week or so: keep Valentine in the stall to keep the feet dry; treat with thrush medicine at least twice daily; graze him on our lawn (which is desperately in need of mowing anyway); and amuse the neighbors by “walking” my horse up and down the road.
Gabe also told us that thrush is very common here, because it’s such a wet place – it’s a fungal infection, and as you probably know, fungus loves wet. I also may have mentioned that it’s very muddy here. The mud is actually clay (I’m sure I could get a potter’s wheel and a kiln and have a nice pottery business on the side), which means that once it’s up in that concave hoof, it’s there to stay. Along with anything that gets mixed in with it – hay, rocks, the omnipresent poo. So once this thrush is cleared up, we will dose Valentine’s hooves with thrush medicine once a week to prevent a recurrence.
Have I mentioned that I really hate mud?