Hoof Health: How to spot and treat Hoof Rot and Thrush



All livestock with hooves are prone to acquiring this bacterial infection, especially during periods of high moisture or humidity. It is a bacterium that spreads due to lack of oxygen and can have damaging effects on the animal’s feet/health. Hoof rot is caused by the softening and thinning of the inter-digital skin by puncture wounds or continuous exposure to wet conditions, which provides an entry point for infectious agents and bacteria.

Preventative Measures:

  • Waiting to introduce new animals into the herd
  • Manure free areas or dry footing
  • Hoof checks/trims when needed


The Signs:

  • Lameness
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Swelling of the foot
  • Separation of the skin
  • Ulcers, abscesses, abrasion, fractures and inflammation
  • Swollen around hoof with red irritated area

The Treatment:

Clean the areas to be certain lameness is actually due to foot rot, and use a topical treatment on the affected area. Consult a vet for severe cases and proper treatment/diagnosis.

For more information click on the links below:



Thrush is an infection of the central and lateral clefts of the frog of a horses hoof. It is often bacterial and occasionally a fungal infection. This can be an easy fix if caught early, but can cause major damage to the animal if not treated.


More information on thrush

The Signs:

  • Lameness
  • Soft hoof wall
  • Foul smelling, black discharge in the frog of the hoofthrush_2


  • Clean the hoof regularly.
  • Keep the hoof dry.
  • Apply thrush treatment as recommended by your vet.

Preventative Measures:

  • Clean the hoof regularly
  • Dry footing/bedding and clean housing maintenance
  • Regular farrier visits



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