****This Heel Crack / sulcus-thrush Pro-Tip is ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT***
Are you dealing with sulcus thrush and HEEL CRACKS, and using No Thrush Powder to fix it? If so, this is Heath, Company VP, and I’m here to give you some ESSENTIAL Pro-tips that will give you the best and fastest results.
#1 – I can’t express how important this first one is….
*** Don’t try to outsmart the product. ***
No Thrush does its job. You do not need to add something else, trying to rush the process. Simply put, the heel regrowth process cannot be forced. No thrush is “allowing” the tissue to grow, it is not “making” it grow.
Of course, being an impatient man myself, even I have tried to second-guess the product. I’ve tried to rush things by getting “creative.” It Never works. Instead, it slows things down and I have to thump myself in the forehead.
For Example, I have received several calls in the last few weeks from people saying that No Thrush has gotten them through the first goal (ie: the heels are firm and the horse is properly landing on his heels.) Yay. They are happy. Their complaint is that the cracks aren’t re-growing like we say they should.
After a quick discussion, this is what we learned… Instead of allowing No Thrush to do its job, they decide to do more. After all, since NT is good all by itself, then adding something else must be even better, right? This is what they decided to do…. They used NT 4 times a week, and then on the other days, they’d use bleach, vinegar, and/or one of the caustic old-school products you get at the store. As you know from our other posts, yes, caustic products kill bacteria…. BUT they also damage LIVE, sensitive tissue in the heel. So by dripping those products into the heel cracks we are damaging the exact tissue that we are so diligently trying to fix. The thrush is gone but the heel cracks simply can’t regrow due to the damage. This means that new bacteria will invade.
Be patient and let No Thrush do its job. It’s good at it. It’s not the “instant” fix we’d all love, but if used as directed it is absolutely a thrush-war ender.
2. Understand that heel cracks take time to grow. Don’t get frustrated after two weeks. The heel will grow at the same pace as his feet grow. That pace varies from horse-to-horse. Some horses need to be trimmed every 8 weeks, some every 10 weeks. That is the pace that the heel tissue will grow as well. NOTE: It will also grow slower in the winter.
3. There are 2 separate goals when using NT for Sulcus Thrush.
Goal #1 – the immediate and urgent goal is to Draw, Absorb, and Remove the bacteria breeding ground from the heel and clefts. By following the application tips below, this will typically occur in 5-7 days. Perhaps a bit longer if it’s a severe case. At this point, the heels start to firm up and the horse begins walking properly with a heel-first step.
Goal #2 – Re-grow the heel crack.
After the active thrush is gone in a week or so, we need to keep using No Thrush to keep new bacteria from re-invading the heel while it grows and mends. If you stop treating now, new bacteria jumps in and goes right back to work. This is called the “Thrush Cycle” and we will not get out of it until the heels are sealed and closed for good.
4. A “thrushy” horse will typically always be prone to thrush. It’s like athlete’s foot. If you are prone, you are prone. Nothing you can do but stay vigilant. For thrush, after you have gone through the heel crack healing process, we recommend weekly dusting with No Thrush. You don’t need to use that much, just a light dusting and scrub with your hoof brush. This will keep you out of the cycle entirely.
5. Mmmmm. This one should have been closer to the top.
Some heel cracks are tight like the one in this post’s photo. They might try to close up very, very fast. A few days even. DON’T let this happen. We do not want to allow a pocket of thrush to get trapped inside. Use your hoof pick to wiggle the crack open every day while getting your powder in there. The crack will regrow from the inside out. It will get shallower each week. By keeping the top open we allow air and NT to get inside and protect against further infection.
6.. One last item before we move on. Some horses are extremely susceptible to thrush. In fact, we personally have 2 horses that we need to dust 3 times a week, every week, every month, every year. Ugh. Yes, it’s a major hassle. If we miss a day or two, BAM. What looked perfectly healthy yesterday, has suddenly exploded today. I’m serious. A heel crack opens up over night and black goo is everywhere. In two days! My point is, just be aware that there are anomalies out there. There are horses that never get thrush. Others attract it like ants to a PBJ sandwich left on the picnic table.
Okay, here’s the last, but very important bits. These are the “application” pro-tips that will get you the best and fastest results with your NT powder versus sulcus thrush.
As long as you follow the 3 to-do’s, No Thrush will work in all weather conditions, including damp/muddy conditions. Of course the drier-the-better, but the powder will do the job if you do this….
1. Get plenty of powder “inside” the heel crack. Put a bunch of powder on top of the heel, then use your hoof pick to push and wiggle it inside. We need enough in there to absorb, draw, and remove the breeding ground. See the photo below.
2. Lay a good amount of powder inside the clefts.
3. (important step) Use your hoof brush to scrub the powder into/onto all surfaces and nooks and crannies of the foot. Then when the horse goes into the mud, the mud will lock the powder into place. Most importantly, the powder is in the heel where most of the work needs to occur.
Note: The time-frame to get rid of the “active” thrush is 5-10 days, depending on how infected the heels are, and the typical time-frame to get he heels closed and healed is 30-60 days.
The goal is to have a “dimple” instead of a “crack.”
Hope that helps.
PS: Here are some application videos to watch. Try videos 2-3-4. You can experiment and see which works best for you.https://fouroaksproducts.com/important-no-thrush-videos…/
Also, if you want the entire Sulcus thrush Story, Review Video #1
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