Welcome. This is Heath, Four Oaks VP.
You are likely here because you spotted one of our No Thrush Powder posts online and now recognize that your horse does, in fact, not only have a heel (sulcus) crack between the heel bulbs but also has softer than normal heels.
This is a major warning sign that there is an active thrush infection occurring right now.
Below there is a link to learn everything there is to learn about sulcus thrush. But here I want to show pictures and make sure that folks are taking care of these heel cracks now – instead of waiting for the wet, cold, muddy months. It is FAR easier to deal with this 30-60 day treatment and regrowth process while wearing a t-shirt and jeans, versus three layers of shirts, a winter coat, and a headlight with waning batteries.
On this page, you will find a few customers’ before and after photos. You will find dozens more here on this site, and on our Facebook page. Notice that we want a “Dimple” in the heel. NOT a “crack.” If a horse has a sulcus/heel crack, it is guaranteed that bacteria will gravitate to that warm, moist, airless area.
An old farrier once gave me a perfect analogy.
He asked, “What happens when you mow your lawn and you take the clipping and spread them out in the sun?”
I said, “They dry up and blow away?
“Right,” he said. “Now, take that same bag of grass clippings, put them in the trash barrel, and close the lid. What will you find in three days?
“It will be a smelly, slimy, green-goo mess.”
“Yup,” he nodded.”That’s exactly what sulcus thrush does inside those heel cracks.
Finally. Before I sign off, I know there are some of you living in warm, dry climates saying, “Yeah, my horse has a heel crack, but the frog and sole are rock hard! “
This may be true at the moment, but I guarantee you that thrush bacteria WILL get inside any open heel crack and it WILL ultimately cause multiple cases of sulcus thrush a year. Think about it. All it will take is for the horse to step in the puddle you made when you forgot to turn off the trough hose. That moisture activates the bacteria inside the crack, and Bamm, suddenly your horse is mysteriously “off” and you can’t figure out why.
Remember: Sulcus thrush hides in the heel so you can’t see it or smell it. Often you won’t even know it’s there until the horse gets a massive case and it becomes abundantly clear that SOMETHING is wrong with that heel!
Sulcus thrush happens at ANY time of the year.
Now, here is the link to the full Sulcus thrush story, as well as the application pro tips for No Thrush Powder to get the best and fastest results.
No Thrush – PRO TIP – July 2015… “**Shedding Frog**” We received a private message from a woman whose horse was shedding its frog. The answer is valuable, so we thought we’d share to all….
While frog shedding is normal, if you have never experienced it, it can look scary. In fact, sometimes the entire V of the frog will shed at once, which really looks daunting.
Usually thrush is the procuring cause of the shedding.
Here is why: Thrush wants to invade and live deep inside the heel tissue, and of course you can’t see it or smell it because it is so deep. [This is why we preach so hard about eliminating the heel cracks and deep collateral grooves. These are bacteria access points.] — Anyway, when the thrush has run it course deep inside, this action can undermine the frog.
However, when active thrush is present, the frog tissue will literally hang on for dear-life. The body does not want to allow it to shed because it is the only protection for the soft, tender, and vulnerable tissue underneath. ….
So here is the No Thrush “tip.” —- If you see the frog begin to shed [ perhaps an edge, or even a big section looks to be dislodging and “flappy” under your hoof pick] get aggressive with your No Thrush dustings. Once per day is best. The powder will draw out the deep bacteria and breeding ground and take care of the “thrush” problem. If the thrush was severe, and the frog has been undermined, the rest of the frog may fully shed away. This is a good sign. This is the body’s way of breathing a sigh of relief. It no longer needs to fight the thrush, so the body allows the necrotic/dead tissue to fall away.
But you are not quite done…. Keep using your NT every few days. This will help firm up that new tender tissue and allow it to regrow properly. No Thrush is not caustic, so it will not inhibit natural grow…. As the new frog continues to grow you can slowly back off. The A-to-Z timing will be based on the speed of your horse’s natural growth rate. [usually 20-50 days] No Thrush is not “making” the tissue grow, it is “allowing” it to grow. Meanwhile the powder is protecting the new/tender tissue from being invaded by a whole new round of thrush.
Hope you found this helpful. Learn more about those heel cracks at www.nothrushshop.com