THRUSH. In this disease the frog is ulcerated, causing a discharge of fetid matter from the cleft or division. It is not always productive of lameness, particularly where the hind feet are affected, which is always the result of negligence, in allowing the horse to stand in his dung. The horny frog becomes soft and rotten, and the acrid matter penetrating through it inflames the sensible frog; and, instead of horn being secreted for its defence, a fetid and acrimonious matter is discharged. Contraction in the heels will sometimes produce thrushes in the fore-feet, but it is more generally the consequence of want of elasticity and increased thickness of the hoof. The treatment of thrush must depend on the cause by which it is produced. That in the hindfeet will be cured by proper washing and removing the filth which occasions it; when, however, it has gone so far as to produce ulceration of the sensible frog, it must then be dressed with a solution of blue vitriol or oxymel of verdigrise, after cleansing the frog thoroughly with tow. One dressing will be sufficient to effect a cure. The tar ointment ordered in narrow heels should be applied hot, to promote the regeneration of horn. Thrush in the forefeet must be treated differently. The cause must be first removed, which is an increased quantity of blood thrown into the frog, from the compression which the sensible foot undergoes from the contraction of the heels. In this case, the animal suffers pain from his ineffectual efforts to expand the inelastic and inflexible heel; this causes him to lift the frog and go chiefly on the toe.
Thus it is that stumbling and falling are so common in this disease. By attempting to stop this kind of thrush with those preparations commonly used, the lameness is often increased. All that is necessary here is to rasp the quarters and heels of the hoof, attenuate the soles, and cover the frog with,tar ointment; the foot should then be wrapped in an emollient poultice. Slight cases will be effectually relieved by this treatment. Should, however, the thrush remain after these applications, apply the following mixture:—Take tar, four ounces; white vitriol, half an ounce; alum in powder, two ounces: mix them, and add, gradually, sulphuric acid, three drachms. It is necessary to describe a third kind of thrush, which is, in point of fact, nothing less than the commencement of canker; it is not so common as those already treated on. This species of thrush may be always removed by carefully cutting away from the frog all the horn that is detached from the sensible frog, and afterwards applying egypfiaticum, with a few drops of oil of vitriol. The part affected should be kept clean with a sponge and warm water; and, when the ulcers are healed, the regeneration of horn must be assisted by applying the hoof oiutment used in narrow heels.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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