My horse has a (open sore)hole at the rear of his front right hoof, the frog looks like it has been eaten away. Is this a severe case of thrush?
Hi, I'm Dr. Jill. It could be a severe case of thrush, or it could be he punctured his foot with something there and damaged the frog as well as introduced infection. Is he lame on that leg?
Is the hole in the frog itself or up higher in the heel bulbs?
I am headed offline at the moment, but I will check back for a reply in a bit.
The hole is about 3/8" in Diam. and is through the frog which is split/torn. at the bottom of the hole i can see a creamy colored blob that has some trails of red (blood?) on it
I didn't detect a strong odor from his hoof as I cleaned it out only a slight one. The blob is soft and squishy.
Does he appear sore on this leg? Any changes in the frog of other feet?
Depending on how deep the split is and exactly where on the frog it is, it could be fat in the heel bulb that is poking through. Another disorder I would be concerned with is Canker, an abnormal growth of tissue that appears on the frog, often with a cauliflower like appearance, that tends to bleed easily, continues to grow, and predispose the foot to infection.
The best way to get a definitive determination of the issue would be to have your vet come debride the area thoroughly (remove infected tissue) and see if there's abnormal tissue present or just infection or any signs of an obvious puncture wound.
He doesn't appear to be sore in the leg just the hoof. No its not a canker. as I said earlier part of the frog is missing as if eaten away and the hole is below that about 1/2" deep. As we have only just arrived in this area we are still settling in and haven't found a vet as yet.
Ok, is he still willing to stand on the foot or is a lameness noticable at the walk or trot? Are you able to post a picture? If he's minimally willing to stand on the leg, he could have an infection deeper or within an important structure such as a joint or the navicular bursa (just below that area). They can have multiple problems at the same time, especially with abnormal tissue growth coupled with infection. If he is only mildly sore, you can try cleaning the area very well, packing it with a paste of sugar and betadine, and keeping the foot wrapped and dry, changing the wrap every 1-2 days for a few wrap changes, and see if this shows improvement. If he is toe touching lame, I would suggest finding a vet in short order due to the risk of deeper infection.
Unfortunately without being able to examine the horse myself I cannot diagnose the exact problem, but these are some possibilities.
He is willing to stand on that hoof, Yesterday when he was walking you could see that the hoof was bothering him, today however he is walking normally. We took some pictures today but didn't get a good one of the infection? as the camera didnt want to cooperate with us today. 1st pic shows the whole hoof with the hole in the upper right corner in the shaded area the 2nd is out of focus but you can still see it just above center (pink spot). best 2 pic's we got sorry.
Technology...such a love hate relationship when it won't cooperate :). Thanks for the pics and the additional info. It's a bit hard to see, but given that he's walking better and not toe touching lame, it's unlikely that a deeper structure is involved. He may have stepped wrong on a stick or rock and torn the frog in that spot. Bad thrush usually smells, though there are bacteria that can cause infection without a bad smell. They normally exfoliate their frog once or twice a year, so you get a bit of leeway if just the frog is involved (as it sounds so far). So you could try scrubing the area very well, taking away any damaged or infected frog right there, and wrapping the foot for a few days with disinfectant (sugardyne...a paste of sugar and betadine...helps draw infection and fluid out of tissues so helps kill bacteria and harden tissue...though other poultice pastes or disinfectants could help as well). Spraying the foot routinely with a disinfectant like dilute chlorhexidine may help prevent problems in the future with thrush. Though since the foot didn't smell, I'd expect some sort of trauma to the foot is also involved in this instance.
Another option is he may have poked a small object into the frog several days or a week prior forming a small pocket of infection and pus that has just recently burst out leaving a bit of a hole.
Hope this helps. If you have any additional questions please let me know.