Kopper Kare is a fungicide-antiseptic-astringent solution
indicated for use in the treatment of footrot on cattle
and sheep; thrush, hoof punctures, cracked hooves, and
spongy hooves in horses, ringworm, wounds, after dehorning;
and as a pad toughener in dogs.
Directions for Use:
- Remove all dead tissue and cleanse the affected
- Use Kopper Kare by squeezing the bottle or applying
with a brush or swab.
- Do not apply to the teats of lactating
- Not for use on cats or rabbits.
- Avoid contact with eyes and mucus membranes.
- Keep out of the reach of children.
12 bottles per carton
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Horse Thrush (aka equine thrush) is an infection of the frog in which bacteria causes horn to rot producing a black residue which produces a strong unpleasant smell. The bacteria in question is called ‘Fusiformis’ and lives in the soil liking conditions where there is not much oxygen. When dirt collects under the foot over a long time without being removed oxygen levels drop creating just the right conditions for this kind of bacteria to multiply.
The problem starts because of poor foot care and perhaps the use of foot pads because in such situations dirty areas without much oxygen build up.
Thrush is normally controlled with good foot care and dry clean stabling. The frog should be well trimmed and scrubbed clean each day. When cleaning out the frog the owner should pay special attention to the cracks either side of and around the frog.
The following treatments are common:
Iodine solution (not if the affected foot is sensitive)
Formalin (not if the affected foot is sensitive)
Antibiotics (eg in the form of sprays)
Other materials that kill off the bacteria
Persistent cases of equine thrush may be caused by a weak immune system and/or poor horn growth because of dietary imbalance but a dirty environment. Not picking out the feet often enough is the most important cause of the problem.
Thrush in horses is referred to as either equine thrush or horse thrush. If you smell a foul odor while picking your horse's feet, chances
are he has contracted thrush, a frog-eating, anaerobic bacterium.
Thrush is a primary concern, whether your horse lives mainly at
pasture or in a stable, especially in wet weather. Since this
bacterial disease is anaerobic, it survives without the presence
of oxygen. In fact, oxygen will actually kill it. In many minor
cases, just a hoof picking a day will be enough to keep thrush
Conditions that accelerate thrush are conceptually (but not
literally) relative to those that accelerate tooth decay within
our teeth. It sounds absurd to hear that someone died of tooth
decay. Unfortunately, I have heard of horses being put down due
to advanced cases of thrush and I think how absurd, because
thrush (frog decay) and cavities (tooth decay) are both
hygiene-related and both easily prevented.
Generally speaking, thrush is not deadly. Most studies suggest
that minor cases have a three-day window to arrive and a
three-day window to disappear, provided that appropriate measures
Thrush problems for horses are essentially fostered by poor
hygiene. It's difficult to comprehend the seriousness of
something that appears so subtle, but due to the horse's hoof
construction, it can be deadly if not dealt with properly.
The frog has two distinct layers--the external skin is called
horn tissue and the corresponding vascular layer of tissue is
called the sensitive corium. Beneath the inner sensitive layer
lies a pad-like shock absorber that reduces concussion for the
horse's hoof and his entire limb, called the deep digital
The signs of thrush will be noticeable at the deep crevices of
the frog (sulci) when a black, puss-like discharge accompanied by
a foul odor is present.
Thrush is likely to take over a hoof that is left in unsanitary
conditions. A wet environment that primarily consists of urine
and acidity from manure is a breeding ground for the anaerobic
bacterium that are attracted to any necrotic (decayed) tissue
that exists on the horse's frog. Not stopping at that, the
bacteria will form deep-seated pockets and literally drill into
the frog, eating away at the remaining healthy tissue.
One way to prevent thrush is by a thorough, daily hoof picking.
It's not necessarily true that horses at pasture won't get
thrush. They can, in certain seasonal situations. Horses left in
muddy areas, particularly in the northeastern part of the U.S.,
may have to cope with wetter climates most months of the year,
increasing the odds of contracting thrush. Horses that spend time
in unsanitary conditions are also more susceptible to the
In serious cases, the thrush bacteria invades the sensitive
layers of the frog. It is common in these cases to see bleeding
of the frog as well. If this happens, you should move your horse
into a clean, dry area and use an antiseptic foot wash with
Betadine solution or a foot soak with warm Epsom salt water. If
bleeding still persists, apply a temporary bandage.
Remember, it's always a good idea to confer with your vet, who
will probably suggest your horse receive a tetanus shot. Once the
healing of the frog begins, it would be wise to maintain a
"cleanliness-first" policy for your horse's feet.
Thrush needs tough treatment to eliminate it. Farrier Bryan
Farcus has found several commercial products that successfully
combat the frog-eating disease: Thrush Buster by Mustad, Kopertox
by Fort Dodge and Thrush Remedy by Absorbine. Remember that
regardless of the type of thrush medication you choose, it will
be most effective when administered directly after a thorough
hoof cleaning. Careful stable and hoof management is essential if thrush is to be prevented. As the bacteria are killed by oxygen, regular use of the hoof pick will allow air to the foot and reduce the ability of the bacteria to take hold.
Keep stables clean with plenty of good-quality, dry bedding. If horses are in for long periods, bank the beds during the day to allow them to stand on an area of clean, dry concrete.
Some horses are more susceptible to this condition than others, and foot conformation can lead to a predisposition to thrush. For example, a deep cleft in the frog may become packed with sand after working in an arena. If not carefully cleaned, this could lead to irritation and allow bacteria to enter.
The prime cause, however, is one of hygiene — standing in droppings and urine. The damp conditions of a dirty stable provide the perfect environment for the anaerobic bacteria, (those needing a low-oxygen environment) which cause thrush to flourish.
Diagnosis and treatment
The most obvious sign of thrush is a foul-smelling, black discharge from the frog, which itself may have softer spots and appear irregular in shape. The horse is unlikely to be lame unless the decay has invaded the sensitive inner tissues.
If a horse has thrush the underlying cause needs to be identified and removed. The horse should be moved to a clean, dry environment and the feet cleaned daily.
The farrier or vet will need to remove the decayed tissue, and depending on the severity of the condition, this may need to be done over more than one visit. The feet may need to be bandaged or dressed with topical medication. Every vet and farrier has their favourite remedy, most of which aim to dry out the feet.
Thrush will never resolve unless the hoof hygiene is good — it is the equine equivalent of athlete's foot. A damaged frog is the perfect entry point for the bacteria that cause tetanus, so ensure that the horse has adequate protection against this.