« Longears Everywhere | Main | How Do You Soak a Donkey's Hoof? »

December 07, 2004

Winter Hoof Troubles

Do you find that your donkeys and mules seem to have more hoof problems in the winter time?

This last weekend my mammoth gelding came up lame with a hoof abscess. Now that the vet has drained and packed it, he should feel better soon. That got me started thinking again about hoof problems that seem to creep up during the wet winter months.

Last winter I had another donkey that got ice scald when it got wet and really cold. After comparing these two situations, I have some hypotheses about several things that I think might contribute to these kind of problems, but I would love to hear what your experiences have been and what seems to trigger these kind of problems.

So I started a new topic this evening on the LongearsMall Forums about hoof problems. You can add your experiences to my new topic entitled Hoof Abscesses, or you can start your own topic.

Thrush Prevention and Treatment

While we're on the subject of hoof care, here is a neat tip that you might find useful.

Thrush can be an especially aggravating problem this time of year when the ground is often wet and muddy. Our donkeys and mules tend to collect lots of wet manure and mud in their hooves. If this is not kept cleaned out on a daily basis, they can quickly develop thrush in their hooves.

Would you like to know a simple and inexpensive cure for thrush? Mix half water and half 3% hydrogen peroxide in a plastic spray bottle. 3% hydrogen peroxide can be purchased in the medical section of your local grocery store.

After you clean out your donkey or mule's hooves, thoroughly spray their sole and frog with the peroxide mixture. Let it soak in a little bit before you put their hoof down. The peroxide kills the bacteria that cause thrush, and after several days of this treatment, their hooves should be nice and clean again.

I've also heard of other treatments that cure thrush, but I've had such great success with the peroxide mix that I've never tried them.

Don't forget to keep your donkey and mule's hooves cleaned out regularly. Thrush only grows in areas without oxygen, so keeping their hooves clean will greatly help avoid this problem.

Kristie Jorgensen

Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at December 7, 2004 10:22 PM