Fighting Thrush using White Lightning

There are several good Thrush soaks. My favorite for easy thrush infections is Oxine, because it's cheap and easy... all you need is a soaker boot or zip lock bag! But White Lightning is what I recommend when thrush is chronic. I think that activated Oxine is almost identical to White Lightning.... but this way of using White Lightning works extremely well, so it's what I suggest.

Honestly? If you get your horse on a low carb diet, eliminate rich forages like Oat Hat and Alfalfa, and work to balance zinc and copper and minimize the amount of Iron your horse gets? You probably won't need to soak for thrush after you get ride of any your horse has when you change the diet....

Information about White Lightning

Frontier Pharmaceuticals - What is Chlorine Dioxide?
Frontier Pharmaceuticals
White Lightning Products from Grand Circuit
Introduction to White Lightning from Grand Circuit

Gel or Concentrate?

The Gel is used by by cleaning the frog thoroughly, applying White Lightning Gel into the cracks and crevasses then covering with a film of Desitin Ointment to seal it. I recommend the concentrate soaks for severe cases.

Getting Started

White Lightning and white vinegar combine to make a solution that "fumes" the hoof in a vapor bag or vapor boot for 30 to 40 minutes. Fuming can be done for shorter periods of time, and the White Lightning people recommend 12 hours or more for severely corroded frogs. A plastic bag can be used to contain the fuming solution or a special vapor boot can be purchased from Grand Circuit. ,

DUCT TAPE BOOTIE - An alternative is to use duct tape alone or to wrap the bagged hoof in order to protect it. Because this is the most complicated way, I've included pictures of how to do this.

  • Leave the vapor boot/bootie in place for 30 to 40 minutes for mild to medium cases. Boots can be left in place for up to 12 hours for aggressive treatments when the frog is riddled with infection.

Everything that's required


  • White Vinegar
  • Vet Wrap (optional)
  • Loose or roll Cotton
  • Scissors for cutting vet wrap and duct tape
  • Optional: Grand Circuit Vapor / Soak Boot

    Cut enough duct tape to make several wraps around the fetlock

Hoof Prep

Getting the frog cleaned up is important!

Trim any loose skin and remove any "wormy" looking frog and remove flaps of skin that create folds and crevices. I don't reduce the size of the frog any more than necessary. This central sulcus has been eaten away by thrush, and the crevice between the heel bulbs has become infected by thrush as well. Use the syringe to squirt solution deep into the cracks and cotton.

Duct tape booties only work in soft environments where a horses movement is restricted. Seal the fumes in at the back of the foot by taping up over the bulb of the foot.




Creating a Duct Tape Bootie



Creating a Bag Bootie (can cover with a boot)

Place a durable plastic bag over the hoof and let the horse put its foot down. I suggest getting large used drip IV bags from your vet. They are free and very durable. Place the foot in a boot or protect the bag with layers of duct tape to make a bagged duct tape bootie.

Chronic Thrush

The pictures below are of a chronic case of thrush. Note the extremely deep commissure's (the grooves on either side of the frog) atrophied , "rotten" frog and "congested" sole. The horses foot adopts this rigid form to disable hoof mechanism, which would be extremely painful with this sort of thrush infection. As bad as these feet look, the horse is sound on the trail - except when a rock hits his sore frog.