Tag Archives: hoof disease

A Cure for Equine Canker – It Works, Read on!

This is the post that started the Horse and Man blog in February of 2010…  A very important post so I’d like to repost it today.


EQUINE CANKER – THERE IS A CURE! (no affiliation)

If you are frantic like I was, hoping to find a workable treatment for equine canker — let me impart to you my year of Canker-Horrors and the final cure!

First off, to save you from reading the entire post if you don’t want to, here is the information for the remedy from Well-Horse which they call “Purple Mush”.  You have to call or email since the Purple Mush is not available on the website.  This salve, made from plant resin, is a Miracle.  Hallelujah!  It works almost immediately, is easy to apply and affordable.

To Order Purple Mush

Tim Demma:  (419) 295-0474

email:  tdemma@well-horse.com




I did everything known for equine canker.  I consulted many specialists.  I spent, literally, thousands of dollars and thousands of hours on this.

Some products and treatments worked on my mare’s mild areas but nothing worked for her profound front hoof infection.


My mare was pampered, not in a wet paddock with bacteria in mud – as some vets will lead you to believe.

Tess is my National Champion Park Harness Morgan mare who was pampered and healthy her whole life.  I say this because some vets will make you believe canker comes from mud or unsanitary conditions…

It started near the end of her last pregnancy.  Canker appeared in three of her hooves.  I didn’t know it was canker.  I thought it was thrush.  But, it didn’t go away.


After consulting several vets and specialist, the reality is that no one knows what causes canker.

It is widely thought of as an external infection but it could be systemic. (I will say why this might be true for my mare later.)  And, it isn’t breed specific either although it happens more frequently in Drafts.

If you haven’t yet read about canker, take a look at this article which was written by the most learned veterinarians on the topic.  You will see pictures as well as a description and the most popular treatment.  http://www.equipodiatry.com/canker1.htm


I’ll try to state is simply here.  Canker is an infection of the equine frog, sole, bars, hoof wall and/or  heel.  It first presents like thrush but upon investigation, you will see that it is more like a mushroom overgrowth that looks somewhat similar to cottage cheese and smells really bad.  Here is a picture of an advanced case — very much how my mare’s foot looked after we could not get the canker (we thought it was thrush…) under control.

A bad case of canker… different than thrush although most people think canker is a bad case of thrush.



Well canker is fairly rare, especially in Morgans.  So, I had never seen it and my farrier had never seen it.  We kept thinking that her fetid smelling hooves were a bad case of thrush.

I diligently applied every kind of Thrush remedy from Thrush Buster to peroxide to megawatt bleach and nothing was killing it.  I figured I would just have to keep at it. After all, it was winter and the ground was wet…

Lo and behold, our next farrier appointment came around and my farrier said he had done some research and now thought that this bad case of thrush was actually ‘canker’.  ???  We called my vet and sent him a photo via our cell phone.  The vet said that it sure looked like canker but it would have to be biopsied.

Between the time of the farrier visit and the initial biopsy, Tess developed this nasty condition in two other hooves.  The front right was far worse and started to eat away her frog and heel.

We tried the best known treatment designed by the specialists in equine podiatry which is described in the linked article above.  Basically here is what you are supposed to do: have your vet or a surgeon abrade the area (usually the horse is under sedation) to remove all the infected tissue.  Then you treat the hoof once or twice daily by first wiping the area with a compounded mixture of acetone and benzoyl peroxide, then apply crushed up metronidazole tablets, pack that with cotton gauze and then secure the hospital plate (that your farrier has fitted), vet wrap the foot and then affix a duct tape or some other waterproof boot — all with the hoof in the air.  Ugh.  Twice a day.  Double ugh.  You are miserable, the horse is miserable and it is really a pain to do this.

To be honest, this method did halt the minor cases of canker in her hind feet.  Unfortunately, the severe canker up front, was resistant.  It would not abate, no matter what we did.


After 10 months of the above therapy, new treatments http://www.ericnystrom.com/aep.html, several debridements, constant wrapping, many vet calls and one deep debridement surgery at Loomis Basin Equine Hospital, the canker continued to grow back.  Without another option, the foot specialist was considering removing her frog.  I was beside myself with fatigue and worry.

Tess’ hoof after 10 months of trying all the recommended treatments by specialists.


Here is a picture of Tess’ hoof after 10 months of treatment.   Obviously nothing was stopping this infection.  As they say, no hoof, no horse.  I was very resistant to putting Tess through this invasive surgery to remove her frog.  I was terrified that we would have to put down my wonderful mare who had worked so hard for us.  The specialists were saying that this disease was winning…


A Miracle…  Out of the blue, a friend of mine told me that she had heard of a master farrier from Santa Ynez that had a canker cure.  Really?  I had nothing to lose…  So I contacted CoCo Fernandez.

He was quite personable.  He put me at ease and said that he had much success but wasn’t quite ready to put the product on the market.  I begged him to send a sample.  He said if I was willing to test it for him and be a case study, then he would send it.  I jumped at the chance.  He called it the “Purple Mush”.


I applied the Purple Mush (a textured goo pictured below) to her very clean and dry hoof, added some cotton padding and then wrapped it — very easy.  I waited pensively for three days.  I knew how much damage the canker could do in three days if left to its piranha ways.

When I unwrapped the hoof, I noticed the canker had not grown and was actually dry.  I was amazed.  I heard violins! I couldn’t believe it.  Something was actually halting the growth of this insidious, nasty packman-like bacteria!  I held my breath and re-applied the mush.

Three days later, I swear, the canker was gone.  Absolutely GONE.  I kept applying the Mush for two weeks as I watched healthy foot grow.  I could not believe it!  I called everyone I knew and then asked for a meeting with my vet.
My vet thought he was coming out to discuss my mare’s upcoming, last ditch effort, canker surgery.
I asked him to look at her foot once again before we made the decision.  I stood back as he lifted her foot. ..

OMG!  He repeated his disbelief about 100 times in succession.  OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!  He could not believe what he was seeing either.  After almost a year of struggle, the beast was gone after just two weeks of Purple Mush Magic!

The last of the miracle mush pictured here!


I admitted to my vet what I had done without his sanction…

Now my vet carries Purple Mush on his truck.

I promise you.  Use it.  Your days will become yours again and the nightmare of pastes, wraps and horrible infection will be gone.  Gone.

Please let me know if you try this and it works for you, too.  Also, please ask any questions!  I can tell you how to apply it for success!

Tess is happy, healthy and retired into motherhood thanks to Well-Horse Purple Mush!


Tess lives canker-free!







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