John Crothers illustrates the wear on a copper-alloy shoe after three sets and a cross-section that he cut away. He finds that he gets as many resets out of the copper-alloy shoe as he does steel shoes. 
Images: Kawell

Copper-Alloy Horseshoes Offer Nonstop Bacterial Protection

Application reduces ground reaction forces, research finds

Bacterial and fungal infections are among the most prevalent hoof-care issues that farriers face. They also can prove frustrating to get under control, particularly when clients fail to follow through with treatment between farrier visits. There is an option that can help — copper

Copper has a long history of use as an antimicrobial. The Edwin Smith Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text that was written between 2600 and 2200 B.C., records the first medicinal use of copper to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water. The Georg Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text of herbal knowledge that was written around 1550 B.C., recommends copper compounds for headaches, “trembling limbs,” burns, itching and certain growths on the neck.1

Of course, farriers are well aware of the antimicrobial properties of copper sulfate. In De Materia Medica, which was written by Pedanius Dioscorides in the first century A.D., records the use of verdigris and blue vitriol, or copper sulfate, for eye ailments such as inflammation or “bleary” eyes, cataracts, bloodshot eyes and “fat in the eyes.”2

More than half of farriers see a case of thrush each week during the year, according to the 2020 American Farriers Journal Farrier Business Practices survey. Another 20% see thrush monthly, while 8% only deal with it a few times a year. Another 20% indicated thrush is only a seasonal concern. Meanwhile, 20% see white line disease weekly, 24% on a weekly and quarterly basis and another 31% see it annually.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Rigorous testing…
To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings