Equine Pythiosis

Equine Pythiosis is a systemic infection that thrives in yeast rich and immunodeficient systems.


Caused by a fungal-like aquatic organism called Pythium insidiosum, Equine Pythiosis is not a true fungus, but behaves somewhat similarly. It exists in stagnant water or on grasses that have been exposed to the stagnant water. Although many horse and dog owners have never heard of this water borne plant pathogen, we believe it is more common than vets or researchers realize. No reporting of animal pythiosis cases is required. It is becoming more resistant and it’s also moving further north (some cases as far north as Arkansas, Washington State, and North Carolina). Equine Pythiosis is often misdiagnosed as a Summer Sore as the appearance is so similar. Other names are Florida Leeches or Swamp Cancer.

About the disease


Horses are often infected by standing in water containing the p. insidiosum organism. It is therefore more common in humid and swampy areas where water stands for long periods of time. The spores may also become airborne in heavy winds and land in pastures. The spores can lay dormant until rain or heavy dew on the grass activates them.


Equine Pythiosis is often misdiagnosed in horses as a summer sore which is caused by larvae of Habronema or Draschia species worms. As pythiosis closely resembles a summer sore, this is not an unreasonable diagnosis, but unfortunately it results in a delaying of proper treatment. It is a fast growing, flesh eating type disease (eventually going into organs and bone) producing lesions that grow very quickly despite traditional treatments. Left untreated it is fatal. It attacks an immunodeficient system and thrives when offered antibiotics and sugars, both of which create yeast/candida overgrowths.


Take action against Equine Pythiosis today:



  • Use Major’s Solution Equine Internal™ (formerly Fungus Free Internal) for 3-4 weeks after all external sites are completely healed over & scab free. Dosage is 1 cc per 200 lbs. A bottle will last approximately a month and a half for an average 1000 lb horse.
  • Apply Major’s Solution Topical Formula™ (formerly Fungus Free Topical) 2-4 times per day and loosely bandage if possible.
  • If bleeding is moderate to severe, apply a  pressure bandage with Major’s Solution Topical™ and leave on for 24 hours
  • Give “Pure C” (or similar) – loading dose for a week, dropping to regular dosage afterwards
  • Ask your vet about a Potassium Iodide drip or giving 2 tablespoons iodized table salt 2x day
  • Veterinarian administered immune booster shots, may help
  • A debridement may be required to remove necrotic tissue & hidden pockets of kunkers. Use Major’s Solution Topical™ directly (and nothing else) on wound and post-surgical pressure bandage for 24 hours
  • Bandaging bleeders if they are not cauterized – Major’s Solution Topical™
    applied on wound area & on gauze, place small amount of styptic on top of gauze and secure bandage quickly. Get styptic on exact spot bleeder occurred. Be aware that the styptic does burn so use caution.
  • Use a Sea Salt solution for cleaning the wound. Pat dry as possible before applying Major’s Solution Topical™. Viva paper towels are great to gently clean wounds. Twice a day bandage changes are recommended in the beginning. 4’’ square gauze sponges are recommended for type of gauze.  Apply Major’s Solution Topical™directly to the wound and the gauze. Duct tape or Elastikon can be used to secure bandage and can be an invaluable tool.

If you suspect your horse has Equine Pythiosis, please call us today so we can coordinate the best and quickest care possible.


(800) 670-4122