Q: I have been working with a horse for the last several months that has a severe case of "frog rot" in all 4 feet. I wanted to send you some pictures, but my computer is down and I do not have access to downloading my pictures at this time. I would like to tell you a little about this horse, and see if you have any further ideas for treatments.
Hannah is a Warmblood in her teens. One of my clients purchased her recently from a supposed reputable trainer. She wanted a horse that had a good amount of training under her belt, and was level headed. When she initially went to see the horse, she was barefoot, and just picked her feet up and took a quick look, but it was in an indoor arena with poor lighting. She seemed to travel well on the soft arena so my client didn't look at her feet any further. After she got her home, she took her on an easy trail ride, and noticed that she was very sore when she got back home. She called me frantically after she inspected her feet further.
I was able to get to her the next day, and when I picked her feet up and examined the frogs further, I was impressed/ horrified. I've had my problems with thrush and deteriorating frogs, especially with all of the wet weather we had over the winter and spring, but I had never seen anything to this extent. My hoof pick would just sink into the central sulcus, and underneath the edges of the frog, and I would just come out with a cottage cheese like substance. This was on all 4 feet. When I further examined the hooves, there were multiple toe and quarter cracks, and the fronts were clubby. You could tell by reading the growth rings that she had just recently had a pasture trim (for selling purposes I'm sure), but you could also tell that she had probably had extended time standing in muck or manure. She had supposedly been abandoned by a previous owner, and then the trainer had purchased her. He had kept her for 3 years though, but only used her occasionally as a lesson horse, and then was out the rest of the time.
I have been trimming her feet every week for 3 trims, and then every 2 weeks for the last several trims. I continue to remove all of the loose and decaying frog material, and trimming her foot to the live sole, and rasping flares. As of last week, her hooves are responding to the hoof wall trimming well, and her heels are almost where they should be, and she is not clubby any more. Her heels have also widened well. We have tried several things to "dry up" the frogs, such as The Lysol solution that Pete Ramey suggests, and some betadine paint initially, and also hosings to the frog to clear out all of the mud and manure. She is on 24/7 turnout, and her owner has not allowed them access to the barn. Our weather is dry at present, but we do have dew on the ground in the morning. The frogs look better, but there are still several areas that are "cottage cheesy" and friable to touch, and will bleed when cleansed. On the side of one frog, you can pull it back with the hoof pick, and see almost to the corium. There is no tight frog sole juncture there. The last 2 times I have trimmed, I have placed a Polysporin powder product that I get from work, to see if that would help dry and kill off the bacteria. I know it will not kill the fungus, but I am trying just about anything I can think of.
Do you have any suggestions? The poor girl is getting very testy about having her feet worked on, because of the discomfort in her frogs. I feel that the improved hoof form is starting to help, but would like her to start being able to produce some healthy frog.
I will send pictures as soon as I can.
suspicious of some canker-type changes. Certainly deep infection of some
sort. Lysol is good but I've heard the clean-trax is good for tough
cases. Dry environment would seem to be a necessity, but can the horse be
moved to a dry climate? Will look forward to pictures. Sounds like you've
made some progress but still battling deep infection--and since you can see
corium on occasion that means it's infected, too. Not easy to remedy
these from what I've heard. I don't have to deal with it much in my