Monday 25 July 2011

Look to your frogs!

Firstly, thanks for all the lovely comments about the Friday "no bridle" film - I just love riding that way and its great to get all the fantastic feedback from you guys - thank you :-)

Now to resume normal service and back to stuff for the hoof anoraks amongst you.   As you will have noticed by now, I am convinced that caudal hoof strength is dependent on frog health and frog stimulus, and vice versa.
23rd May, 10 days out of shoes
There are several horses here at the moment who are demonstrating this very nicely.  Flynn arrived with a nasty central sulcus infection in his RF, which was always going to be stubborn to get rid of.   In these photos, 8 weeks apart, you can see how he is now starting to get on top of it finally. 
8th July, starting to land heel first
22nd July
These sorts of central sulcus problems, also called sheared heels, are something to beware of in a shod or barefoot horse.  They are often overlooked as being a minor problem but cause enormous discomfort and can even cause a horse to land toe first and lead to DDFT injuries in the longer term.

Back to another frog problem, but a much easier one to improve.  George, as you know, arrived 2 weeks ago with a weak caudal hoof even though he has basically good feet.
The problem was that his frogs were weak and no longer receiving proper stimulus and this in turn and left him with hooves which were landing and loading incorrectly, with heels higher than his frogs and long hoof wall.
Two weeks later and you can see that his frog is rapidly becoming stronger and is now allowing the hoof to load caudally again, which in turn is improving his landing and reducing the stress on his tendons and ligaments.

Footage to follow, but the message is clear, I hope, that it never pays to overlook your frogs!


jenj said...

Ribbit! ;)

What do you use to address the central sulcus infection? I've heard triple antibiotic ointment mixed 50/50 with Dessitin or another similar cream.

Funder said...

Nic, do you use anything to treat thrush? Daily, every couple days, etc?

Nic Barker said...

I use White Lightning (chlorine dioxide) if a horse has an infected central sulcus but I don't otherwise put anything on frogs.

TBH I've found that if they are working and getting stimulus thats usually enough to keep them healthy even in very wet conditions.

Andrea said...

Nic, what do you think of the cow mastitis medication (over here it's called Tomorrow and comes in syringes so you can squirt it direction into the udder).... I've had awesome results with that!

Barbara said...

So - I am scrolling down my blog list and for a rare moment forgot that everything is horse related. I looked at the tiny tiny picture that denotes your blog on the list and thought...'Where the hell are the frogs?" "What frogs?" I click on the picture and it takes me to your blog...... oh, THOSE frogs.

Nic Barker said...

LOL Barbara - I will be sure to title the next one "HOOF PORN" ;-)

Andrea - I'm fascinated but I've never come across it - whats the active ingredient? Tell me you use it on frogs and not udders(!)....

cptrayes said...

I've been waiting for George news. That frog development looks fantastic. Well on the way to a sound horse, fingers crossed.


cptrayes said...

Just want to say also that if you did not know George, you might be hard put to have realised that his frogs were not normal unless you were a rehab expert. But luckily I used to own him and was able to tell Nic that when he left me they were half as wide again and only two thirds as long.

This may explain why the remedial farrier at the "top four" research hospital who said there was little chance of him ever working sound again told the owners that he had excellent feet that did not need trimming!

It is lucky that the owners were friends of mine who I told, immediately I heard the news, that the "experts" were wrong. Let's hope he proves me right, but he's going in the right direction, isn't he??

Well done Nic!