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Hoof and Foot Health

Frog and Sole bound
Post At
11/28/2005 - 6:17 P
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reply from
Doyle White
I came across a 2 year old thoroughbred that was moved here to Missouri from Florida this summer. The first farrier the lady had out recommended she call someone else. I was the one. The horse stands almost 17 hands with decent confirmation and good feet other than the frog has completely closed the colateral groove and appears to be growing into the sole of the foot. He is a little flat footed. He is basically kept in a dry lot, stall and round pen. I basically gave him a good trim, trimmed to new sole and shaved off as much frog as I dared. I am worried about the flexibility of the hoof and hindering the flow of blood out of the hoof. He didn't seem to be sore though. Has anyone else ran across this and what did you do. I appreciate any information someone can give me. I talked to some old hands at a MOFA clinic the other day and no one there had ran into it either.

Doyle
Reply at
11/28/2005 - 11:37 P
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reply from
Tony Hamilton
Doyle,

On many occassions I have run into this type of situation. It seems to stem from imporper trimming of the foot. The main thing is to trim the foot to the live frog, making sure that you find the true apex of the frog. After doing this, you will notice a difference in the foot the next time you trim it. Hope this helps you.

Tony
Reply at
12/ 4/2005 - 10:00 P
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reply from
Kim Hillegas
Doyle,

Is it possible that this horse has an overgrown hoof? Has his hoof been allowed to develop a "false" or double sole?

A horse that large may have been encouraged to grow a larger hoof. Some farriers are reluctant to exfoliate the sole and a "double " sole develops.

Also if the horse came from a sandy but dry area of Florida the soles will sometimes build up. This happens because the hoof just sinks into the ground.

The sole doesn't flex as much (not like it would if the horse was moving across hard ground and having more support offered to the walls, so the sole flexes with each step); on a flexible sole - the parts that normally exfoliate, will. But on soft deep footing the sole is prevented from this flexing and so it gets built up.

When the sole builds up like this you will often see that the frog appears to have grown together with the sole.

A remedy for this situation is to get the hooves water soaked. About an hour will do, then you will be able to use your knife (or even a hoof pick in some cases) to scape away the actual dead sole that needs to exfoliate. Often these soles will come out in huge chunks near the toe and as you scrape towards the frogs you can often lift up the old frog with the exfoliating sole!

Go ahead - peel off the entire mess!

Your first encounter with this will be rather scarey, but as long as the material being removed is crumbly, flakey, chalky and white - keep digging. You may be amazed at the depth of untrimmed wall revealed once the old dead sole is exfoliated!

Another reason possible for a frog to appear grown together with the sole, is if the horse is recovering from a huge solar abscess and what you are now seeing is the fresh repair. The clue to which you are seeing is the material of the sole- chalky, white, flakey, crumbly means overgrown, dead, "false" or "double" sole; dense, firm yellowish material means recovering, new sole - don't remove this new sole.

You'll discover with Thoroughbreds that they have a fine line of too much sole and too little sole. Actually all horses are affected by this, Thoroughbreds just seem to exhibit more obvious symptoms. Too much sole and the horse will act tender footed because the sole can't flex and the extra sole acts like a stone stuck to the bottom of his hoof; too little sole and the sole flexes too much, this aggravates the internal support structures of the hoof.

I find on these horses just actually scraping the sole with the BACK of my hoof knife is sufficient to exfoliate what the horse is comfortable with. I also am sure to remove extra sole material in the "Seat of Corn" on these hooves. Sometimes just allowing a 1/16th to an 1/8th inch difference in depth at this area can mean the difference between a sore footed horse and a happy sound horse!
Reply at
12/ 4/2005 - 9:08 P
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reply from
Rickey Benningfield
If you see cracks in the sole material then it is dead sole that you are looking at. I use a "Sole Knife" and the driving hammer first. Go to the area between the commisure and the bar near the point of the frog and tap the sole knife to observe if any material either flakes off or if there is any live sole present below or if there is "Layers" of material. This will tell you right off if there is too much dead sole or if you are dealing with "False Sole". Remember that the bar is to be there to support the sole area and the hoof wall, if it is too long and readily aparant then it is too long and should be trimmed-it should not touch the ground before the hoof wall! If the frog seems to be in a deep well with what appears to be live sole (no cracks or exfolation) then you are definitely dealing with false sole. For this I use my super sharp knife and begin in the area of the channel between the bar and the commisure, make a pass and observe, have found nails that are laying on their side but entrapped along with gravel etc. I have had to have the customer get ahold of the Vet to administer medicine to calm the horse when the pain is too much for them. Down here they leave too much dead sole and when it drys out it will contract-this is where tha pain comes from.

One clients horse was on her side when I arrived, took 3 hours of carving to clean up the mess, found nails, gravel, dirt, and deadsole in each foot. After I finished the horse stood up and began to lick me! The owner said that is the first time that she had seen that done, said the other farrier/shoer only used his nippers. Also the horse had been laying on her side for 2 days before the Vet told them to call me!
Reply at
12/ 6/2005 - 7:59 P
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reply from
Doyle White
Kim,

I don't beleive it is an over grown hoof and the problem didn't start, according to the owner, until the horse had been in Missouri a couple of months. It is in all four feet and I was able to talk to the owner's vet last week and her response was that she has never seen anything like it and didn't have a clue what to do. The whole collateral groove is filled in with frog. You can see a little of the groove in the very front of the frog and in the very back. When I tried to get a knife in the groove from either direction, it was like the frog and groove were one and wouldn't come apart. The frog looks like a piece of gum on the bottom of a shoe after it has been stepped on. The bars aren't visible. The frog runs about 3/4 of an inch on either side of the sole. It really is wild looking. Hope to get some pictures real soon. The problem is the owner isn't real concerned about it because right now he is getting around alot better since I trimmed him.

I want to thank all of you who have responded so far. I appreciate it.

Doyle
Reply at
12/ 7/2005 - 3:47 P
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reply from
Kim Hillegas
Doyle,

How deep would you say the frog commisseurs are? OR the overall thickness of the frog? Does this frog have a center sulcus or is it completely smooth across the middle of the frog?

A shallow frog, or shallow crevices as well as a flat center meant he frog is prolapsed and the hoof needs tightening up.

Yes, photos would be a great help, unfortunately I don't think photos are able to be posted on this forum. You'll need to post them to a photo hosting site. I use both yahoo photos and picturetrail.com put the pix on a site like that and then paste the link here.

From your description, I'm betting on a flattened, prolapsed frog as well as a flared hoof. Look at the heel area of the frog and see if you can find a "seam" about 3/4 inch below the hairline of the heel bulbs. This seam might run across the entire back of the frog to each buttress.

Give the hooves a good soaking and see if this seam lifts apart. If it doesn't right now, It probably will in a week or two. Then you can probably shed the entire frog and sole!

When this mess finally does lift off, expect to view a new sole that is a bit soft and light colored until the air keratinizes it. The horse will probably be a bit tender until the sole hardens also.

Looking forward to the photos!

Kim
Reply at
12/15/2005 - 6:40 P
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reply from
Dr. Esco Buff, PhD, AFA-CF
Hello Doyle,

I'm going on your written description without benefit of observation or photos, however what your describing sounds to me to be false sole. We get many horses in western New York with this condition.

It is very difficult to pare out via sole, so many of us use our nippers to cut into the hoof at the toe. This gives a way of taking the nippers and peeling back the sole that is growing over the other sole. I've had these false soles any where from 1/4" to 3/4" thick.

Some horses grow it each 6 week shoeing, others after an injury (such as bruised soles), some never grow it back after paring out, others it comes back to a lesser degree.

One way to identify is that the frog appears to grow into the sole, there are no bars and sometimes the entire bottom of the foot will be a sole without even seeing the frog. We have soft, wet weather here and it is easy to remove except in mid summer months when it can be very difficult. I would imagine dry, hard areas would create some difficulty in removing.

Please be free to send me a picture so I can review. Thanks and Blessings.

Esco Buff, PhD, CF
Reply at
01/16/2006 - 7:46 P
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reply from
Doyle White
Doc,

I finally got called back out to look at the horse above. I went with camera in hand and low and behold there were 4 new hooves growing out of the frog. Just kidding!

The overgrown frog looked like it had shed itself and the collateral groove was back and the frog was back to normal. Darndest thing I have ever seen. She said two vets had looked at it a couple days after I first trimmed him and they both left scratching their heads. Dadgum I wished I would have got pictures. Anyway, thanks so much for your help I really appreciated it and everyone elses responses also. thanks again

Doyle
  

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