Farriers' Roundtable

Are there any long-term effects from using frog support pads?

Q. Are there any long-term effects from using frog support pads?

— Ohio Farrier

A: Frog support pads are a great way to provide passive frog pressure. They are easier to fit and require far less skill than rigid frog support shoes. However, there are a few aspects to look at when using them long-term. 

As with rigid frog plates, these pads make it very difficult for the owner to clean out the collateral sulcii of the frog. This can be remedied by using a material such as Equi-Pak. Be cautious. Long-term use of hoof pours can lead to issues with consistency and strength of the sole. The hoof must also be thoroughly cleaned prior to application, as the risk of trapping anything under the material is ever-present and can result in both fungal and bacterial invasion. 

Second, look at the different varieties of frog support pads on the market. In my opinion, the Myron McLane frog support pad is the only pad that has been designed to accomplish the same goal as a rigid frog support. The caution is that to build rigidity into the actual frog support, the pad had to be designed with built-in wedges.

In horses that radiographically have too much heel, these may be contraindicated. Any time we change the angulation of the hoof capsule, there is an inherent risk of damaging soft tissue. This can be prevented by educating the owner to allow the horse to slowly adjust to the change before resuming normal…

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