Farriers Weigh in on Missing Frogs

Q: A client has obtained a rescue horse, which I trimmed about 10 weeks ago. At that time, the frog was gone from three hooves. I didn’t think anything about it since most horses were shedding frogs at that time.

Today, I returned to trim the horse and there has been no frog regrowth. On the right hind, the horse has become very tender and what little frog there is gives easily under light pressure, almost like there is fluid underneath. There was no sign of bruising, sole abscess or thrush. The other two hooves with the shed-out frogs are not “spongy” and tender. I have not seen this before and would like opinions on how to regain a healthy frog.

— Mary Ann Woods

A: This could be a number of things. I would really need to see pictures in this case, but the first thing I would want to know is what the heels look like. A lot of rescue horses are obviously not on a very good hoof-care schedule, so the hooves are probably pretty long and underrun. If that’s the case, the frog may just need a little contact with the ground.

I’ve had good success trimming the heels properly so the frog hits the ground when the foot is loaded in order to circulate and function like it is supposed to. I would probably use THRUSHBUSTER, or whatever product you choose, for a few days just to be on the safe side. If you keep…

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