frog shedding

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frog shedding

This is a discussion on frog shedding within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Can shedding of the frog hoof be painful
  • Why does a horse shed its frog

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    03-16-2013, 09:13 PM
frog shedding

Do horses shed the ENTIRE frog when shedding it? I've tried to research and it seems to be very controversial. Same say yes and some say no. Can anyone explain the frog shedding process? Please and thank you :)
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    03-17-2013, 01:06 AM
I didn't know it was controversial, but I am not surprised - it seems everything to do w the hoof is.
Just from observation, I would say one would have to clarify the meaing of "the entire frog" - just like people shed skin daily, but not all the skin below each dead cell they shed. I think one entire "layer" is shed, but I have yet to see that layer come off perfectly all at once.
    03-17-2013, 01:14 AM
Isn't the frog like a giant callous, but more sensitive than such?

I have seen the horses I ride out grow their frogs, and I'm guessing eventually shed it off, but it isn't the entirety of it. Just the end bits as far as I know.
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    03-17-2013, 01:39 AM
I'm talking the whole thing :( like what I consider extreme but upon research about 50% say its normal shedding. What peaked this interest is my mare (see this thread: missing frog!?)

I'm beyond frustrated and there is not much to be done at this point but treat the thrush and keep it clean. Guess its quite common in this area (? *sad face*). Its not detrimental but I sure do feel bad. Poor girl. I sure do miss the dry climate of California lol. I think this was caused by the thrush not shedding but IDK anything about shedding. My farrier thought thrush too but the shedding thing wasn't brought to my attention til after I talked to him so I couldn't ask his opinion on it. I will in the morning though. It doesn't seem to hurt her at all so I think she'll be fine overnight and this was farriers suggestion after he assessed a bunch of pics which I'll post soon too. I have to upload them.
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    03-17-2013, 01:56 AM
Interesting. Yeah, I would like to see the pics when you post them.
    03-17-2013, 02:20 AM
It seems obvious that frogs, like the rest of the foot are meant to be run over rough surfaces and abraded or trimmed by the environment constantly.

From this lecture:
(Lectures - Anatomy of the Hoof Capsule)

"The frog is composed of epidermal cells arranged in tubular and intratubular patterns, like the sole and wall. There are considerably fewer tubules and much of the frog is composed of intratubular horn laid down in sheets from the
Germinative cell layers."

So doesn't it seem that if the frog horn is laid down in sheets, that it might tend to shed off in sheets like the sole? So then if normal wear (constantly over a hard, abrasive surface) doesn't sheet the old frog off in smaller chunks (because our horses don't live in that kind of environment), sometimes it all comes off in one big sheet later.

My guess is that the frog is not designed to "shed" all at once, but rather to abrade gradually like the rest of the foot. But we see it do this because the tissue builds up rather than coming off a little at a time through constant wear.
    03-17-2013, 02:20 PM

The best pictures I have...
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    03-17-2013, 02:23 PM
Some of the frog is there. The back is still there. The inside triangular part is gone. Nothing to do but keep it clean and dry.
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    03-17-2013, 05:04 PM
Hmm. Is it abrasive terrain or just simply damp? It isn't as bad as I envisioned...I am not sure what I expected.
If you are going after any thrush aggresively, then there is nothing more to do on that score. If it were in part due to thrush, it will have to regenerate.
Were they ever "full"? My mare has very narrow frogs, she has never been shod or tender footed and she can make it over rocks just fine. She has lived in lush pasture, rocks, and sand and their shape size never changed. Anyway, when hers shed they appear to get even "narrower", only because the shedding part gives them the temporary illusion of being a bit thicker.

For comparison, this is an old photo, but as you can see from the "tab" on the top, the frog was about to shed.

    03-17-2013, 05:18 PM
I thought it was going to be worse too. The description I got sent me into mommy panic mode. I'm getting ready to clean it so I'll get better pics. She has always had normal frogs, maybe a bit narrow but they were tall and made contact with the ground, now (only the one) is nearly gone, leaving a large hollow spot at the apex of the frog. Its definitely not normal for her and yes we are going with an aggressive thrush program, not much else can be done at this point, from my understanding and from the farriers opinion.
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