Thrush, shedding sole, or something more sinister?

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Thrush, shedding sole, or something more sinister?

This is a discussion on Thrush, shedding sole, or something more sinister? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Horse sole shedding
  • White soles shedding on horse

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  • 1 Post By NorthernMama
  • 1 Post By loosie

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    07-15-2012, 02:53 PM
Thrush, shedding sole, or something more sinister?

I'm really not happy with my mare's right front foot right now.

First, this big crack has appeared in the past two days. But, what's bothering me more is the underside of that same foot. It's very soft, with a bad smell. When you use the hoof pick, the sole has a lot of "give" under the pick. When you rub it with your finger, it "smooshes" a little. There is black gunk on the side of the frog that makes me wonder about thrush. I also don't love the look of the frog itself.

I don't know how we could have thrush right now, it's so hot and dry, the ground is hard, her stall is well cleaned every day and her feet are picked every day. There are a lot of flies and the horses are stomping on the hard ground to get rid of them, so I'm not as surprised about the chips and cracks around the edges. It's been about 5 weeks since her last trim, she gets done every 6. She's always been barefoot.

The left front has some chips and cracks around the edges but not the same soft sole. The backs look good. She isn't sensitive or so in any way she's letting on. Rode her today and she felt great.

So, two questions:
1. The crack on the front- what should I do to help it and what should I be worried about with that?
2. The soft, crumbly sole- this is scaring me a bit. Any thoughts on what it is? What can I do to help it?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Right front 071512.jpg (56.8 KB, 303 views)
File Type: jpg Right underside 071512.jpg (67.5 KB, 317 views)
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    07-15-2012, 03:16 PM
There seems to be a lot going on there that I can't really explain as I'm not qualified to but when was she seen by your farrier last?
    07-15-2012, 04:13 PM
Assuming that the last trim was done properly, 6 weeks is too long for this horse to go between trims. The sole is shedding out, the wall is too long -- just too much hoof there overall. Yes, there probably is thrush by the look of the pic. Probably been there for a while and you exposed it last time you cleaned, hence the smell now and not before. I would treat for thrush and get the farrier out as soon as you can. If next week is the best, then fine, but up the schedule to four weeks for next time. And post pics of the after trim state.

Smooshy sole? Hmm... not sure about that. Possibly just the give of the dead sole that wants to go? Ask the farrier. Frog not happy? -- ya, thrush and minimal if any ground contact. Front crack -- yup, overgrown and stomping. Farrier to fix by floating the crack and advising you on maintenance (rasping) between visits.
loosie likes this.
    07-17-2012, 06:30 AM

Not the worst by far, but not good I'm afraid. The crack is a symptom of the bad hoof form. It appears your horse is overdue for a good trim, for starters. That foot, on the ground looks strange - tall, kind of squeezed/cylindrical(rather than cone shaped) and the lumpy coronary region bothers me. There is also a lot of flaring. Need better/different angles to get a better idea though.

The sole shot shows stretched & possibly separated, infected laminae right the way round, what look like too high heels & an out of commission, thrushy frog that looks like it's retained extra layers in trying to reach the ground. Doesn't appear too contracted though, as the pic on the ground suggests. Looks like the sole around the toe may actually be quite thin & flat - are you saying it yields to pressure?

I'd get hold of a good farrier/trimmer ASAP, treat the infection and protect her feet with boots or such where necessary to allow her to exercise comfortably. Consider diet may also be part of the problem.
    07-17-2012, 08:39 PM
Thanks all for taking the time to weigh in.

Good news- yesterday was the farrier's scheduled trim day. Bad news- the BO forgot to tell me that the day had been finalized, and I was on a train to NYC for work when I found out the farrier would be there. So, I didn't get to be there in person to ask my questions.

Here's what I heard via BO- overall, farrier still says her feet are good feet, and all the horses at the barn are having chipping/cracking because of the dryness. Definitely will begin treating for thrush tomorrow, but otherwise, he really had no concerns. There was no mention of the squishy/shedding sole, but it doesn't feel that way today after the trim.

Here are some pictures- the first two are the front left (the one I was worried about). I still think the frog looks bad on this one. The second two pictures are the right front-this one looks better to me. I have pics of backs too if it would help, but don't want to overwhelm with too many pics.

Any additional thoughts post-trim? I will DEFINITELY be there for her next trim and would love any advice on questions to ask to stay on top of this.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg left front.jpg (58.0 KB, 247 views)
File Type: jpg left front underside.jpg (68.2 KB, 254 views)
File Type: jpg right front.jpg (49.9 KB, 239 views)
File Type: jpg right front underside.jpg (57.2 KB, 248 views)
    07-17-2012, 09:28 PM
Wow, what different frogs! Second one looks nice. Check out the link in my signature for tips on taking pics, if you want a good critique. As I said, need different angles to give you much. Also, unless your pics are flipped, the first 2 look like front right, 2nd 2 front left.

Can't tell balance, height, depth or anything very well from those angles, but considering the difference in the frogs - the second foot pictured looks quite healthy - is the first one naturally higher heeled than that one? If so, after you get rid of the thrush, if you're not going to use boots, you might consider using Vettec CS or such on that recessed, weak frog to provide more comfortable support.

The farrier has pared out a lot of sole it seems, in the front half of the feet. While can't tell depth, it appears that the toe soles are quite low/flat/thin & I don't generally like removing sole from around the toe anyway, especially if it's already too thin. Be interested to know how deep the sole is, in relation to the ground at the apex of the frog? Does it yield at all to strong thumb(or light hoof tester) pressure? It sounded like you were saying it did. If the sole is & dropped as it appears it might be, I'd be protecting those feet on anything but soft ground, until they can grow thick.

Likewise, the front of that frog & the other healthy looking one appear to have been strongly pared. I don't agree with routine paring of sole & frog or removing healthy calloused material as a rule, although the thrushy back half of the first frog could possibly have been cleaned out better.

Looks like quarters may have been left a bit long - farriers often just rasp the groundsurface walls level all round - and they're definitely a bit long &/or quarter flaring not addressed on the second foot. This foot also appears not well balanced from side to side, but again, can't say for sure from this angle.

Oh & unless you're in an extraordinarily dry environment, it's not the dryness that's a problem. Chipping & cracks may be due to hoof imbalance, incorrect trimming - may be as simple as lack of a 'mustang roll' in an environment that needs it, infection &/or diet & nutrition problems.
garlicbunny likes this.
    07-17-2012, 10:53 PM
Loosie- Thanks so much. Lots to digest here, but I appreciate it!

Also, you're correct I mislabeled left and right Was thinking about it from my perspective facing her rather than her body...oops!

I will take a look at the hoof critique photo tips before posting additional pics.
    07-18-2012, 07:53 PM
I also think that the second hoof looks out of balance. The frontal seems to show the coronary on a angle to the ground instead of horizontal and the last pic certainly shows that the trim is uneven. Look at the difference in the heels. Both pics indicate that the inside is higher. Re the paring of the sole, I'm not sure if it was too much or not. There was a lot of dead sole and in the last pic it appears to me that there is just a hair of that there. You can see a bit of white to the left of the frog apex. That's what I think is the old sole. Which is fine. Which, if I'm right, means the farrier only cut off what what excess.

I don't see any kind of a roll put on the hoof and with there already being stress on the laminae (the white line is not solid), I personally would have put a pretty steep roll all around.

THe first two pics show possible imbalance as well, but so hard to tell. If so, it's not nearly what the second pics show. The first sole shot shows thrushy areas still. Continue to treat for thrush.

When is the next farrier appointment?

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