I have acquired two horses for a time while they are unable to be agisted by the owner elsewhere.
Their hooves are terrible. Very long, one is hobbling. They are very overgrown (and I don't know much about horses but I can see this isn't right) so have the farrier this week coming to help sort it out.
One seems to have inflammation or something at the back of the rear hooves in the frog/central groove? I have added pics, not sure how clear the red/inflamed area is. They are not great pics but I will get some better ones when I have the farrier there to help me.
Can anyone advise what it could be? Obviously I will ask the farrier and go from there if vet is required etc.
Any advice greatly appreciated! Thanks!
That "groove" is called the central sulci of the frog. The tissues of the frog are subject various anaerobic, opportunistic fungal and bacterial organisms. Those tissues are also subject mechanical stress created by load imbalance in the hoof.
Excess length in the caudal aspect of the walls (heels) contributes to a loss of passive stimulation of frog tissues and subsequent atrophy. Mechanical imbalance increases the depth and width of separation at the central sulci, sometimes shearing the heels proximal of the wall and into the area of the heel bulbs. The reduced health of those tissues increase the risk of microbial intrusion. The deeper infection at the central sulci is thrush. The reddening area closer to the heel bulbs is a general dermatitis called "scratches".
While I don't think it's applicable in this case (better photos would provide improved feedback), your farrier will want to assure no indications of canker. That is best done after the foot is cleaned up and better visuals are available.
Correct trimming and any potential orthotics are best applied by your farrier. Diagnostics and treatment of infection beyond routine thrush is better addressed by an attending veterinarian.
Thanks Mark, I really appreciate that info.
Farrier coming tomorrow morning.
Yeah that groove is most likely harboring sulcus thrush. It thrives on a lack of oxygen. Once the farrier cleans the area out, keep few cotton balls stuffed in the groove so air can get to it. He/she should have some suggestions for what to treat it with.
Thank you. Between these horses, mine that has come down with colic this afternoon, my sick child and my cat that is due to have kittens... I am ready for a holiday!
Life is never boring with kids and animals.
Good luck with the sick kid/animals and with the farrier.
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