• VOLUME 53 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
****The Horse’s Hoof Free Issue****
The Live Frog
by Cheryl Henderson
A hoof care provider will attempt to solve heel pain with a balanced trim to the hoof. However, sometimes a balanced trim will not result in a pain-free foot, because damage caused by disease in the live frog cannot always be repaired by trimming alone. When disease affects the health of the sensitive frog, it also compromises the ability of the back of the hoof to function without pain. Thus, hoof care providers must include in their trimming protocols, a strategy for determining the health of the live frog, and for creating conditions that encourage healthy growth in this important area of the hoof.
The hypothesis of this article is that disease in the live frog changes the support of the digital cushion and strength in the back of the hoof. The article also attempts to establish that there may be one common debilitating cause of pain in the hooves of horses exhibiting the signs of “navicular syndrome.” It is possible that movement difficulties, toe-first landings, short strides, and common hoof contraction are all caused by disease in the live frog. The goal of this article, then, is to inspire hoof care professionals to consider disease on the inside of the hoof when treating lameness.
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• © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine