That’s how one owner described her horses frog infection! Untreated infection can cause a deep cleft right down to the sensitive corium, and if allowed to extend between the heel bulbs it can create a condition called sheared heels where the two sides can be moved independently (the photo above shows a severe case where most of the frog has been eaten away).
Rife hoof infections generally stem from leakage of serum and blood products into the tissue, typically as a result of inflammation associated with high carb diets. Right now we’re seeing an unusual spate of infection following all the recent rain, the moisture has softened the build up of material that would normally have steadily exfoliated off but was retained in the dry conditions.
Treatment of the external symptoms is simple and effective but once its muddy cleaning and drying is much more of a chore, so best to clear up infection before more autumn rain.
First dispense with anything bought from a tack shop, and anything you wouldn’t use on your own skin. Most commercial products and the old favourites like iodine damage healthy tissue creating a habitat for reinfection. The local chemist has everything you need in the baby care section…
Clean the sulcus gently but thoroughly with a solution of 1 cap milton to 1 gallon of water, you might need a syringe to squirt it into the depths, and especially to get under heart bar shoes if your unfortunate enough to have them. Dry carefully, a strip of towel is useful to pull through, it will remove any leftover crud too. Once absolutely dry slather with sudocreme. If there is room then coat strips of gauze with sudocreme and pack very carefully into the sulcus, or use Red Horse Hoof Stuff which does a fab job – but prepare the piece before you need it as it’s a nightmare to get out of the tub!
While the sulcus is growing out, and fresh tissue growing in, stay out of sand schools – if you’ve ever had sand in your pants you’ll know why!