frog peeling


Both my horses had the top layer of their frogs peel off in the last week on all 4 hooves. About a 1/4" was lost. It came off while I was cleaning their hooves and I only had to run the side of the hoof pick over the top of the frog for it to break off in chunks.

They  seemed to be finally developing a nice calloused frog this summer, but now the callous is gone and one of them seems to be walking a bit more tenderly on gravel. It had been hot  and dry for about 8 weeks and then we had a week of constant rain. I've never experience such a quick shedding of the frog over the whole area. At about the same time the rain started I started treating one of my horses with zinc oxide (40%) diaper rash cream + copper sulfate powder (ala Pete Ramey) to clear up what seems to be thrush in the collateral grooves and central sulcus. Could this have had something to do it? If it peeled off that quickly does it mean that it wasn't live frog in the first place? Or maybe I should ask if in general, is the tough outer callous part of the frog  a live part of the frog?

I'm worried about what's going to happen when the winter rains start in earnest.  Will it be possible to develop a thicker frog if they are out all day in wet conditions? My paddock is not muddy, but it has crushed stone on it, so it's a bit abrasive. Does anyone have experience with this and is it a normal occurrence?
Susan in BC 2020
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Lavinia Fiscaletti

HI Susan,

That's not an uncommon occurrence when the weather/footing conditions change so drastically. It can also happen when horses transition from "winter" feet to "summer" feet. Their current frogs will callous off again in response to the current conditions and they'll be fine. The problem is they shed more frog more quickly than the underlying, less mature frog could handle that quickly

You can boot and pad the horse who is tender on the gravel as needed until he re-develops his protection.

Jan 2005, RI

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