Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Atrophied frog

(A healthy frog.)

As evident in last post's pics where Bud's frog completely decompressed under pressure of the frog pad, her frog is likely atrophied. I got to thinking and this is likely the reason why she is sound in the boots (which provide support for this underdeveloped muscle) and takes a while before she gets sore out of the boots.

The frog is a muscle, designed to absorb impact to the hoof. If the muscle isn't properly conditioned, this can become quite painful. Just like when a limb on a human comes out of a cast. It can take quite a while to rebuild the muscle to regain normal function.

Buttercup has been put on isoxsuprine to help build her heels in addition to her hoof boots. In the last few weeks, I feel like I've seen an improvement to the sturdiness of her frog, like it is starting to push back. Now it needs to build up.

Here is what her hooves look like as of a few days ago:



Maybe I'm seeing things, but I like to think we are in a positive direction. I have also purchased some EasyBoot Edge boots for our handwalks. I will put in a soft, green frog pad for those boots to continue to support the frog. I just can't compare these pics to first pic in this post – that's rather depressing!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Game plan for hoof conditioning

I've read some of Pete Ramey lately and have decided to blend my farrier's advice of keeping Buttercup booted with Mr. Ramey's advice to boot and use frog pads to help hooves condition.

Right now, Buttercup is on as much turnout as possible in her Rx EasyBoots with a big green frog pad. When (or if) she comes into her stall, her boots are removed and she is bare in her stall. If I hand walk her, I put her in her used Epic boots with a thick foam pad.

The idea is to stimulate the frog and increase bloodflow to the hoof. We also want to keep her hooves dry and the barn right now is flooded, and likely will be through winter. She has the driest hooves in the barn.

Here's a pic of her Rx boots with frog pads:

Here's what it does to her hooves: (squished, atrophied frog)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

'Tis the season

It will be one year exactly on December 16 that my farrier willingly signed up to not only spearhead Buttercup's rehabilitation, but also deal with one opinionated and annoying owner (me).

To say thanks, I compiled my hoof journal in a spiral bound book at my local Staples. It isn't much, but at least he has a record of her improvement. I printed one out for myself also. Now I can clear up some harddrive space that those pics are eating up!

So that begs the question, with the holidays approaching, what are you going to give your farrier?