Horse frog issues! My horse had thrush and some of the frog is peeling, help?

March 25th, 2011 by Emily

Question: Horse frog issues! My horse had thrush and some of the frog is peeling, help?
My thoroughbred (thoroughbreds in general have very sensitive hooves) had thrush because it was constantly raining. I finally, after a couple of weeks of fighting mud and trying to apply thrush medicine to my horse’s hoof got rid of the thrush. But, now on one of her hooves the frog is starting to peel. Is there some kind of medicine I can use to help the frog fill in?

Best answer:

Answer by horse lover
It is normal for your horse to shed parts of the frog. Sometimes it seems to happen in “chunks” so it looks kind of scary. But so long as your horse has adequate frog left underneath, then it just means that he’s shedding dead tissue. It might be related to the thrush. Perhaps he’s had regrowth of new healthy frog tissue and he’s shedding the ruined tissue?

To be sure, you might ask your farrier to swing by and just take a look. You would definately not want to fill in the frog with anything as that would just trap bacteria underneath. Plus nothing you could use would even stay in place since the frog is somewhat flexible and constantly coming into contact with the ground.

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6 Comments on “Horse frog issues! My horse had thrush and some of the frog is peeling, help?”

  1. ivyandwilliamsmommy says:

    you may want to have your farrier come out real soon to check this out, the frog is probably rotten. i know that sounds really bad but what i mean is that it probably has a fungus growing in it that is causing it to stay wet ( like mold ) and creating it to fall off. i would keep her in a barn or some where dry, i really don’t know what you can do about it, but if you get the farrier out he/she can tell you if you should really worry about it or not and what you can do to help it. i am including a link on horse frogs and hopefully that can help you. GOOD LUCK!! here is the link

  2. Caz says:

    This is totally normal it’s just really scary if you’ve never seen it before. With my horse who had the same thing happen 2 weeks ago I filled a bucket of water and soaked his hooves for 10 min. You could also use condese crystals (just a few) to help kill the thrush. I then applied an antifungal antibiotic however bi carb powder is anti fungal as well and would do the job. Have a farrier look at it if it eases your mind. Also paint the soles of the hooves with iodine.

  3. gallop says:

    It is dead tissue that needs to be shed. You can help to remove it using a hoof knife, but if you’ve never done it then it’s best to have someone experienced do it for you.

  4. LovesNature says:


    The shedding of a frog in most cases is normal and a healthy, when the outer layer of frog gets old and worn shedding is normal about twice a year. You might be just seeing it in this shedding process and most likely it is nothing to worry about. But if your horse has thrush the peeling frog may be shedding damaged tissue as a result of the bacteria eating it away, this kind of shedding would be undesired of course. If the frog flap is almost detached you could snip the remaining strands holding it on with some sccisors. If it is still attached firmly then I would advise leaving it for your farrier to trim espeacialy if you are dealing with thrush.

    I wouldn’t recoment applying anything to fill the frog in as this could create a moist environment underneath for more thrush to grow. Always remember thrush is anerobic (doesnt like oxigen) so keeping it oppen is mush better. If you want to apply something safe and effective to discourage thrush I highly highly recomend this simple spray on mixture. Mix 50% apple cidar vinigar 50% water to dilute is slightly. Add this in a spray bottle pick out your horses hooves well and drench the frog with the spray, hold up each hoof for at least 30sec to give it some chance to sink in. Do this 1 time a day or more if you want. The PH of the apple cidar vinigar makes it almost impossable for the thrush to live, and the vinigar will cause no harm to the frog or hoof horn unlike many other thrush killing chemicals (btw many of them also damage live frog tissue setting the frog up for thrush AGAIN). For very severe thrush or white line disease/seedy toe you can also soak your horses hooves for 20 to 30min a day in a 20% apple cidar vinigar 80% water mixture . This gives the mixture a good chance to be absorbed and has a more lasting protection when the horse is living in a very muddy or dirty environment. If the thrush seems to have died off keep still keep applying/soaking once a week untill the frog has grown in healthy, this could take a few weeks or even months depending on the damage. I use this time and time again and has never failed me yet (=

    If thrush is a common problem with your horses it may be good to know that mud is not usualy 100% to blame for thrush. Lack of frog contact with the ground from high/long heels or hoof contraction could be a huge contributer! Over trimming of the frog could be a problem as well, the matured outer layer of the frog is naturally more dense and protects the frogs corium from the ground underneath as well as invading bacteria, if this healthy outer layer is sliced off every time the horse gets trimmed the frog will be weak/sensitive and more prone to thrush. Movement or frog stimulation to encourage healthy frog growth, blood flow and hoof expansion is important and vital in keeping the frog and whole hoof healthy. Keeping the hooves trimmed propperly/frequently ( 4 to 8 weeks ) will also help greatly.

    Good luck!

  5. xXx says:

    Without looking at your horse’s feet it is hard to tell why the frog is peeling. It could be shedding, it could also be from thrush though. Here is my advice if your horse has bad thrush. First either get your farrier out and get your horse trimmed (removing all diseased frog) or if your horse was recently done, trim all loose flaps off using scissors. Then soak the hooves in CleanTraxx, which is one of the strongest treatments on the market and will get rid of any existing bacteria if used properly. Your next step should be applying Gold-bond Foot Powder ( yes I know its weird but it dries the foot up and thrush can’t survive without moisture) or desitin baby diaper rash cream ( this will block any more moisture from entering the frog, acting as a barrier). The next day you may start treatment with a topical, Banixx, Tomorrow (a product for dry cows), and Fungidye are all great because they will not eat away at healthy frog tissue, unlike most commercial products. If your horse’s feet are muddy when you bring her in then try scrubbing the frog and hoof wall off with water and betadine scrub. After her feet are clean and you have applied a topical, apply gold-bond or desitin. Keep this agressive treatment up until all signs of thrush are completely gone, then start treating every few days. Hope this helps!

  6. Ron Sr says:

    It is natural for the frog to peel off the top layers.

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