Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Healing for frog damage.
Q. Earlier this year my mare got a nail embedded in the frog of one of her front hooves. This led to a long, drawn out period of treatment and box rest. During this time, x-rays were taken which thankfully showed no bone damage.

My vet warned me that my mare may always have a slight limp, but it would not restrict her. This has turned out to be true, especially on rough, hard ground such a gravel tracks. I would welcome any advice on how to help her and would like to know whether there are any supplements that will alleviate her discomfort.

A. It certainly sounds as if there is some damage left over from the accident that has not healed properly. Scar tissue that is left over from the injury must still be interferring with the normal way the frog works as a cushioning apparatus in the foot.

Devil's Claw has a weak anti-inflammatory action when take internally, but in this case, I doubt whether the effect would be sufficient to make much of a difference. I would suggest that you need supplements or techniques that help the body's remodelling and healing process. In such situations I normally advise the use of MSM and a good multi-mineral formula, along with specific Ayurvedic formulas which I have found very helpful in tendon problems and remodelling of scarred tissue.


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