It doesn't look like much to me except that it came from Pete Ramey's website and specifically an article written on the subject.
Sassy's is not quite as deep, but definitely there
When I compare to images my "sound horse" Trax, I see this.
The frog is wide open. Granted his is not a perfect hoof, but it does give me a baseline to go off of and helps me understand what I am looking for. So when I compare his hoof to hers I can see where there really could be an infection hidden up in those grooves and there is the slightest possibility that it has effected her more than anyone who has worked on her could have imagined.
Especially when I read things like this:
Often overlooked, these infections cause severe lameness in the back of the foot, which can then cause chronic toe-first impact, which in turn can cause distal descent of P3, subslolar abscesses, hoof capsule rotation, wall flare, navicular damage, ligament and tendon injuries throughout the distal limb.... In short, every energy dissipating feature of the foot can be completely erased by the pain of a simple frog infection- and the gait of the horse altered into a destructive force.
So I have no idea what is really going on up in those cracks but my theory is to treat, since it won't hurt anything to do so.
With that in mind I am putting together a plan of action and it goes something like this.
I have gotten some great ideas for treatments, and have decided to implement two of them. First I scrub the foot very well with diluted dawn dish soap and then rinse and dry it off as best I can. I also use my pick the best I can to get everything out of the deepest cracks. Some of them are quite deep.
BEC mentioned using apple cider vinegar, which I have here so that is what is in the brown syringe. I use the needle to direct my flow and really flush well up under those cracks. Just for the record I do not inject anything anywhere even though it may appear that way. The needle is just laying in the cracks.
Then Dancing Donkey also mentioned a treatment which happens to be the same treatment that Pete Ramey uses so today we started with that as well.
It is a 50/50 solution of Neosporin pain and Athlete's foot cream.
It is too think to go through the syringe needle but I was able to use a smaller syringe and get it up into the cracks pretty well. I do have the curved tip syringe that DD and Ramey both suggest to use. But I had to order them online so they won't be here for a few days.
Then I just sort of smeared the excess around trying to push it down in the cracks like grouting tile or greasing wheel bearings.
I treated both hooves this way although clearly the left has deeper cracks than the right.
My next step is of my own making and I have no idea if it works. I do not want to close her foot up, with anything but I also do not want manure getting stuck in the solution and compounding the problem So instead I take her to arena and walk her in the clean soft dirt.
Here is a short video of her walking...Oooh exciting I know!
I have spoken with the trimmer a lot in the last few days and she will be up here soon (she comes from Tucson) to check her again. We are talking about switching her to some epics for turn out, which leave the coronet band exposed. The heat seems to be generating from there so not trapping it in might be our solution. I am hoping that she is going to do a little bit of work on those heels and bars as Smazourek mentioned. I can see what needs to be done but in the case am concerned that I would do more harm than good. We will talk more about the boots then.
For now she stays barefoot and has been moved to my freshly worked round pen where it is nice and soft. The boys spend a lot of time calling to her to make sure she is still there, but she never answers. They seem to be more bothered by her move than she is.