Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hoof Problems - White Line Disease

Received this e-mail from Karen in South Carolina, My farrier told me my Trakehner has white line disease in his left front hoof and said he would have to cut out some of the hoof. He told me it is an infection that can spread and ruin the hoof. I asked him to wait until I get a Veterinarian’s opinion on it. I have only talked to my Vet over the phone, and he has not came out yet to look at it, but he did say that my farrier’s recommendation sounded about right. I could not find anything in a couple of the equine health books I own, but I did read some article on-line about it. What do you know about white line disease? Have any of your horses had it? What treatment did you do and how did your horses respond?”

Howdy Karen, there is a common perception that Veterinarians and Farriers can’t get along when discussing hoof problems. Some people may find your Vet’s suggestions that your farrier’s recommendation to “cut out the white line disease” sounded about right. That’s probably because the Vet may defer to farrier’s on most hoof related issues, and because cutting out the hoof is the most commonly accepted procedure. My shoer tells me that there is no topical treatment, such as like we have for thrush, to get rid of the bacterial or fungal infection.

Sorry about your horse having white line disease. If you have read the on-line resources about white line, I’m am sure you have found that it is called white line disease because it appears at or near the white line that separates the hoof wall and the hoof sole and is detectable by the soft, powdery hoof wall tissue. I think the jury is still out whether it’s a fungus or a bacterial infection, but it is certain that the diseased portion has to be cut out completely and left exposed to air to be able to get rid of it. I have only seen it on two horses, both diagnosed by a farrier. In both instances, the diseased part of the hoof and some of the sole was cut away. In both cases a shoe was fitted to give the hoof better stability on the affected hoof.

In one case, a lot of hoof wall was taken out, and it took about 8 months for the hoof to grow back sound. Recently this same horse came up with a smaller case of white line disease. It came back in the same hoof and since White Line Disease is most probably e hoof but you can’t help but think the horse is picking it up tha fungus he probably picked it up in the ground where he is penned up. In the second instance, the shoer again cut out the decayed hoof wall and some of the hoof sole (laminae), then fitted a shoe with clips to help protect the hoof as it is missing some of it's hoof wall.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, this may be something my horse has. would you be able to describe it more and maybe post a picture?