White Line Disease

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White Line Disease

This is a discussion on White Line Disease within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    05-29-2012, 12:10 PM
White Line Disease

I was wondering if anyone would have a picture (s) of white line disease? I can't find any what it looks like before a chunk of the hoof is removed (I am guessing so you can clean and kill what causes it). Even what causes it, what are the symptoms (what it looks like in different stages)?

I know random question, but I've been just looking into as much as I can about hoof health and care lately because my farrier is taking me for a sucker and not doing a good job (I've seen her do better work). And just wanted to know more I guess. Plus my mare's white line seems odd, or different can't really explain.

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    05-29-2012, 11:23 PM
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    05-30-2012, 06:59 PM
Go to this website: White Line Disease Presented by MSP Farrier Services or Hoof Care or on this forum, try this: Seedy Toe/White Line Disease White Line Disease also goes by Stall Rot, Seedy Toe, Wall Thrush, Hollow Foot, and Yeast Infection. You may try searching under these as well. Hope this helps!
    05-31-2012, 03:23 PM
Thanks for the info, I was really hoping for what it looks like I'm terrible at trying to understand descriptions. I have my farrier coming out this week end and if it isn't good I have another farrier coming out for a second opinion to make sure I'm not over reacting.

Another question my mare her white line is pulling apart because for some reason the wall of the hoof wasn't trimmed leaving it to long and now 10 weeks (one trim the first week and another 3 weeks ago) but in the groove looks like thrush, tar black like stuff. I have been cleaning it with mild soap and treating it like thrush (she has thrush too), it seems only be getting worse as the hoof grows pulling it wider, but isn't deep.

I would post picture but honestly I'm embarrassed because I didn't notice how bad they really are, I always thought of a farrier like an y other professional, you don't go telling your doctor whats wrong and how to fix it, right? I feel terrible expecting her to walk like that for this long.
    05-31-2012, 03:36 PM
Got another question, can thrush really be caused or bothered by long heels and no frog/ground contact? I know that her frogs are sad (her left front and back are really improving quickly, the right to slow to grow back), and that she lands heavily toe first, because her hooves are long and very unbalanced making her walk with her heels turned in, and toes out (this isn't her conformation).

If her feet are being forced to point out, could it be causing her pain her in her hip?

Thanks for anyone really reading this.
    05-31-2012, 11:38 PM
As for pics, google seedy toe or white line disease & choose images on the left panel. Or check out Seedy Toe - Help! 'Seedy toe' is an opportunistic infection, can be bacterial or fungal, which gets into unhealthy hoof tissue, essentially the same as thrush. It can appear as anything from a hairline crack in the wall at the ground surface, to big gunky messes and can be superficial & addressed in one trim or deep & requiring major resecting & ongoing treatment between trims. The white line should be tight at the juncture of a solid sole & wall. Any crumbly or gunky material is infected tissue.

You're right that mechanical stresses such as long flared walls are a big factor in allowing the infection in. So I'd put no. 1 priority as getting a *good* farrier/trimmer.
I would post picture but honestly I'm embarrassed because I didn't notice how bad they really are, I always thought of a farrier like an y other professional, you don't go telling your doctor whats wrong and how to fix it, right?
Pictures would be helpful if you want any specific advice. Don't feel embarrassed, there's plenty in this world we all don't know & have to take 'expert's' word for. Good on you for wanting to learn better. That can be the key to finding & recognising a good or bad farrier.

Yes, like any other professional, it doesn't tend to go down well when a client tries to tell an 'expert' how to suck eggs. But like other professionals, there are good, bad & indifferent practitioners & a range of different opinions, so if it's something important to you, I think it's very important to do your own homework so you don't have to just follow blindly though. And questions about the whys & wherefores, put reasonably, shouldn't upset any professional & will help your self education too.
Got another question, can thrush really be caused or bothered by long heels and no frog/ground contact? ....If her feet are being forced to point out, could it be causing her pain her in her hip?
Yes, thrush/seedy toe are opportunistic infections that infect compromised tissue. High heels & 'sad' dysfunctional frogs are one recipe for attracting thrush.

Yes, imbalanced feet are connected to the legs, which are connected to the body... so imbalance in the feet can certainly cause body issues, & vice versa.
its lbs not miles likes this.
    06-01-2012, 07:17 AM
Thanks Looise, I am really trying to learn more, maybe once it drys up, after work I'll take pictures, no promises though of the worst foot, it also seems to be the on the is hurting her hip and if I lift it to high she gets bothered and tries to kick (she is corrected but I pretty sure it is from pain now). Seedy/toe and white line seem to explain a lot of what is going on, in her hoofs. You're right I need to get a new farrier out ASAP, for the next couple days I'll make sure to keep everything clean, and dry.
    06-01-2012, 03:57 PM
I got three pictures , one is of her front left, the side too picture is the same foot, and the really flared one is the back left. I couldn't get one of the right back because that is the one that hurts her hip, and the when I went to take a picture of her front right, I saw my dog chasing a baby porcupine across the drive to the house (pictures included of him hiding between our deck and house). Please please don't say I should have noticed this before, or why did I leave it so long, when I got her she had all four shoes, I had them taken off over winter, her hooves didn't grow much and as soon as the wet weather hit they flatten out like pancakes, I kept telling myself I seen improvement every time the farrier came, until it got to this point when I realized I was just seeing what I wanted too.

In the back hoof picture, the black ring around the outside (where there should be a white line) isn't really that dark, it is really a hole about a 1/2 inch deep where I took the thinnest hoof pick I had and really dug out everything until there was no give to what was underneath. You can also see where she is missing the top point of her frog, and the pretty black around that (this is before I really scrubbed everything and treated it all for thrush, just so you can see the extent of it. The pieces missing around the edge just broke off today.

In the front you can see her high heels, (she is wearing shoes for a crack but they are coming off and never going back on). I just noticed that the shoe is really side ways? You can see a lot of new growth on her front frog, the other side is pretty much a mirror image of the left.

Please understand that every time that I see these hoofs twice a day when I clean, it makes me sick, knowing I let it get that bad, I am really trying to make it right, it is going to take time and a few trims from a good farrier.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Front Left.jpg (72.0 KB, 221 views)
File Type: jpg front left (2).jpg (93.6 KB, 244 views)
File Type: jpg Left hind.jpg (39.5 KB, 257 views)
File Type: jpg GEDC0285.jpg (41.4 KB, 256 views)
    06-02-2012, 12:14 AM
Bearing in mind I don't know what the trimmer started with & whether she has only done those 2 trims, I still suspect taking you for a sucker is an understatement , if that job is only 3 weeks old! She definitely, desperately needs a good trim. You're right that shoe is crooked too. Find a good trimmer/farrier asap & take some pics straight after the job, so we can see what's really there without all the excess crud. See the link in my signature for hoof pic advice. While your scrubbing & treating is a good idea & may slow down the infection slightly, it's pretty pointless without dealing with the bad mechanics for starters.

Oh, do you think the porcupine reckons he's camoflaged??
    06-02-2012, 02:53 AM
Whiteline disease and thrush are the least of your worries.

If only a few weeks old, there is little to nothing in the current trim or shoeing work that is credible.

Significant medial/lateral imbalance, excessive growth, capsule distortion, wrong shoes improperly installed.

You mentioned that you thought it would take several trims to correct the problems. The good news is that a competent, full service farrier can often deliver dramatic improvement in a single visit.

This fellow was a bit of a mess when I arrived today. Significant d/p distortion associated with hi-lo syndrome and a toed-in conformation.

Horse was barefoot and presented grade 4 lame over non-yielding terrain (e.g. Gravel road); grade 2 in soft footing. Tripping/stumbling at the walk; more severe at the trot.

Feet cleaned up nicely. No indications of lameness post shoeing.


Ideal D/P balance should be approximately 50/50 around center of articulation. I hit this one pretty close.

You can see the "pot-marks" in the sole of the foot. Trauma due a barefoot horse moving over rock and gravel.

(Note: Dorsal breakover reflects forged roll at toe of shoe.)

Is your horse in d/p balance?

How about this one?


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