White Line Disease Question. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-26-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Location: New Zealand
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White Line Disease Question.

Hi there,
I just want to ask a couple of questions about seedy toe/ WLD.
I've had horses with this before, and have tried some of the products on the market for it.
My good friend/instructor resorted to telling me in the end to just get it completely cut out of my old mare's foot, so the problem is gone. It worked out well to do that and so I've believe in doing that from now on.

I changed farriers when I moved grazing, and have a new mare who happens to have a bit of it in her left fore foot. I told him to cut it out, but he managed to convince me to buy this bottle of stuff called "White Lightning." It's apparently really big in the US with great results.

You mix white lightning with equal parts of white vinegar and water and then soak the foot in it for 30mins... On the bottle it never said anything about 'ensure to wear protective gloves' or anything, so I assumed as it says on the bottle, its not harmful to the horse, that stupidly it wouldn't be harmful to me either... I managed to get some of the mixture on my skin... and had a burning sensation for a good ten minutes.

I'm needless to say put off by it... if it could burn me, what's it doing to my mare? So I want to know, since this farrier is reluctant to cut it completely out, AND unfortunately the only reliable farrier over this area, what I could use instead?

I used to use koppertox, but found it too drying.
Any thoughts on the subject would be great! Even if its positive remarks about White Lightning.
Chelle x

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-26-2008, 09:17 PM
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Go back to your original plan. Any soaking of the hooves only weakens walls and impairs the integrity of the hoof. You can try peroxide as it works well also. Have the farrier cut it out and packed the hole with gauze and then squirt some iodine on it, lots of iodine then put the shoe back on or duct tape to keep it clean .
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-29-2008, 06:01 PM
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Your horse's WLD may not be as bad as you think, so I would trust the farrier on this, he sees many more hooves than you and would know when to take stronger measures. Cutting large portions of the wall away is very invasive and potentially very harmful.It's basically surgery. It could actually open the foot up to worse infection than is already there, and it's possible the hoof doesn't really have WLD anyways.

Many people confuse a stretched white line with a fungal infection (it can look similar) when it's really just poor trim mechanics that caused the problem, or a previous dietary issue that's growing out. Horses on grass tend to get more stretched white lines. Why? The grass changes with the weather, so the sugar content does as well. This can cuase varying growth rates and mild, unnoticed bouts of laminitis. Look for growth rings and at each ridge is a compromised bit of white line underneath. If your horse is getting good trims, it stays in check and may never present a real lameness issue.

Stretched white lines are more apt to get fungal infections (WLD). Some horses have conformation in the coffin bone that actually never really connects well with the wall and is always a potential port of entry for fungi. It can be in just one foot or all 4. Also, if your mare likes to paw, it can stress the hoof more at the toe and cause more separation. Or if she has a sore shoulder or any problem higher up that causes her to land toe first on that foot, can cause more WL separation, opening it up for germs.

Removing large chunks of hoof wall would be like cutting your toenail back into the quick. The hoof wall needs to be there, not just to support weight and hold bones in postition (yes, the front of the hoof wall is directly connected to the coffin bone) but it's also a protective skin and cushion from rocks, debris, etc. It should be a last resort. If your kid got the yeast based diaper rash, would you cut the skin off his buttocks? No, you just put an antifungal cream on it and let the area air out some.

White lightening isn't likely to hurt your horse, but it can be irritating to sensitve skin, and most chemicals really have no business on your skin or your horse, but sometimes you need thses things to fix something. There shouldn't be enough to soak the skin of the horse.It works more by vapor action than actual soaking, so it should be below the hairline when you are treating.

A soak in an anitfungal prep. does not weaken the hoof. And Occasional soaks in Apple Cider Vinegar can help, and won't weaken the hoof. Again, no matter what chemical you use, if you serve your horse a crappy diet and he stands around in wet soil, and you don't keep his feet trimmed by a competent professonal, the problem you see won't just go away on it's own. A proper trim would remove excess material that would interfere with the treatment getting where it needs to, but you would be suprised at how conservative that can be.

Be glad your farrier is reluctant to just carve away at those hooves. I'm sure if he has a good reputation, then you can trust he's not just being lazy. I don't do a lot of things owners tell me to do, cause they just "know" its a certain issue, but I do what I know is best, and it works out . After all, it's my JOB to know more about it than the average person.

Koppertox is not designed for WLD, you could pour it into the crevice and it's not going to reach the higher bits of hoof wall. And you should never soak a whole hoof in it.

Also, if it is a confromation issue or she's pawing at stuff, you will find it a neverending battle with a stretched white line. It could also be a clue to a a subtle lameness, and it's not necessarily infected. :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-30-2008, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank for the post, that's cleared a lot of confusion up... I've been looking in the previous posts on Seedy toe on these forums, and didn't find something that related to what I was after.
Thanks for the perspective on it.

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-01-2008, 12:54 AM
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WL is quite popular and works well, but it's definitely caustic. I wouldn't let it go up past the hair line!

Another good alternative is Oxine AH. Not sure if you can get it there, but it's one of the ingredients in WL. Mix 1/2 cup per gallon of water and soak for 45 minutes, or mix 1 cup per gallon of water and soak for 25 minutes. Since you're not using other chemicals to activate it, it doesn't turn caustic. It's 100% safe for you and the horse. It's even been used in drinking water for chickens and other barn raised animals to cut down on bacteria and scum in the water (much more diluted of course!).

The Citric Acid is the activator. If you do use it, you only need 1/8th tsp per gallon, and it will be more caustic to skin, but you only need to soak it for 15 minutes that way (with 1/2 cup of the Oxine per gallon of water).


Article mentioning WL and Oxine as treatments for White Line disease:

I have used Oxine with good results for minor white line disease and for the treatment of thrush.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-01-2008, 02:30 PM
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White Lightning is what the vets in our area recommend. But sometimes the white line disease is so extensive that all you can do is a 'resection' and cut out all the bad. We had a horse at our barn that they did that on - cut off tons of hoof wall - so much that you wondered how the horse would get around. They did fine though but the owner had to be really careful to keep the hoof dry as it grew out. She's back showing her now after only about 4 months time.
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