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DWABoat 02-17-2013 08:00 PM

Hoof separation?
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I am new to horses and have a strange condition on my horses front right hoof. There is something similar to a cavity between the sole and the outer shell. The cavity is approximately 1.5 inches long and about 1/2 inch deep at the deepest part.

The horse is a 10 year old mare Quarterhorse that has never has shoes and does light casual riding about once a week. She is showing no signs of lameness.

I have a farrier, but I wanted a second opinion. In the poor quality photo below, the cavity is on the far right side of the hoof. (I had just finished spraying the sole with the water hose.) Please give me some input.


waresbear 02-17-2013 08:03 PM

384 Attachment(s)
I don't know what caused that, but what is that blue you have on her hooves?

Jacqua Stud 02-17-2013 08:06 PM

Looks a bit like seedy toe to me... but a friends horse started out like that and developed drop foot (what their farrier said, not sure if it is the correct term) and all the laminae within the hoof literally fell out.
Both are related to water bacteria/fungi that are eating away at the hoof, think athletes foot/tinea for horses.

AmazinCaucasian 02-17-2013 08:07 PM

It's Kopertox Wares

DWABoat 02-17-2013 08:25 PM

More info
The "blue" of the hoof is just her natural color. I put nothing on her feet. I had just cleaned her feet by spraying them with the water hose with a little pressure. They were still a little wet.

I have been watching this spot for a few weeks. I am in south Louisiana and it has been raining and muddy here, it seems like 6 months. I usually pick her feet daily. However, sometimes it may go a day or two but never more than two days between picking.

Since it has been so wet and muddy, I began using the water hose to clean the feet of both my horses at least weekly. I then stall them until their feet dry.

I am really concerned. Jacqua Stud, my farrier told me the same thing. He said he would give me some copper-sulfate to put in the cavity to kill any bacteria. He has been watching it himself and is not concerned that it will cause a problem.

Angel is a great horse with a great temperment. She is as gentle as can be. Should I really focus on this spot with daily washouts?

AmazinCaucasian 02-17-2013 08:38 PM

DWABoat, you're tellin me nobody has put Kopertox in that crack and around the frog for thrush and WLD? I've seen alot of feet and never seen green in there unless someone has been puttin that hocky-pucky in there

loosie 02-17-2013 09:03 PM

288 Attachment(s)
'Drop foot' .... laminae 'falling out'??:?:think::lol: Never heard that one before! The blue will be the copper you're using.

Your horse has 'seedy toe', aka 'white line disease'. It happens when compromised hoof tissue allows bugs from the ground(can be bacterial or fungal) to get in & start eating away at the wall. It appears there may be another section on that side up at the toe that is also starting to separate. With good management it can generally be easily treated.

Firstly the cause of the 'compromised' hoof... no. 1 you say your horse is in muddy conditions. This is unfortunately great for softening horn & also growing bugs. If it's the only option for dry footing, I think stalling the horse for part of the day, to give the feet some chance to dry out is probably for the best. No. 2 it appears the foot has quite long heels & contracted, thrushy looking frog. It also appears that the toe is 'stretched'. Mechanics & compromised hoof function is a major factor in separated hoof walls & allowing the bugs to get a grip. Nutrition & diet also play a big part in hoof health, including susceptibility to infections.

Copper sulphate is indeed one thing that is commonly used/effective for seedy toe. Nothing short of heavy chemicals(which I prefer to avoid if poss) tends to work reliably in every case, as there are different bugs & other factors that different substances react differently to. Eucalyptus or t-tree oil, sulphur, peroxide(weak formula) plain salt, iodine, even, believe it or not, raw honey... are among other (gentler) effective measures.

As well as addressing the causes and topical treatment, unless perhaps the horse is in otherwise ideal environment/hoof form, etc, I also consider it is usually necessary to open up & clean out(known as resecting) the infected horn with a hoof knife first. Sometimes this is hardly more than scraping the infection out if it's shallow, but often the infection may go up a long way & a substantial section of horn may need cutting out. It is very often impossible to treat effectively just from the outside unless it's rather superficial. Your farrier should be able to do that for you.

princessfluffybritches 02-17-2013 10:01 PM

I've also used 1/2 strength bleach, which is fine if it's just a day a week or so. I rotate all my treatments. My horse actually had WLD living on sandy pasture and a dry stall. Go figure. There was never anything wet around. It starts when the hoof wall flares away from the white line........ rolled edges on the hoof is the best way to prevent it, you have a little flare and the bugs just walk straight in!

loosie 02-18-2013 12:09 AM

288 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by princessfluffybritches (Post 1899558)
My horse actually had WLD living on sandy pasture and a dry stall. Go figure.

While the environment & the dead outside layer of the walls that grow from the coronary may be(& should be) dry, the inner walls which are growing out from the laminae are not.:wink:

DWABoat 02-18-2013 08:09 AM

I purchased Angel in June from a person I know well. He had her for over 3 years. Neither of us has put any type of dressing or coloring on her hooves. I will ask my farrier if he put anything on her feet. I helped him on the last trimming, so I know he did not put any type of substance on her feet. Since I am new to horses (about 9 months), I really don't know a normal hoof from an abnormal hoof.

Thank all of you for your information. I will spend a little more time caring for her hooves especially during the winter months.


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