White Line Disease
My farrier told me the other day that my horse had a little white line disease in one of her front hooves. He said he trimmed it out and treated it with iodine. He seemed not to be too concerned about it - but all of the internet reading I've been doing makes me feel like her foot is about to fall off!
the farrier put the shoe back on, and said I could try to get some iodine under it.
Does anyone have any experience or knowledge about white line? Should I be consulting my vet?
White line disease can be bad if left untreated. It is a bacterial infection of the white line. Kind of like thrush. It can get into the the white line and make a honorably bad mess. As long as your farrier trims it out and treats it, it should be all right. Try to keep her out of the mud and wet areas for a few weeks. Just keep a eye on her feet. It can get super bad if left alone with out treatment.
I'm not 100% sure if this is what my boy Rylen had in 3 hooves, but if its the same thing you definitely want to get rid of it ASAP and completely. Like a cancer it will spread quickly because it has an ideal environment, warm and oxygen free. When getting rid of it you have to remove every last trace or it will come back.
Rylen was in a stall for two weeks (puncture wound plus extreme cold weather with no paddock shelter) and at the end of the 2 weeks I trimmed his hooves and found a small, barely noticeable black hairline crack on 3 hooves. I chalked it up to the stall rest, trimmed his hooves and thought it was done with. Lesson learned...two or three weeks later three feet looked like this: http://i46.tinypic.com/20ssqxk.jpg
I had to ressect (? - cut away) the wall to open it to the air. I had to go up 1/4 to 1/2 an inch to remove every last trace of black crud and clean with peroxide (good because it introduces oxygen, which kills any stray anaerobic bacteria). It's almost grown out with no trace of return.
I don't think the shoes would help the situation as they will limit your access to treat or clean the area. If gunk gets trapped in there it will keep the area sealed and the problem will continue. As for the vet, I'm not sure if there's anything they can do for it.
Lunavi is 100% accurate. Nothing to add except that a Dremel tool is your friend. And that stuff, (despite being anaerobic) can be spread with hoof knives, etc. It's a good idea to disenfect them after coming in contact with wld, or if they have a forge, burn them a little.
Also for people who haven't seen it, it often looks like wet gunpowder. Ranges from gray to black
And it looked exactly like wet black gunpowder! That pic was taken after I had already cut away about a 1/8 or more of an inch. It was gross!
Thanks everyone! This makes me feel a bit better (like her foot wont fall off tomorrow) but also very empowered to go after it and knock it out!
Loosie, I wonder, too, since it's black if it's thrush because WLD is (?) white and crumbly , and actually starts eating into the hoof wall? Weird!
Now that you've learned about white line disease, you need to talk to your farrier about prevention in the future. There are many people who keep their horses outside 24/7. If it's pasture, it can be okay. If it's turnout that can stay mud for days or weeks at a time, it and/or a chronically dirty stall can house the bacteria that causes this. I have become diligent about keeping my horse's hooves clean and dry at least 1/2 of the day (at night). My farrier has noticed. A few years back I had this problem, and he noticed that, too.
It's not impossible to cure, but they spend so much time on their feet, and it's worth caring for their feet.
Hi Everyone - I was able to corner my farrier today and get some more info I thought might be worth sharing for the others battling this nasty stuff.
He said that he thought he was able to remove all of it, but if it was still there during our next shoeing he would use a boot with a product called "White Lightening". He said its really the miracle drug for white line disease and that it really makes a big difference.
Hope that helps everyone!
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