What’s All this Talk About White Line Disease?
By Carole Herder
It’s All About Survival
Without good feet, horses do not survive. They are prey animals, and if they cannot run away, they do not make it. While there are no crouching tigers around, ready to pounce, paying attention to healthy hooves is as essential today as it ever was. It may be even more imperative because of the domesticity and human intervention, which can compromise natural hoof function.
Determining the Presence of White Line
A common hoof problem is White Line Disease. The White Line is the material between the sole and the wall, which can be more clearly seen after a fresh trim. One theory is that it is an invasive fungus that enters the area through the sole. Also, bacteria may enter as a result of injury and damage to the hoof wall. It could also be a result of chronic Laminitis or a metabolic disturbance involving ageing. Different hypotheses aside, we know that the white line material is unhealthy.
Investigate by cleaning and examining the hoof. Look for signs of trauma, sores, disturbances, or openings in the hoof wall and sole. If something looks questionable, treat it. Start with natural remedies that are non-toxic with no adverse side effects. Apple cider vinegar, iodine and tea tree oil can be helpful. White Line Disease is an anaerobic condition, thriving in the absence of oxygen. When applying a treatment, you should make sure the area also receives clean air exposure.
Keep that Horse Moving!
After you have treated the symptom, look for the original cause. Your trimmer should balance the hoof from front to back, side to side and be able to address the rigour required of a hoof that supports a thousand-pound horse.
Movement is imperative. The nutrients and oxygen in freely flowing blood can help heal problems and prevent further damage. Proper circulation helps to encourage the hoof strength and elasticity required to support your horse from the ground up. Keep him comfortable and keep him moving. If your horse does not respond quickly, call your veterinarian.
Anne Green helped her horse overcome White Line Disease with the help of her farrier. Here’s how the added comfort of Cavallo Hoof Boots helped her horse to stay on his feet during healing:
“Just thought I’d share about a rescue horse who had the worst case of White Line Disease that two veterinarians had ever seen. They said it would not be a bad idea to have this horse euthanized, due to the severity of his front hooves. We brought Pilot home as a rescue. Pilot had such bad hooves that he was having trouble standing on his front legs. We immediately called our farrier who came to the rescue. We padded his hooves as best we could until his Cavallo Boots arrived. Pilot was in such pain on his right hoof that we couldn’t even lift his left front hoof off the ground. It put too much pressure on the right one, which was the worst. We had a big fight on our hands whenever we needed to change his padding, due to the pain this poor horse was in.
After his boots arrived, things got better and better when we had to change the padding. We still cut up apples to divert his attention whenever we deal with cleaning and changing his boots. But after six months, we see light at the end of the tunnel. He is now 75 percent better. His whole right hoof sounded hollow when we first started dealing with him. Not anymore! Our farrier is very pleased with his progress so far. We don’t think that there has been a farrier in Pilot’s life for some time, due to the neglect his hooves showed.
He wears his boots 24/7. They are cleaned and changed after rain since he is out with his friends in the pasture. We are so happy with his progress! Right now, Pilot is sound when wearing his boots. Heck, he is now sound without them, but until his farrier gives us the thumbs up to remove them, he will be protected by wearing them. He wears Cavallo Trek Boots and I highly recommend them!”
Wishing you healthy hoofs and happy trails,
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