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September 22, 2008 | | Comments 0

Horse – White Line Disease

White Line Disease

White Line Disease

Horse – White Line Disease

White line disease is a condition that affects the health of the horse’s hoof. The condition becomes more evident when the hoof wall disconnects from the laminae. The disease could cause the external hoof wall to become noticeably dry and brittle. Once the condition approaches deterioration, the hoof tends to have a crumbly texture, which resembles the texture of cottage cheese. White line disease can affect all breeds of horses and can affect more than one hoof at one time.

White line disease can cause a number of problems. It may negatively affect the weight-support system of the hoof and hoof wall. It may also leave more room for infection and eventually trigger lameness. If left untreated, the condition may lead to various and serious complications in the hoof.

Causes of White Line Disease

White line disease isn’t simply caused by a dirty stable or hoof. It is more associated with the susceptibility of a horse to infection. Horses that are susceptible to white line disease tend to have cracked hooves, severe physical trauma, an unbalanced posture and chronic infections. The main culprits are bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi are typically present in all sorts of locations, which include the barn and pasture. They only become a concern when there is opportunity for them to enter the horse’s body through a cracked hoof. They may also easily infect a horse within a highly anaerobic environment.

Symptoms of White Line Disease

The first stages of infection do not trigger lameness. If a horse is already experiencing lameness, this typically means the condition has already advanced and caused much more problems. In the early stages, the sound of the hoof is typically hollow when tapped. The affected hoof may have a dished or bulged form, and the soles tender. Moreover, heat and a white line that is supple and crumbly characterize the disease. As a result, a horse may lose a shoe or a portion of its hoof.

Treatment and Prevention of White Line Disease

The earlier you recognize symptoms the better. Once a horse is diagnosed with white line disease, aggressive treatment is often employed. There are many treatment options your vet may deem best. Portions of the affected hoof may have to be removed. Affected areas may then be exposed to air and light, and the vet may sterilize the underlying tissue by administering broad-spectrum bacterio-fungicidal components.

Removal alone may not be enough, and bacteria and fungus left behind will tend to proliferate and re-infect newly formed tissue. Affected areas are to be kept dry and administered with a topical solution 3 to 4 times a day for 2 to 3 weeks, or as recommended by a vet. Topical solutions designed to treat white line disease include Thrush-Buster, Fungidye, Save A Hoof, benzoyle peroxide, merthiolate and homemade remedies like a combination of bleach, iodine and formaldehyde. Of course, treatment needs to be administered with the agreement of your vet. Small infections may be treated with topical agents and resection, then trimmed and shod as usual.

White line disease can become severe if left untreated. To prevent white line disease in the first place, simply make it a point to provide your horse with a safe, dry, temperate and clean environment. Of course, bacteria can thrive almost anywhere, but make it an effort to keep your barn and stables tidy.

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Filed Under: Horse Health

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