View Full Version : And the jynx continues. White Line Disease
21st Apr 2005, 01:31 AM
Farrier was out today to replace the thrown shoe from the show last weekend, as well as to do the shoeing that was scheduled anyway this week.
When he took off the shoe from the troublesome left fore (the foot that has been giving us trouble for 18 months), he discovered that it had white line disease in the "problem area."
Fortunately, it hadn't affected more than a fairly small section of the hoof.
For those who are familiar with the condition, I was wondering: Considering that it isn't very advanced, is it possible that this still could have been brewing for a very long time? I ask because this section of the hoof wall has been weak for a very long time. Initially, it was clearly due to having grown in poorly after a traumatic injury (he had ripped his heel bulb 2 years ago and the damage had reached down into the coronary band), but even after 18 months, that small section continued to be weak and seperated.
21st Apr 2005, 02:21 AM
Yup. White line disease is one of those nasty things that can sit and bother the horse for forever while being so minimal it's hard to diagnose.
If the hoof wall is already separated, then that really leaves it vulnerable to the start of white line, too. So a separated hoof wall for some other reason can pick up white line and then cause the hoof wall to stay separated.
Ah...I don't know how true this is, but one farrier told me that hot-shoeing seals the hoof area under the shoe, and helps keep out things like white line. He said that since you're introducing holes in the hoof (nail holes, which *you're* not, but you do have an open area), then sealing the hoof with the heat can keep Bad Things from getting in.
Did the farrier give you methods for dealing with the white line, or are you interested in those too? Did he cut it out or just open it up and tell you to put stuff in it? If he cut it out, did he replace the area with hoof bondo?
21st Apr 2005, 03:14 AM
Thanks Galadriel. I know I can always count on your for some great advice and experience.
In retrospect, if this is in fact what it is (and the area certainly is very crumbly), it's possible that this was accounting for why that area continued to be weak despite all of our attempts to help it grow out (and eventually, to help build it up).
He didn't do a major resection, but dug out the affected tissue, applied bleach, and is leaving it open and unshod for a few days (with an EZ boot to keep it reasonably clean). He wants me to continue digging it out and applying bleach over the next two days. He then plans to fill it with epoxy.
Incidentally, we had planned to go back to nails with this shoeing, since the glue-ons didn't seem to resolve the problem (now we know why) and we were really starting to question whether they were going to hold up during competition season.
I plan to call the vet tomorrow and see what advice he has. He just x-rayed the foot 6 weeks ago, so maybe something is visible on that which went undetected at the time.
21st Apr 2005, 07:12 AM
Leaving the affected area open to the air is the most effective way to deal with this. The bacteria that causes WLD is anaerobic so sealing the hoof with a shoe doesn't help, it creates an environment that the bacteria thrives on.
I personally wouldn't use bleach, you run the risk of damaging healthy tissue at the same time as destroying the bacteria. You could soak in Borax (used as a laundry detergent) or if it's really mild apple cider vinegar. The best product to use is CleanTrax, it will clear it up in just one application but it's more expensive (£18 a bottle) and a faff to use. Worth it though if you really want to knock WLD or bad thrush on the head.
Filling the affected area will only work if you're 101% certain the bacteria is gone, otherwise you just trap it in to continue its work. It can sit quietly for a long time without you ever knowing. If the WLD has worked it's way up far enough you end up with a weak laminar attachment which would probably account for the area you've had problems with (the crumbliness). Bebe had a few reasonably large areas of outer wall break off completely when her shoes came off and WLD was diagnosed (I Cleantraxed to treat it). Now the new hoof has grown down the attachment is strong and her hooves are looking a hundred times better.
21st Apr 2005, 08:48 AM
I do a friends horses' feet for them, she has just bought a new reg. licenced stallion who is a stunner, a real gorgeous boy with manners and everything.....can't wait to get him in harness! :D :D
Anyway she asked me to do his feet as he had a nasty crack which seemed to be getting worse. When I came to do it I discovered a terrible dose of whiteline disease. So bad I bottled out of trimming it and got her to call the lady farrier in. I will resect a horse of mine back but this was a veritable cavern between the foot and the wall. The lady farrier has been and resected the whole lot back, chopped all the dodgy material out and I'm quite glad she did. I would never have been that brave with it.
So long as you use 50/50 bleach solution it will be fine, it will kill the bugs and put an end to it.
Last year Charlie had a does of it and we resected his foot bavk about 1 inch. this year his foot has grown back, kept in balance and it's gone.
21st Apr 2005, 11:54 PM
Thank you both for the experience and tips! It's good to hear about positive results. In the cases you've seen, has it reoccured later?
Thankfully, it didn't seem to have affected the hoof very far up, but he didn't have a lot of hoof to begin with (this being his problem hoof to begin with). Nothing horrible like the one you described, Wally. I've seen pictures of that sort of damage and the resections necessary, and they certainly do look brutal!
The bleach is diluted and I'm just spraying it on the affected area. Bebe, the effective ingredient in Borax is bleach, so it works on the same premise.
I'm a bit up in the air then about what to do next. The farrier wants to build up and reshoe, once we've had a few days to treat and debride it. If we don't put something there for support, he'll definitely be unsound on it. On the other hand, I certainly don't want it to continue brewing up there.
Has anyone had luck with the treated bonding materials, such as Keratex putty?
22nd Apr 2005, 12:06 AM
I am sorry Bud has problems again. :(
If it was me I would probably agree with Bebe's perception of leaving it open rather than providing housing to the bacteria.
I know you are probably looking forward to show season but it might be worth going through a bit of discomfort (and no riding) in order to get rid of this once and for all?
22nd Apr 2005, 07:14 AM
Has anyone had luck with the treated bonding materials, such as Keratex putty?
I used it to fill a hole made by the vet when Bebe had an abcess. I was able to pull it out and clean the hole daily to start with at first, I was paranoid about closing in bacteria. After about a week of that I left it in and it stayed put. It's a major pain to handle though, hard as a rock whilst in the tin so I had to put the tin in boiling water so I was able to get some out, but then it's soft and sticks to absolutely everything!
It does have a slow acting disinfectant of some sort so is probably better than other bonding materials that are available. I'd still want to be 100% sure I'd got rid of the problem before doing this though.
22nd Apr 2005, 12:19 PM
Clean Trax is the best thing for treating WLD, it's a bit of a pain in the backside to do as you have to use huge soaking boots but worth the hassle. Roxy had WLD a few months ago, she had black slime where her white line should be on all 4 feet, a couple of gaps you could shove a hoofpick into and the quarter behind her worst crack was unstable and bulging out as the infection had tracked up the crack. Pretty sure it had been lurking for a long time before getting serious, I'd just assumed my farrier would tell me if she had a problem which he hadn't. She was bad enough that a farrier would have wanted resections. Instead she got a barefoot trim and soaked in clean trax and it was gone in one treatment.
Borax is sodium borate, it is used for whitening but isn't as harsh as household bleach and doesn't damage healthy tissue (and give the infection something to feed on) as bleach does. It is good for treating infections such as thrush and mild white line diease but don't think it penetrates as far into the foot as clean trax so might not get at all the infection if it goes quite deep.
22nd Apr 2005, 12:52 PM
Oh lord WLD. :( My mare had that. It was impossible to keep a shoe on. I sympathise.
22nd Apr 2005, 05:59 PM
you should ask your farrier/vet about Mycaseptic Spray....you can get it from a vet or order it from valleyvet.com (in the states at least)...my farrier can't say enough good things about it...it treats WLD as well as strengthens the hoof wall...i know he recommends it to just about everyone. my horse went from not being able to wear shoes at all to being regularly shod every 6 weeks once i started treating him with the Myaseptic. it really made a HUGE difference (it also smells kind of yummy...like oranges). good luck with everything!
23rd Apr 2005, 02:05 AM
Thanks everyone for your insights.
It sounds like I should be very thankful that this was caught while still mild!
23rd Apr 2005, 02:24 PM
My first horse had mild WLD. He had the usual tratment everyone describes here, the farrier cutting away the affected part of the hoof etc. Happily it was mild enough so that he was never lame with it. Once we got topside of it, I was recommended to use the nail hole disinfectant you can get from tack shops periodically. He never got it again, but on the other hand his feet were never that brilliant anyway. Not what you expect in a coloured cob :(
24th Apr 2005, 01:03 AM
That's relieving to hear, Cazrider. I hear horror stories of about recurring cases.
I think a lot of my fear when I heard the diagnosis had to do with stories about terribly advanced cases. Both my farrier and vet reassured me that I shouldn't be as worried as I am.
24th Apr 2005, 02:05 AM
Fingers crossed that you get it worked out really soon! :)
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