What is White Line Disease?
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
By Jeri Lockwood
Im Fancy Schmancy's White Line Story
If you horse, donkey or mule is in pain due to a ligament and/or tendon injury, CBD will immediately activate the horses own CBD receptors to relieve the pain. There are a ton of products on the market to inject into the hoof wall, but nothing was working except for a combination of Tea Tree Oil and CBD oil. Coconut Oil was used as a binder for the oil to stick to the hoof. Remember a little goes a long way.
I am hearing from a lot of farriers that White Line is becoming more common. White line disease is characterized by an invasion of bacteria and fungi that destroy hoof-wall tissue.
To understand the basics of white line disease, it’s helpful to know a bit about equine anatomy.
- The hoof wall – the outermost surface of the hoof – has three layers.
- The external layer consists of the smooth, shiny covering that most of us think of when we think “hoof.”
- It’s within the next two layers of hoof wall that white line disease usually occurs, making the name a misnomer. The white line lies just inside the hoof wall and is not affected by its eponymous disease.
How to Treat White Line Disease
White line disease can be cured. Here's how a farrier does it.
- First off, abnormalities in the hoof need to be addressed.
- The mainstay of white line disease treatment is hoof-wall resection, where a skilled farrier cuts away all three layers of the hoof wall to remove the infected material. A hoof knife or Dremel tool can clear out the powdery hoof wall.
- Once the farrier has gotten to healthy tissue, he or she can take a drum sander and smooth up the area under the resection. The hoof will grow out better if it’s a nice, clean, solid area.
- The resection might look dramatic to horse owners, but keep in mind that these are not sensitive tissues, and a resection doesn’t hurt the horse.
- The resected hoof may need to be supported with a special type of shoe, such as a glue-on or bar shoe. When you resect the hoof, the horse needs the continuity restored in the form of a shoe.
- Owners can use a wire brush daily to keep the area clean.
- The horse’s hooves should be kept as dry and clean as possible.
- Every two weeks a farrier – or horse owner, if he or she is confident with a hoof knife – should debride the area with a hoof knife. Clean up any area that isn’t looking good, clearing it down to solid tissue.
- During the debridement, a dye marker such as merthiolate is used to stain the tracts of infected material. That tells the farrier how far to keep carving.
- If you keep the hoof clean and debrided, it should grow back healthy, but don’t let your guard down, because the infection can recycle and even reappear in previously affected horses with strong hoof walls that have no sign of separation.
Growing a New Hoof
If more than one-third of the hoof wall (going from the hair line to ground) is removed in a resection, the horse should be taken out of work, Dr. O’Grady says. With one-third or less of the hoof wall removed, the horse can be worked normally.
How long does it take for a resected hoof to grow back? A horse’s hoof, in the toe area, will completely re-grow from hairline to the ground in 10 to 12 months, Dr. O’Grady says. The quarters (sides) of the hoof will grow out in six to eight months. And the heel will grow out in three or four months. So, if, for example, a horse has half the length of his toe resected, it will take five to six months to re-grow. Feeding for healthy hooves can help speed up the process.
Finally, do not put aluminum shoes on the infected hooves. Aluminum shoes will reactive the white line.