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White line disease in horses

White Line Disease in Horses

Many common horse health problems originate from the hooves.

This is because the hooves are the most used part of a horse’s body. This is the reason why proper shoeing is very important for horses. Proper hygiene must also be maintained for the hooves so that they are able to remain healthy and tolerate the wear and tear that they are subjected to on a daily basis. A common problem of the hooves in horses is white line disease.

This condition affects the area where the foot meets the hoof. If the condition goes undetected it can lead to separation of the hoof wall and the laminae, which is why treatment of white line disease in horses is so important. Rotation of the coffin bone can also result. The disease first appears as a white line which then starts to deteriorate and eat away at the horse’s hoof.

It is known to result in a significant amount of pain and if left untreated can cause the horse to become lame. There are plenty of white line disease in horses treatment options and it’s important to get a quick diagnosis and check done by your vet.

The causes of white line disease in horses are a combination of fungi and bacteria that usually inhabit pastures or barns. These organisms thrive in non-oxygen surroundings such as a cracked hoof. Therefore horses with cracks in their hooves are more likely to develop white line disease. Preventive measures are a lot more effective than any white line disease in horses treatment option and can save your horse a great deal of pain. Other infections such as abscesses may also develop. White line disease can affect any breed of horse and can occur in any or all of the four hooves. There are certain early symptoms of white line disease in horses. These include bulging of the hoof and tenderness of the soles. When the hoof is tapped using a hammer, there may also be a hollow noise. Infestation can also occur when the horse loses a shoe or part of the hoof. In order to determine how to treat white line disease in horses, a proper diagnosis is first necessary. An x-ray of the hoof may be performed to determine the extent of the damage. A farrier may also have to be consulted so that the horse can be shoed therapeutically to provide support to the affected hoof.

Certain medications may also have to be applied to the hooves. It is also necessary to trim the hooves up to a point where are not affected by the disease any more. One of the most important steps in treating white line disease in horses is to ensure that they are kept in a dry, warm and secure area where there will not be exposure to bacteria. 

  Submitted on August 24, 2010