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White Line Disease

Posted on 10 August 2016

Whiteline disease

White line Disease

The term, “white line disease” has only been around for a quarter of a century or so. Also known as “seedy toe”, “hollow foot”, “stall rot”, “thrush” or simply a yeast infection, the often incorrectly diagnosed disease came to be recognised as a serious ailment capable of causing lameness or even permanent loss of ability due to reduced hoof wall.


White line disease doesn’t actually take place in the white line; rather it is recognised as the progressive separation of (non-pigmented) hoof wall at the middle layer of the hoof capsule and the laminar horn. This progressive separation usually involves most of the toe and quarters.


The cause of white line disease is unknown, although it’s thought to be a condition linked to the invasion of bacteria and fungi into an area of the hoof after a trauma. Other causes include environmental conditions, nutrition and the functions of the internal foot.


White line treatment will primarily consist of providing the affected area support whilst it grows out. After the entire undermined outer hoof wall is taken back to reveal the affected area, it is then debrided until healthy horn attachment can be identified.


One preventative used to maintain a healthy hoof is an anti-bacterial spray that prevents both infection and the build up of yeast, also known as thrush.


A horse with severe white line disease may be required to wear pads and boots to offer protection, support and comfort.

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