White line disease
The white line is the area on the ground surface of the foot that appears as a narrow ring of horny tissue at the perimeter of the sole. Infection occurs when this area is weakened and a cavity develops, separating the outer hoof wall from the laminae, allowing bacteria to enter. Clinical signs: Widening of the white line, discolouration, lameness, sensitivity to hoof testers and pus from the coronary band. Causes: Excessively wet conditions, long spells of dry weather/being stabled, poor quality horn due to nutritional deficiency, bacterial infection and penetration of the white line by sharp objects. Treatment: Rest, cleaning and trimming to restore correct balance, removal of diseased tissue, draining of any pus and improving diet. Prevention: Keep feet clean. Avoid riding on overly hard going or leaving your horse standing for long periods on wet or muddy ground. from hoof testers. Causes: Penetration of the sole or white line by grit or dirt, which results in infection. A hoof that is constantly wet will become softer, making it easier for bacteria to enter. Treatment: The abscess needs to be drained by a vet or farrier. This often brings immediate relief. The hoof and area should then be thoroughly cleaned and soaked in Epsom salts to draw out the remaining infection. The hole should be irrigated with an oxidizing agent such as hydrogen peroxide to reduce further infection. A poultice applied overnight for three days will help drain the abscess and keep it clean. Plug the hole with cotton wool soaked in iodine to keep the area clean and prevent reinfection. Antibiotics can also be given. Prevention: Pick out hooves every day and keep the hoof as clean and dry as possible.