Horses and White Line Disease

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Wild Prime, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Wild Prime

    Wild Prime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Idaho
    We've been having a little problem for the past 2 years with our horses that goes by the name of white line disease. We have 2 horses, one of them is 23 years old and she has never had white line until 2 years ago. We've spent over $200 trying to get rid of the white line but nothing has worked. We have used vet recommended formulas and home remedies. We live in Boise, Idaho and last winter was pretty cold and we got quite a bit of snow, so we thought white line would disappear. It didn't. Our farriers are also stumped and have suggested other formulas that don't work at all. So here is my question: have your horses had white line? And if so, what did you use to treat it? In your response, please include the following information.

    Is your horse
    1. pastured or on dry lot
    2. What type of bedding do you use?
    3. Feed- hay, grain, supplements, etc
    4. Shoes or barefoot?
    5. Do you board or do you keep them at your house?
    6. What climate do you live in? Typical weather, etc
    7. Has your horse been cured of white line, and then had it come back?
    8. Do you compete with your horse?

    This has been quite a problem in Idaho for the past couple of years so any help given here will be appreciated and spread to others via our farriers and vet. Thanks in advance for any and all responses! [​IMG]
     
  2. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Maryland
    I've not had to deal with WLD myself, however, I do know a few folks who've had success in treating WLD with grapefruit see extract (not sure if this is one of the natural methods you've tried).
     
  3. Wild Prime

    Wild Prime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Idaho
    We did use grapefruit seed extract, as it was one of the first treatments recommended to us. We put it on with a spray bottle and when that didn't work we soaked each hoof in a boot full of it. Still nothing. I'm wondering if this strain of white line has become immune to a lot of the more common treatments here.
     
  4. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    I had a horse with white line. My farrier said it was caused from going from wet feet to dry feet multiple times. He got it in TX where the weather is very hot (115 degrees) and very dry. Often horses are hosed down and put in front of fans because it is so hard for them to become cool. My farrier here in PA cut a bunch of dead hoof away and the problem still was present and the horse was never sound.
     
  5. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    My 2 old horses are suffering from WLD right now, too. They are 29 and 37 yrs old, and have NEVER EVER had any foot issues their entire lives. My current farrier thinks they developed the problem as a result of their ages (weaker immune systems) and drastic change in environment. We moved from a "dry" environment to a "wet" environment in May 2012. The 29 yr old has a much worse case of it, we think it could be because he has Cushings, which can effect lots of body systems....

    Here are my answers to your questions:
    1. pastured or on dry lot
    Both. My property is set up to rotate pastures. My stalls open directly into a drylot, and then off the drylot (which is also the arena) are 5 pastures, each has it's own gate. So the horses have 24/7 access to deep grass pasture, but also come in 2x a day to be fed in their stalls. In the winter, or when the pastures need rest, they are locked in the drylot.

    2. What type of bedding do you use?
    Generally, none, because the horses are only stalled to eat breakfast and dinner. But I do stall them 24 hrs a day in the winter if the weather is bad, and then I use sawdust. Not shavings, not pellets, not straw, SAWDUST. It works the best to absorb moisture and lower dust, and still be "siftable" so I can get the poop balls out without wasting good bedding. The stalls also have stall skins and rubber matts.

    3. Feed- hay, grain, supplements, etc
    Oldsters get 10 lbs Triple Crown Sr. and 5 lbs. Triple Crown Timothy Balancer cubes each day in addition to free-choice pasture. When there is no pasture, they get free choice orchard/timothy hay. The 37 yr old is on Smart Combo Senior from Smartpak(SmartFlex Senior, SmartHoof, and SmartOmega 3). The 29yr old is on Prascend and Delta Hoof Power.

    4. Shoes or barefoot?
    Barefoot. Always have been, except for ~2yrs when I *thought* I needed them shod.

    5. Do you board or do you keep them at your house?
    At home now, though they have been boarded over the years.

    6. What climate do you live in? Typical weather, etc
    Southern Maryland - so pretty wet compared to OKC/Wichita, KS, where they have lived since 1997. Soil here holds the moisture, doesn't dry out as well. Winters are not that cold (so far) and are also pretty wet.

    7. Has your horse been cured of white line, and then had it come back?
    This is the first time I've ever had it. We've just started treating it aggressively. The 29yr old is loosing chunks of hoof wall off his toes, though the rest is staying intact. No lameness or pain. Horses are trimmed every 6 wks. and have never missed a trim their entire lives. Currently, I am using Fungidye every 3rd day on the exposed line, and Kerataex Gel 2x a week. Time will tell....

    8. Do you compete with your horse?
    Haven't competed in about 10 years or so. Before that, we competed heavily in breed and open shows (pleasure, trail, equitation and in-hand classes), dabbled a bit in dressage, goofed off at team penning and roping, and trail rode practically every day. They used to be extremely fit horses! I currently have a younger Arab that I am just now starting to break, and hope to compete in local endurance with him.
     
  6. Wild Prime

    Wild Prime Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2011
    Idaho
    Hmm, interesting. My farrier told me that white line comes from something in the soil, but exactly what he can't say. Our soil is dry, and it doesn't hold moisture very well. Both of our horses are healthy and sound so I don't think its because their immune systems are weakened. They get trimmed every 6 weeks and never have they experienced pain or lameness from the white line. We don't use bedding because their stalls are lined with trailer mats

    Res- Wow! 37 years old! I am so amazed [​IMG]
    Peaches- Yes after every trim the white line is still there, much to our annoyance no matter how much is trimmed off.

    I'm thinking climate change and moist soil are contributing factors to white line. However, our soil is dry and our horses have been in the same climate all of their lives. Its worse in the spring, because our soil goes from bone dry to swamp back to bone dry rotating over several weeks. I just wish we could find something to cure it. That is our only health concern when it comes to our horses. We aren't killing it, we're simply keeping it from getting worse.
     
  7. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    My farrier says it is due to a fungus. He's never said if it is found in the soil, but he has said that the wet environment contributes to it thriving in the hoof. Fungicides and air should kill it... he said not to get upset if chunks of hoof wall break off, because that exposes the fungus to air, which will kill it. He says he sees it most often in horses that have lived for a long time in a dry climate, and then are exposed long-term to a wet climate.

    I haven't checked his diagnosis or info with my vet. I'm pretty confident in his knowledge. He trains people, and he attends training conferences and seminars frequently. He's an older gentleman, in his 70s, and he is like a sponge, always learning new info. He is definitely not a chest-thumping know-it-all personality.
     
  8. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Yes when my farrier trimmed the hoof it was quite graphic, in fact I would have loved to have taken pictures of the whole thing--the best I can describe it as is a human's toenail falling off...[​IMG]
    I'm not sure exactly how your climate is but maybe you could keep your horses off the pasture until it gets dry at midday? To me it does sound like the climate is a contributing factor to your horses white line disease. [​IMG]
     
  9. onehorse_2000

    onehorse_2000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 10, 2010
    White Line Disease is a maintenance disease. Your farrier is not trimming your horse short enough, often enough to get rid of it. There is no treatment from it other then exposing it to air and trimming the foot short, so that the white line can tight up to the point that the anabolic critters can't get in there to reproduce. In all the horses that I have trimmed, I can get rid of "WLD" in about 6 months of frequent trims. The frequent trimming is to keep the current "WLD" under control and to promote the foot to produce a tighter white line from the coronary band down.
     
  10. bestponymilo

    bestponymilo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2007
    It's been ages since I've dealt with it, but I'll remember what I can LOL. He was a foster for a local horse rescue, teenage TB gelding.

    Is your horse
    1. pastured or on dry lot
    He was in a smaller paddock, mostly dirt and it remained dry most of the time

    2. What type of bedding do you use?
    Oak floor stall with pine shavings

    3. Feed- hay, grain, supplements, etc
    Oye...I believe at that time I was feeding Blue Seal, and I'm sure I had him on a hoof supplement, maybe Farrier's Formula?

    4. Shoes or barefoot?
    Shod, the previous farrier resected him so much he started rotating. He needed the shoes for support.

    5. Do you board or do you keep them at your house?
    He was boarded

    6. What climate do you live in? Typical weather, etc
    Typical New England weather--cold snowy winters, hot summers, soggy wet sprints.

    7. Has your horse been cured of white line, and then had it come back?
    Yes he was cured and it hasn't returned, as far as I know. I still keep in touch with the lady who adopted him and she hasn't mentioned it.

    8. Do you compete with your horse?
    He was/is just hacked on trails


    I've heard rave reviews on White Lightening, don't know if you've tried it. I do agree, a big part of the battle is frequent hoof care and keeping his hooves as clean and dry as possible until the WLD is completely gone. Back when I was treating the TB, my farrier had me using merthiolate, which I could get from the pharmacist. No 'scrip needed, but I had to ask for it because they kept it behind the counter. I'm not sure you can even buy it anymore...

    I believe I have pics of his progress somewhere, I can try to dig them up if you're interested.
     

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