Managing Severe White Line Disease
Mike Steward, DVM, APF, of Shawnee, Oklahoma, discussed the intricacies of treating and shoeing horses with severe white line disease during the 2017 International Hoof-Care Summit, held Jan. 24-27, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
One of the big challenges in treating white line disease is that its cause is unknown. The disease process usually begins with separation of the hoof wall’s insensitive laminae from the underlying sensitive laminae attached to the coffin bone. Bacteria, fungi, and dirt can then enter the space and cause infection, which is often difficult to treat due to its location and the lack of blood flow to this area.
Veterinarians typically diagnose white line disease by looking for abnormal wall separation or wall conformation, tapping the hoof wall to listen for a hollow sound, and applying hoof testers to the sole. A veterinarian or farrier can use a hoof knife to cut away the diseased part of the hoof wall to get a better idea of the extent of infection and separation. Radiography is a useful and less-invasive diagnostic tool, Steward
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