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Need Advice-Possible White Line Disease-Update: Not White line. Soft spots on soles Found-see last couple of posts.

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  • Need Advice-Possible White Line Disease-Update: Not White line. Soft spots on soles Found-see last couple of posts.

    I think my horse may have white line disease. His feet are getting long as he hasn’t been trimmed all winter since he doesn’t get ridden at all and is kept outside in a pasture covered in deep snow. He’s also is barefoot. He broke one of his front hooves a bit the other day and has been noticeably lame at a trot. I had been thinking it was his hind leg that was injured 10 weeks ago but the more I watched him the more I figure he lame on the front end. I cleaned his hooves really well today thinking maybe a small rock got wedged. When I got all the funk out from his toe area I noticed a crevice all around his foot between the sole and overgrown portion of his hooves. After doing some research it looks like white line disease. Has anyone had to deal with this? I know it’s an infection of the white line but what would be the cause of it initially? How do I treat it? I have the farrier coming out this weekend.
    Last edited by SLS; May. 7, 2019, 04:19 PM.

  • #2
    Hmmm ... sounds like you need a farrier. And maybe a vet. They can properly diagnose to help. Internet boards - not so much

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      If he hasn't been trimmed all winter his feet will be very long and they will start to break off and self trim essentially. The long walls can also start to peel back in a kind of mechanical separation that is not wld per se but can be a nuisance to fix.

      Get a good trimmer out ASAP. Best case scenario a good trim will set him straight. Worst case trimmer will need to resection some compromised wall and horse will be ouchy for a few months. If that is the case invest in some hoofboots for riding.

      Anyhow lesson learned. You cannot neglect a horses feet for 6 months and expect him to be 100% ok in the spring. Next winter you will know to contimue regular care.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes lesson learned. This is the first full winter I’ve had him and every other horse on our farm seems to go all winter without a trim and be fine in the spring. I guess he’s a bit more sensitive. I didn’t know the long walls could peel back and separate. I’ve been worried about laminitis-but he’s been on hay alone all winter.

        Comment


        • #5
          Feet need to be trimmed every 8 weeks at minimum, even if they're not being ridden. Many realistically need a trim every 6. The potential issues caused by not keeping feet trimmed and balanced will end up costing you far more time and $$ than the small cost of having the farrier out every other month. Beyond actual poor foot condition, letting feet "go" sets horses up for soft tissue and long-term joint damage. Glad you've learned the lesson, I'm sorry you're dealing with sore feet now and hope it's an issue remedied by a good trim and a little time!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SLS View Post
            I think my horse may have white line disease. His feet are getting long as he hasn’t been trimmed all winter since he doesn’t get ridden at all and is kept outside in a pasture covered in deep snow. He’s also is barefoot. He broke one of his front hooves a bit the other day and has been noticeably lame at a trot. I had been thinking it was his hind leg that was injured 10 weeks ago but the more I watched him the more I figure he lame on the front end. I cleaned his hooves really well today thinking maybe a small rock got wedged. When I got all the funk out from his toe area I noticed a crevice all around his foot between the sole and overgrown portion of his hooves. After doing some research it looks like white line disease. Has anyone had to deal with this? I know it’s an infection of the white line but what would be the cause of it initially? How do I treat it? I have the farrier coming out this weekend.
            Your farrier should be able to tell you what might be going on. I don't usually ride all Winter either but I do get my horses feet done on schedule all year round.

            I suggest you do the same as it is something your horse needs done regardless of whether you do anything with him or not. Your horse would really appreciate it.

            I am amazed when talking with my farriers ( over the years) of how many horse owners only have the feet tended to from May-September?

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with all posters- get the farrier out, but you can also do a white lightning or clean tracks soak as well. If your horse does not have white line it should not hurt him and if he does you can start treating it. If the white line is stretched it could be just too long between trims or there may be something more serious like low grade laminitis going on. There is also a big difference between white line, and a hoof that has just grown too much wall and not broken off.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                What does a hoof with laminitis look like? I don’t feel any heat in his hooves at all, but this morning I felt a strong digital pulse in is right front and he was visibly lame on that foot. I could not find a digital pulse for the life of me of me on any of his other legs. Tonight he’s still visibly lame in his front right but not nearly as bad as this morning. I still don’t feel heat in any of his hooves tonight but now can feel a digital pulse is his left front foot. (This was after he came running up to the fence to greet me). He doesn’t stand with his feet out in front of him-I would say he might stand with them camped under him a bit if anything. He is in the same pasture he’s been on all year. He it getting dry crappy hay and very little grass is coming up. The farrier is coming out tomorrow. I am going to move him to a dry lot tomorrow as well. He was fine until he was ridden last week down a hard road and then in a cow pasture to move some cows (we ranch and one of the guys needed a horse and used mine-my husband let him not me). He had a good workout as he was all sweated up. He was also sound until the day after he was used. I’ve checked his feet several times and can’t see anything-just that they are way overgrown and there is a space but it’s not deep. I’m just so frustrated.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He hasn’t been ridden or really tended to all winter, per your first post. Then he was ridden on a hard road and working cattle enough to get all sweated up?

                  Unfit horse, with three or four month overgrown bare feet and a resulting sore hoof with a bounding pulse? I’ll bet you’ll be soaking for an abscess before too long, that situation is asking for bruised soles. I hope your husband remembers in the future that horses aren’t just a four-wheeler you can pull out when the weather gets nice, even if a job needs to be done.
                  Leap, and the net will appear

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wait, you are riding a horse that hasn't had his feet trimmed since last Fall? You are asking for trouble. You need a farrier or a trimmer asap and you need to get your horse on a regular trimming schedule. Feet need care year round - not just when you want to ride.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Oh I know this. I had a total meltdown-it was not pretty. If I would have been asked it would have been a no go, but everyone knows I would have said no so they went behind my back and used him. As for getting a farrier-I know this but we live in an area where they are far and few between. The guy we had come out last year goes where it is warm for the winter (I live in Canada) so there was no one. I lucked out this spring as my neighbour went down to Texas to farrier school this past winter and is home now and is going to come trim my horse. He’s my sister in laws cousin and she had him out and was very happy with his work. My horse will now be trimmed every 6-8 weeks regardless of time of year.

                      Of course the first thing that you think of with a digital pulse is laminitis-especially in the spring but his diet is dry hay and what little grass is coming up. It is wet and the moment where he is-so maybe his soles are a little tender due to the moisture? Anyway I’m moving him across the road to where the corrals are and he’s going to be on only hay and on dry ground. His feet will also be trimmed today. Hopefully that straightens him out. He will then be properly conditioned by me.

                      I have had a week of sleepless nights thinking he has laminitis. I guess he possibly still could but it seems more probable he has bruised soles from being used last weekend. I’ll keep a close eye on him and watch for an abscess.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Just thought if this-should I put my guy on some sort of hoof supplement? His feet don’t tend to crack (when trimmed regularly) but he does seem to be a bit tinder footed. I did notice a stress ring on his feet (it is close to the bottom of his hooves (as in close to the ground). I did have him shoed on all fours last July as he seemed to be tender on the gravel road and it didn’t seem to make a difference so we pulled the shoes after 8 weeks. Like said in the post above-there is a wet area in his pasture-the water naturally flows between two hills-could this be making his soles soft? And would a hoof supplement help?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          ***UPDATE***

                          So just came in from feeding. Checked digital pulses-can only feel it on the right front-I can’t even find it on the left front this morning. I spent 10 minutes trying to find it. That’s a relief-I know I’m dealing something with the right front. His right front hoof was slightly warmer than the rest of his hooves (which were as cold to the touch). His fetlock seems a little warm as well and it felt a bit squishy as well-but not visibly swollen just feels squishier then the other fetlock. He’s walking mush better today and the digital pulse is a bit weaker than it was yesterday. I’m still going to pull him off the pasture for a few days to see what happens. Would it be beneficial to soak his foot in something?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is the classical presentation of an abscess especially since it is just one foot.

                            The standard way to treat an abscess, which you can research easily on line, is to soak in warm water with a saturated solution of Epsom salts for 10 or 15 minutes, then to wrap in a poultice. You can use a commercial product like AnimalLintex, or you can use a disposable diaper with more wet Epsom salts inside. You need tons of duct tape to keep this all in place and need to keep him confined somewhat.

                            The aim in soaking is to help the abscess ooze black goo out the bottom of the frog or heels. Left untreated, an abscess has more chance of travelling up the hoof wall and exiting at the coronet band, which is more painful and causes more hoof wall damage. However, horses will get and blow abscesses untreated at pasture, and if you don't have eyes and hands on your horse, he could have been getting these off and on all winter, and you wouldn't have noticed.

                            On the other hand, soaking a hoof in active laminitis would be disastrous as it would weaken an already compromised hoof wall.

                            If you are feeding crappy hay then yes, every horse can benefit from a ration balancer or a fortified feed at the recommended amount, because he will be missing vitamins, minerals, protein. If the horse is overall well nourished the hooves and coat will also be as strong as genetics allows.

                            That said, a horse's hooves adapt to the conditions he lives on. If you keep a horse on soft pasture and pull him out once a week to ride on gritty logging roads, yes he will always be sore when you take him out.

                            You say that you shod him all fours last summer, because he was ouchy on the roads, but it didn't make a difference? Are you saying that he continued to be uncomfortable with four shoes on? That suggests you are dealing with something more than just feet that haven't had time to acclimatize to gravel.

                            There is a lot to be said for absolutely laissez faire horse keeping, by which I mean toss them out in winter and make sure they don't starve. Many horse do just fine on that, or they do just fine on that for a while, and then the cumulative years of poor hoof care and poor nutrition start to take a toll. The problems usually arise when you want to bring them back into work. That is when you see the result of another winter's worth of benign neglect.

                            I would suggest that in addition to problem solving for this horse now, that you do some self education on nutrition, hoof care, and general horse first aid. I really like Julie Getty's book "Feed your Horse like a Horse" which covers all the basics for a forage first diet. You may find Peter Ramey's information on hoof trimming useful. You also need to get up to speed on abscesses, laminitis, etc.

                            I realize that you are in a fairly isolated area and probably money is a bit of an issue. However,knowledge is free or almost free and a knowledegable horseperson can figure out ways to cut corners that don't lead to disaster, and knows what things are trivial and what require vet intervention now. It can be harder obviously if you live in the kind of area where generally accepted best practices on hoof care and nutrition are not recognized by most other horse owners.

                            I also suggest that you get your new farrier to show you how to rasp so that you can touch up your horse's feet between trims. And you might want to invest in some good hoof boots, which over the long term are cheaper than shoes, and also protect the soles of the hooves. They are very useful for horses ridden only occaisionally because they can remain barefoot in the field.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                              This is the classical presentation of an abscess especially since it is just one foot.

                              The standard way to treat an abscess, which you can research easily on line, is to soak in warm water with a saturated solution of Epsom salts for 10 or 15 minutes, then to wrap in a poultice. You can use a commercial product like AnimalLintex, or you can use a disposable diaper with more wet Epsom salts inside. You need tons of duct tape to keep this all in place and need to keep him confined somewhat.

                              The aim in soaking is to help the abscess ooze black goo out the bottom of the frog or heels. Left untreated, an abscess has more chance of travelling up the hoof wall and exiting at the coronet band, which is more painful and causes more hoof wall damage. However, horses will get and blow abscesses untreated at pasture, and if you don't have eyes and hands on your horse, he could have been getting these off and on all winter, and you wouldn't have noticed.

                              On the other hand, soaking a hoof in active laminitis would be disastrous as it would weaken an already compromised hoof wall.

                              If you are feeding crappy hay then yes, every horse can benefit from a ration balancer or a fortified feed at the recommended amount, because he will be missing vitamins, minerals, protein. If the horse is overall well nourished the hooves and coat will also be as strong as genetics allows.

                              That said, a horse's hooves adapt to the conditions he lives on. If you keep a horse on soft pasture and pull him out once a week to ride on gritty logging roads, yes he will always be sore when you take him out.

                              You say that you shod him all fours last summer, because he was ouchy on the roads, but it didn't make a difference? Are you saying that he continued to be uncomfortable with four shoes on? That suggests you are dealing with something more than just feet that haven't had time to acclimatize to gravel.

                              There is a lot to be said for absolutely laissez faire horse keeping, by which I mean toss them out in winter and make sure they don't starve. Many horse do just fine on that, or they do just fine on that for a while, and then the cumulative years of poor hoof care and poor nutrition start to take a toll. The problems usually arise when you want to bring them back into work. That is when you see the result of another winter's worth of benign neglect.

                              I would suggest that in addition to problem solving for this horse now, that you do some self education on nutrition, hoof care, and general horse first aid. I really like Julie Getty's book "Feed your Horse like a Horse" which covers all the basics for a forage first diet. You may find Peter Ramey's information on hoof trimming useful. You also need to get up to speed on abscesses, laminitis, etc.

                              I realize that you are in a fairly isolated area and probably money is a bit of an issue. However,knowledge is free or almost free and a knowledegable horseperson can figure out ways to cut corners that don't lead to disaster, and knows what things are trivial and what require vet intervention now. It can be harder obviously if you live in the kind of area where generally accepted best practices on hoof care and nutrition are not recognized by most other horse owners.

                              I also suggest that you get your new farrier to show you how to rasp so that you can touch up your horse's feet between trims. And you might want to invest in some good hoof boots, which over the long term are cheaper than shoes, and also protect the soles of the hooves. They are very useful for horses ridden only occaisionally because they can remain barefoot in the field.

                              I only rode him a couple times after I put shoes on him and that was the only time he had ever had shoes. He also was no longer ouchy when we got off the road and into the field. He was on good quality hay all winter but I put him on lower quality hay now since the grass is starting to come. He is otherwise healthy-has a nice coat that is in the spring shedding stage, he gets dewormed regularly and his feet are otherwise good except for being long at the moment and the one being sore. My farrier will be here in about an hour so I will update once he has a chance to have a look.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would not expect any horse to be ouchy in a field, unless there was something very wrong.

                                However, it is surprising that 4 shoes all around is not enough for riding on gravel. It sounds like this horse is used very lightly (shoes for 8 weeks but only ridden a couple of times?), and even if he's been moving around a field all the time, he still will need some fitting up before you do any significant riding on him. So you might want the farrier to have a look at his overall way of going, if he seems stiff, etc.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                  I would not expect any horse to be ouchy in a field, unless there was something very wrong.

                                  However, it is surprising that 4 shoes all around is not enough for riding on gravel. It sounds like this horse is used very lightly (shoes for 8 weeks but only ridden a couple of times?), and even if he's been moving around a field all the time, he still will need some fitting up before you do any significant riding on him. So you might want the farrier to have a look at his overall way of going, if he seems stiff, etc.

                                  Well just finished with the farrier. There is no abscess or bruising on any of the feet. The only thing he can see to be the problem is the area right over the short pastern bone. It kind of bumps out. His other front leg is the same way-but maybe not quite as much. My husband bought him a year and a half ago for me and as long as I’ve had him he’s had that. I’m starting to think it’s a confirmation thing and that maybe because he was off so long and then used without proper conditioning that is the problem. The farrier thinks that just having his feet trimmed will help.

                                  Yes he is lightly used. I have a young daughter so it’s hard to find time to ride. He does get used once in while to move cattle and was used quite a bit last fall with no issues. Before we got him he was used for sorting and moving cattle at an auction mart and was also used for recreational team roping.

                                  It just that bounding digital pulse that has me confused. His actual hooves are perfectly fine. He has no bruising, no abscess, no thrush and no bleeding.

                                  I’m at a loss. I guess i’ll keep a close eye on him and see if he straightens out. I’m wondering if it’s possible that when he cut his right hind at the hock he compensated by putting weight on the front legs and the added stress to the joints is the problem? Especially since he was unconditioned and then worked?

                                  I did have him to the vet when he cut his hind leg and she looked him over and didn’t have any concerns. He wasn’t even lame when I took him in. (It’s been almost 12 weeks since he cut his hind leg and it’s all healed up now.).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    By bump on the pastern bone, do you mean ringbone?

                                    The thing about a horse only being ridden once every few weeks or months, is that he loses fitness for riding even if he is out in a field. There are muscles they use for carrying a rider, and general fitness for balancing under a rider. When my fit enough riding horse comes back from her 6 week fall pasture vacation I spend a couple of weeks taking it slow every day until I feel she is fitted up again.

                                    Riding a horse hard every couple of weeks and doing nothing in between is a recipe for injuries just like if a person does nothing much, then goes out to play a tough game of sports. 'Weekend Warrior" adult hockey players are always busting up their knees!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am glad he was able to get trimmed.

                                      Please keep in mind that just because your farrier didn't see evidence of an abscess or bruising doesn't mean he can't have either. Especially with an abscess they can brew/ fester for weeks on and off . It is really frustrating going through it.

                                      If it is possible have the vet out to evaluate the leg he is favoring. The fact that he was extremely overgrown and then ridden hard makes it very possible that he did something that won't resolve itself over time..

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        So I had my guy tied today for a few hours so I could do so some stuff in the field where he is without having to open and close a huge wire gate a million times. He was standing where I’ve been feeding him all winter so the footing was super soft. I checked his digital pulse this morning and the digital pulse on his sore foot was there but not bounding and in the other foot I could hardly feel it. His hooves weren’t ice cold but they weren’t hot. Fast forward to after he stood tied up and the foot that has had the bounding digital pulse had hardly a digital pulse and the hoof was cool to the touch but the other foot that had been fine had a bounding digital pulse and felt warm. The hoof on the foot that I thought was fine did break off last week. Could the leg that I originally thought was the problem be sore because he’s actually compensating for the foot that had the overgrowth broken off? Or is it possible he has bruised both his feet? I don’t think feed it the issue because he’s on hay that he’s been on all winter and the grass here is still brown with the odd blade turning green. He’s still acting like his normal self. When I untied him when I was done he went had a nice roll and then jumped around doing an “I’m fee dance”.

                                        Should I cold hose his feet and see if that helps?

                                        Comment

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