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Help a Neurotic Owner Return to Rationality

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  • Help a Neurotic Owner Return to Rationality

    Posting under an alter because, well, I'm neurotic.

    Two days ago, I came out to ride my horse. She hadn't gone outside because it had been very cold and wet that day. She was a bit stiff when I started...not dead lame, but a bit stabby and short behind around the turn. I let her stretch out a bit and she seemed to work out of it and finished quite normal. I felt her legs for heat or swelling, and found neither. The only thing was a bit of a crack in her RH hoof - she had recently had her back shoes pulled for the winter. I wrapped her behind just as a precaution and decided to re-evaluate the next day.

    Yesterday, I pulled her out of her stall and she seemed okay. Legs still not fat, still not hot, but the crack in her hoof was worse and a chunk had come out. I tested it a bit and it wasn't sensitive, so I got on. Nope...something definitely not right. I got off, called the farrier (who was out the next day anyway) and made an appt with the vet.

    Farrier evaluated today and said definitely not an abscess, but there was inflamation at the white band on her hoof. He recommended bute and to have back shoes put back on. I left the shoes off for now, as I'd like the vet to have a decent look at her foot tomorrow, but I'm freaking out a bit after reading about and seeing pictures of white line disease. The inflammation combined with the compromised nature of her foot seem like classic signs of white line disease...anyone have any experience with this?

    I know the vet will have the best diagnosis for me tomorrow, but I just want to be prepared.

    ETA: Cross-posting in Horse Care as Well

  • #2
    FWIW, we had a lovely pony that had (and still does) White Line Disease in all four feet. She was never lame and never missed a day of work because of it. I would tend to think that a sudden or even a fairly gradual yet marked increase in lameness would be due to White Line Disease.

    Even when a horse's foot is resected drastically, it needn't follow that there will be lameness.
    Inner Bay Equestrian


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
      FWIW, we had a lovely pony that had (and still does) White Line Disease in all four feet. She was never lame and never missed a day of work because of it. I would tend to think that a sudden or even a fairly gradual yet marked increase in lameness would be due to White Line Disease.

      Even when a horse's foot is resected drastically, it needn't follow that there will be lameness.
      I'm glad to hear this...I've been browsing the internet and heard horror stories of WLD being career-ending. My horse's case (if that's what it truly is) looks nothing as bad as what is labeled "moderate" on google images, so I'm hoping that I was diligent enough to stop this before it gets bad.

      What did you use to treat your pony's WLD?


      • #4
        My pony has had it off and on. Not a death sentence for, he has done very well. When it comes on we treat it and all is well. Wait for the vet and don't stress to much about it.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


        • #5
          We took a number of measures to get the WLD under control.

          The main thing is to keep the feet dry. Luckily, our pony was bay, and it was never very obvious that she rarely got a bath!

          Our farrier would give her very regular trims--and in between we'd keep the white line drizzled with merthiolate, and/or Thrush Buster. There are a number of preparations that can be used aside from these, but none seemed to be as effective. We'd pack any holes we could see with Keratex hoof putty (after shooting the Thrush Buster/Merthiolate up into the cracks with a syringe.

          And finally, our farrier decided it was time to resection:


          He filled in the hoof with Equilox, and it adhered very well; we kept it dry (no baths!), which I'm sure helped, and it basically grew out and got trimmed along with the hoof.

          This measure MOSTLY eradicated the WLD, but we still needed to be careful, so always kept up the routines described above. Since her retirement, we haven't been as strict about keeping her feet totally dry, but she does very well, and is now 'at least' 27 going on 28, or maybe 'as much' as 31 going on 32.
          Inner Bay Equestrian


          • #6
            How long has it been since you pulled her hind shoes and what kind of footing were you riding her on? Sometimes it just takes a bit of time for them to get used to not having shoes on and it can make their feet a little more sensitive. Have you pulled her rear shoes other years with no problems?
            Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls


            • #7
              My TB had white line in both front feet. Never was a problem for him even when he got resected pretty dramatically. We scrubbed every day with bleach with a toothbrush but I imagine there are probably better combos out there to treat it now. We just tried to be careful with him with wetness, etc. We ended up taking him to the University of Florida for the vet school farrier to do the resections to make sure they were done well.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Outfxed View Post
                How long has it been since you pulled her hind shoes and what kind of footing were you riding her on? Sometimes it just takes a bit of time for them to get used to not having shoes on and it can make their feet a little more sensitive. Have you pulled her rear shoes other years with no problems?
                It's been about a month...so 3 weeks of normalness, jumping up to about 1.20, gymnastics exercises, etc...nothing out of her normal routine. She's always had her back shoes pulled after the show season and has never had issue.

                No change to the footing. She was ridden on a variation of a nice sand indoor, a nice sand outdoor, and some flat-ish packed down trails...but I haven't ridden on any trails recently so a stone bruise or something of the sort is unlikely.

                I went out today and turpentined her foot to try and harden the walls so they stop breaking, gave her some bute and wrapped her in standing wraps, as she will be going on day 3 of standing in her stall. She didn't seem too off again today - sound at the walk and not resting the "bad" foot, so to speak. Fingers crossed for the vet tomorrow that it's minor!


                • #9
                  It took my horse 15 months to get use to his back shoes being pulled. It was ugly for awhile and he is retired. I did put him on farriers formula which has helped a lot. Good luck, my other guy is a 5 year old OTTB and his back shoes stay on, it is just too hard to make the switch and I need for him to be worked at least a few times a week in the winter.


                  • #10
                    Just another reply on WLD- my old pony had it and it never caused any lameness. It was just something we noticed and the farrier confirmed. We had a spray, I think it was Save-A-Hoof or something (this was around 8 years ago) that we'd spray into the crack after picking it out. I don't remember doing anything other than that for it and as long as we kept up with getting him trimmed, it stayed pretty small. He wasn't a show horse or anything, but he never had a lame day.


                    • Original Poster

                      Just thought I'd update you guys since you took the time to share your wisdom.

                      Vet looked at horse and determined that she was definitely not right. He flexed her to rule out any tendon issues and she trotted the same before and after flexing (phew!). Also said it's NOT WLD (again, phew!). The wet weather combined with the timing of her shoe coming off just somehow irritated her bare sole and caused some inflamation in the hoof. A little rest, bute and turpentine to harden her foot until the farrier can put shoes back on Monday and we should be good to go!

                      Thanks again guys!