White Line Disease is caused by spore-forming bacteria. To date, twenty-two different types of fungal spores have been identified. The condition occurs when pathogens invade a weak or compromised hoof wall where they deteriorate the non-pigment portions of the horn wall.
Radiographs confirm a diagnosis of white line disease by capturing the presence of gas trapped in the hoof wall. Treatment includes removal of the diseased hoof wall, allowing oxygen to reach and kill the bacteria.
The disease is often associated with laminitis.
Approximately 10% of mature bone goes through the resorption (bone removal) and ossification (hardening of new bone) process each year. Arthritis causes an imbalance in the remodeling process resulting in bone spurs like the one shown here.
It is a common misconception that applying hoof dressing to the outer hoof wall adds moisture. The hollow fibers that make up the hoof wall are naturally filled with moisture and an adequate amount of moisture is reliant on a healthy blood supply to the hoof.
Yes, fall pasture grass can cause laminitis. As the air gets cooler and the leaves begin to change, so does your pasture grass. The sugars in grasses rise as new growth explodes with cooler temperatures and fall rains, increasing the risk of laminitic episodes. If a horse looks foot sore contact your veterinarian and start soaking their feet in ice water as soon as symptoms appear.
Take extra care when fall grazing horses who suffer from metabolic disorders. Their bodies do not metabolize sugar properly and are at a higher risk of pasture-induced laminitis.
We have probably all heard we should not place ice directly on the skin. This is true when treating horses, too. While ice freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit it is often much colder. Ice from a typical kitchen freezer can be as cold as -20 F.
Burn occurs when ice is placed directly on the skin. The skin begins to freeze, and ice crystals form within the cell structure causing damage, or “ice burn”.
To avoid crystal formation and ice burn, soak foot and leg injuries in a bucket of ice water. For injuries that cannot be soaked, place a layer of cloth between the ice pack and the skin.