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Using Solar Support to Aid Healing of White Line Disease

  • Using Solar Support to Aid Healing of White Line Disease

    by Tab Pigg
    No matter the season, anytime wet conditions are present, bacteria and fungus can get
    trapped in a horse’s hoof wall. Similar to human toenails, once fungus and bacteria
    have set in, it’s very difficult to conquer. This combination of pathogens in the hoof wall
    is a recipe for White Line Disease.
    The Anatomy of White Line Disease
    When looking at the bottom of a horse’s hoof, there is a white line that divides the
    outside of the hoof wall and the sole. This part of the hoof is also known as stratum
    internum, which is the innermost part of the hoof wall, and attaches the wall to the
    underlying soft tissue. When bacteria and fungus get trapped within this area, the white
    line becomes wider as it separates, thus the name of this condition White Line
    Disease. Depending on the severity, the horse can become lame because the infection
    causes the hoof wall to deteriorate.
    When a hoof is already unhealthy or compromised in any way, it’s more prone to
    infection. Once White Line Disease has set in, the hoof wall begins to disappear as the
    anaerobic bacteria eats away the lining. White Line Disease consists of anaerobic
    bacteria, which thrives in conditions with little-tono oxygen. If a hoof is left untreated,
    the infection can become more severe as it moves up the hoof wall. Eventually, the
    attachment to the hoof wall is eaten away completely.
    Managing White Line Disease
    Depending on the severity of the hoof damage, there are different ways to manage this
    condition. If White Line Disease is caught early enough, it can be managed with
    different topical treatments and exposure to oxygen. If the hoof wall is drastically eaten
    away, there are different shoeing and booting options. If the condition is very severe, re
    sectioning of the hoof wall may be necessary. Similar to humans, in order for a new,
    healthy nail to grow in, the infected nail needs to be removed. This is called re-
    sectioning, and in severe cases this is the last option. During this process, the hoof wall
    is carefully removed to expose the area to oxygen which will kill the bacteria.
    After a hoof wall is reset, shoes cannot be nailed to hooves, but a horse still needs
    support. Modern solar support and pad materials can assist with not only providing
    support, but also sealing out moisture and debris during the healing process.
    Vettec’s solar support products like Equi-Pak CS and Equi-Build help provide necessary
    support and also allow the hoof wall to regrow. Super Fast can be applied to help
    provide more support as a “temporary shoe”. Super Fast is a durable, fast- and hard-
    setting, urethane formula that is ideal for creating custom shoes directly on the foot
    when nailing is not an option. This product also allows hoof care professionals to make
    small hoof repairs quickly and easily. Equi-Pak CS will bond to the bottom of a horse’s
    foot, eliminating the possibility of further bacteria being trapped in the hoof wall. Equi-
  • Pak CS is a fast-setting soft instant pad material, and is infused with copper sulfate.
    This product provides extra protection and support, and also bonds to the sole. It is also
    an effective product for managing White Line Disease. Equi-Build is a firm pad material
    that distributes a horse’s weight across the entire hoof-bottom to grow the heel, hoof
    wall and sole faster. This product also adheres to the sole, sealing out moisture and
    debris. Because the hoof wall is sensitive during re-growth, Equi-Build helps to take the
    pressure off hoof wall cracks.
    Managing White Line Disease can be difficult if the condition is not caught in its early
    stages. Along with the diagnosis, treatment and support of a horse’s healthcare team,
    solar support and pour-in pad products can aid the healing process of the hoof wall.