Initially, the diseased tissue must be removed (an x-ray may be helpful). Make sure the hoof is clean and dry and apply a medicine boot (or equivalent). Add 3 to 4 oz. of Banixx™ to the boot and allow the hoof to soak this way for at least an hour. Do this am and pm; keep the hoof clean and dry between treatments. Initial treatment could be for 4 to 5 days, depending on the severity. The foot should be treated again, in the same way, with each subsequent trimming until completely healthy hoof tissue is produced.
After previously battling White Line Disease for five long years, Banixx became available. Now this foot has now been disease-free for seven solid years!
Treatment for this case: After successful debridement (removal of diseased hoof tissue) almost up to the coronet (see photo at left), Banixx™ was applied using approximately three ounces in a medicine boot. Banixx™ solution was changed twice daily for five days. This allowed Banixx™ to kill bacteria and fungus that was present while the medicine boot kept the foot in a clean environment during healthy hoof wall growth.
When the hoof produced enough solid growth to safely retain a shoe, he was shod with a regular shoe (photo on right).
Read this horse's story:
It came out of the blue! My ever-sound 16 year old competition horse was slightly “off”. After looking at several possible causes of this discomfort, we finally decided to look at his feet – an often overlooked source of equine lameness. And sure enough, as soon as the farrier removed the shoe, we knew we had found the source of the problem.
In the white line area of the hoof we saw, not a solid line, but copious amounts of a cream- colored dry, crumbly hoof horn. The farrier inserted a shoeing nail into the white line area and it disappeared into his foot. Subsequent x-rays (strongly recommended) revealed the full extent of the damage, a cavity that extended all the way up to his coronary band.
Though my horse did present with some lameness, it’s important to note that lameness often does not accompany white line disease – especially in the early stages. This makes monitoring hoof wall health ever more important. Though the true cause of the disease (whether fungal, bacterial or both) is still unknown, White line disease seems to be more common in an abnormal hoof or where some mechanical stress has occurred. My horse had one clubby hoof and, over a course of 28 years, that was the only hoof ever affected. Barn hygiene, shod or unshod feet, pony or horse, working animal or pasture ornament -- none of these factors have, to date, indicated any propensity toward white line disease.
What we do know is that White Line disease is likely caused by an opportunistic bacteria or fungi (or a combination of the two) that gains access to the interior hoof tissue. The resulting infection destroys internal hoof tissue to the point that the integrity/inner support of the hoof can become seriously compromised. If left untreated, white line disease will result in coffin bone rotation.
Treatment: For most horses, resection (cutting away the diseased hoof/tissue) has, to-date, produced the best results. The idea behind resection is that by cutting away diseased tissue, the offending anaerobic organism at the root of the problem will also be eliminated. After resection, however, there is often a reduced area of hoof wall – the structural element that supports your horse’s hoof, and, by extension, his whole body - so supportive shoeing may be required. An x-ray can be particularly beneficial at this point in the process to help determine what mechanics are necessary for comprehensive hoof support.
After the resection has been performed, it’s important to apply a quality anti-bacterial/antifungal treatment, such as Banixx, to the hoof for several days in a row. And, after each subsequent trim, be sure to follow the same application process as a preventative measure. Although Some farriers recommend a resection alone as a treatment for white line disease, the unfortunate reality is that, if the tiniest remnant of infection is left in the foot post- resection, the infection can easily return, requiring the entire process of resection to be repeated again.
For my horse, after 5 long years battling white line disease without success, he finally had a resection performed on his hoof for the last time! The difference? The application of a solid antibacterial/antifungal solution (Banixx Wound & Hoof Care) via a medicine boot for an hour or so, twice a day for 3-4 days, at the outset and then after each trim. It has now been 8 years with no recurrence. I thought this day would never come. And yes, my horse returned to active work!!
(X-ray is recommended to determine the extent of the disease. The infection generally starts at sole level and works its way up through the foot. . As it progresses upward, it leaves behind it a void, a chasm of disconnected tissue that threatens hoof stability)
White Line Disease (onychomycosis) is an infection of the hoof wall of horses. Treatment for White Line Disease includes removal of the outer hoof wall to expose the infected area and removal of the damaged tissue (debridement). Regular application of Banixx™ to the debrided foot supports healing and tissue growth.
Learn more about White Line Disease (click here).