Monday, November 26, 2012

White line disease

Does this "cracked" hoof wall look familliar?

 The right hoof was trimmed but not completely finished and the left was untrimmed. You can see in the toe of the right where I rolled it the crack stops in the outer hoof wall.

They don't go down to the white line and the horse has no definite splits in the hoof so why worry, right?

They seem to be more evident in white hooves, which is just a wives tale (there's no difference in white/black hooves but the lack of melanin influenced by the skin above the hoof) but you see blemishes more easily in white hooves.

Farriers have different names for them, grass cracks, weather cracks, dry cracks etc.

The hoof wall seems more reluctant to chip off, thrush that doesn't seem to want to completely go away, falling apart frogs, lack of concavity, ouchiness on rough terrain, can't hold shoes without chipping off, persistent flares are just some of the symptoms.

There is ALWAYS a reason why hooves don't look smooth and shiny without someone running a rasp over them. A common and yet very unknown cause: White line disease!!!

White line disease (Hereafter known as WLD) is an inappropriate name because it actually originates between the pigmented layer of hoof and the unpigmented layer (AKA the water line as some people call it), not the white line. However it can go down into the white line in a severe case and cause it to die and become hollow (Seedy toe). The pathogens get into the hoof wall, be it by injury such as an abcess, cut hairline, compromised laminae (laminitis, founder) etc. or by neglect such as bad living conditions, long time between trims leaving flares and stretching the laminae, allowing the pathogens to invade etc. It comes from the coronet band and makes it's way down the hoof. This is where you start to see the cracks in the hoof wall. Sometimes the hoof will split and it is common practice for a farrier to either "score" the crack with a rasp, burn it or put a shoe on it to stop it from splitting. The problem is this only treats the aftermath of the issue, not the source so it never goes away completely.

Here you can see a black hoof.

The outer wall is black, the white next to it is the un-pigmented hoof wall layer and then the white line appears yellow. This gelding has had a crack for 5 years and was lame without shoes. So farrier after farrier put shoes on him and yet his hoof still cracked. I came along and told the owner about what was really going on. Notice the bad quality of frog and black between the layers of hoof wall were dead, necrotic tissue has been living.

Here's the hoof clipping. You can see where the split occurred, leaving the pigmented hoof wall intact behind it.

This horse is on his way to having nice, new feet.

This mare however the owner reports always flares, cracks and grows next to nothing for hoof wall. Can you guess what I seen when I rasped a little?
See the black crap there, right between the layers of hoof wall? That is the white line disease. Atrophied frog, nasty.

So what does one do to get rid of this nasty, sneaky sucker? Well start by throwing away all those hoof dressings, thrush treatments and hoof ointments that have chemicals in them. If you have coppertox or have used bleach stop right now! Stop it! Stop it right now and say it with me: IF YOU WOULDN'T PUT IT ON YOUR OWN SKIN DON'T PUT IT ANYWHERE ON YOUR HORSES. PERIOD!!
Chemicals like bleach, coppertox, thrush buster etc. kill good tissues and horn in the hoof. This creates a new buffet of compromised structures for these pathogens to invade and make a new home. Make sure you read labels, pick something that isn't going to harm live tissue. My personal favorite and most effective is Clean trax. It takes a bit more time but is far more effective than anything I have used (yes white lightning included which as I personally witnessed, ate a clients denim jeans. Yikes!).

So my question to you guys, have you witnessed these cracked hooves? What have you been told?

Monday, November 19, 2012

never enough

One simply does not

Have too many pictures of their horse sticking out their tongue.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I have a mascot

The business has a mascot.
Or a new family member.

Meet Clinch. Well this was him in August.

Isn't he cute? He doesn't look much like this anymore, the little, cute, terror. 

At one of the farms where we trim horses (they are all barefoot) the owner of the land's one dog had puppies. His mother is a white Pomeranian chihuahua cross and his dad was a heeler. How on earth that was possible is beyond me.
All six of the puppies were born on a 115 degree day and one of the boarders thought they were all dead because they were under a stump and completely covered in flies. They were nursed back to health but not doing very good when we met them 6 weeks later, covered in ticks and fleas. They were extremely underweight and wormy too. Through our business we got them all adopted though and of course, kept Clinch for our own.

Savanah wasn't quite sure what to make of him at first. She stalked him everywhere and nipped at him, trying to instigate some sort of dominance fight. Eventually he wheeled around, growled, barked and charged at her with his evil little needle puppy teeth. She regarded him differently ever since.

 The dog park is tiring. Clinch, never having seen a dog toy immediately discovered Savanah's for the thieving. Here they are playing "tug of prettiest".

Looking back on these pictures it's hard to remember when I first weighed him at the vet's he wasn't even two pounds!

 Hose water is the best.

"Roo roo roo!!"

How could you ever get angry at that face?

He has an obsession with burying things he doesn't find tasty. He insists on a horse treat when the horses get one, but always buries it in soft dirt, if he can find some. Leaves or my sweater lying on the seat of the truck make a good alternative place to bury things. He shoves the "dirt" back over the treasure with his nose it's so funny.

Clinch came in the other day totally soaking wet and on a wet dog "rampage". It being super dry here I started to rack my brain thinking of what on earth he got into to soak himself...and smell SO BAD!! The sewer lagoon. YUCK!!!

He grew and grew and is now almost ten pounds!

Savanah is 19 pounds. I don't think he will be that big but he sure has grown like a weed. He was biting her paws and she was doing her best to be tolerant so she was biting the blanket.

His colours have come in darker as he aged. He had the werewolf face when he was younger but all the black is almost gone on his head other than around his ears.

He has become my almost constant companion. He loves coming with me when I do farrier work and gets along with every dog I see on my rounds. Everyone falls in love with him because he usually makes a beeline for the first person he see's, tail wagging, happy bounding little puppy. Be definitely is a one person dog, insisting to sit on my lap all the time or cuddle up next to me on the couch or running to me for shelter when he aggravates a duck or rooster too many times and gets bit. Hes one saucy little bugger.

The saucy dog that licks the truck windows and bites and growls at the wind when the windows are down...

He is special. 
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