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Discussion on "Hoof Rot?"

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Kathleen M. Carroll
New Member
Username: Katiecar

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Saturday, Sep 13, 2003 - 12:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

When last I wrote, we were grieving the loss of my husband's gelding to cancer. While we certainly still miss him, we have found a worthy successor who is just as wonderful in his own way. Because of our loss, we are being extra extra vigilant to do everything right. Our problem is this - our new horse, Kip, threw a shoe and we discovered that on his front feet, he has some sort of rot on the inside of his hoof wall. We are unable to get a shoe back on him yet. It is icky and black and if it was in the frog, I would say thrush for sure but it's location has us puzzled. The farrier just says it's rot and "prescribed" chlorox and water sprayed into it, then brush with a wire brush to remove, then apply olive oil to the hoof surface. We have been doing this for several weeks - improvement is not noticeable. After reading Dr. O's article on keeping feet dry, we wonder at the efficacy of the olive oil. We also wonder whether there is something else we have overlooked. Kip seems not to want to pick up his front feet for us tho when we got him, he was a dream to pick and shoe. We wonder whether this treatment is incorrect and painful. Any assistance would be appreciated.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9088
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Sep 14, 2003 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Whether in the frog or white line, black and smelly is thrush. When in the white line you do need to be concerned that this might be a prmary white line disease complicated by thrush. Unless there is something going on here to predispose to the problem: you cut out the bad, treat the pared out area regularly as outlined in the article on thrush and the problem is fixed. Olive oil might do harm in a dry environment and help in a wet one but not very therapeutic in either case.
DrO
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Kathleen M. Carroll
Member
Username: Katiecar

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Sunday, Sep 14, 2003 - 11:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for your response - I was glad to see that we are doing the right thing - mostly. We will discontinue the olive oil. What is "primary white line" disease?

Never mind - I found your article on WLD. I don't dare give it to my husband because, after the recent death of his previous horse, he will flip out if he thinks there is any way his horse could have this disease and might have to be put down. I will call the farrier myself and ask him to check. I like the suggestion about a roll of cotton soaked in formaldehyde under the shoe. It is VERY wet these days and, as we live in Gettysburg, PA, the ground is almost NEVER bone dry - poor drainage. How about leaving shoes off, putting in the formaldehyde cotton with an easy boot over it?
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Jo Beasley
Member
Username: Beasley

Post Number: 11
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Sunday, Sep 14, 2003 - 2:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Katie...My TWH has had two such "bacteria" infections in the walls of his hooves this year. I live in very wet conditions and he was barefooted for a while. Anyway, my farrier came and dug out the black mess and literally soaked the area with Corona onitment and then applied a cotton ball soaked in Corona in the infected area. The black area closed nicely without infection and the horse is fine. Of course the cotton just worked its way out and I just did normal maintainence for hooves. Don't know if you could put a shoe on until treatment was succesful. I was amazed at this and that it worked when nothing else did.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9095
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Sep 15, 2003 - 4:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kathleen,
Be sure you understand we do not think it is ever neccesary to put down WLD cases: the problem is only untreatable when treatment is not correctly applied. The article explains what we consider inadequate. Easy Boots are a two edge sword, they will keep water out but if it is wet outside they will trap water in against the sole, actually keeping it wetter. Best might be a clean dry stall until the infection is under control.
DrO
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Shari Robertson
Member
Username: Srobert

Post Number: 12
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Sep 15, 2003 - 2:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Kathleen:
I have been dealing with WLD for the past couple of month and thanks to the support of Dr. O and this website, I have managed to keep my sanity. I have to admit, that statement in the article scared the bejeebers out of me as well - even with the follow-up statement indicating that Dr. O did not believe this was ever necessary. This is not a common problem in my area, so my farriers and my vet were not very knowledgeable about it. It does take perseverence and patience, but as Dr. O says, it can be managed! I found Davis boots were only really useful if I absolutely had to take the horse out in muddy conditions for a brief amount of time (he had it in all four feet). If you leave them on in the pasture, they do, in fact, trap moisture such as dew or rain and hold it against the sole. Once, when I had to take the horse to a muddy show ground, I actually put socks on inside his Davis boots to keep them as dry as possible (this actually worked but I wouldn't recommend it on a daily basis!). I also found it really important to keep those feet dry dry dry and clean them out as often as you can manage. (I was doing it two or three times a day.) A wire brush is helpful to get it really clean. I also soaked cotton balls with whatever I was using to treat (and I rotated this with Save-A-Hoof, White lightening, and strong iodine) and packed it in any crevices that might invite the nasty fungi and bacteria that wanted to take up residence there. It also helped keep out gravel, mud, and general crud (he was getting abcesses prior to using this tactic). Finally, I strongly recommend Woody Pet as a bedding during the time you are dealing with this. It really made a difference in keeping our stalls dry even with the miserable rainy summer we had here in PA.

Now, the good news. Although I ended up with two horses with WLD, we seem to have beaten it and with one more trim I think all traces will be gone. Don't panic, just stick with it. A bonus to the treatment is that my horses are now so comfortable with me handling their hooves that the farrier loves us!!! Any motion toward the hoof and they just pick them up and hold them there until you are finished.

One other possible thing to consider. My vet prescribed several supplements to encourage increased hoof growth and general health. I believe my 2 year old Arab was, unfortunately, in a bit of a negative energy balance when he developed WLD. We won't let that happen again! Best wishes and hang in there. Follow Dr. O's suggestions and your horse will be fine....
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