When my horse’s hoof was trimmed, my farrier pointed out the beginning stages of white line disease – flaky area on the hoof with some pitting in the white line. What do you recommend for a treatment?

I agree. It does sound like the beginning stages of white line disease, which makes the hoof vulnerable to serious infection. The basic steps for treatment before adding the shoe:

  1.  Clean away debris with a stiff brush or gently with a wire brush being careful not to damage the hoof
  2. Treat the line with Hoof Freeze (goes deep into pitted holes)
  3. Fill small holes/pits with medicated Sole Pack Hoof Packing (not melted paraffin.)
  4. If adding pads, pack entire sole first with additional Sole Pack Hoof Packing. Nail shoe in place to secure pad. Caulk back holes. As medication dries, remove caulk, add Sole Pack Dressing through openings, and replace caulk regularly. This process is adding new medication to the existing packing; basically, keeping it active.
  5. If shoe is not being added, wrap the sole with duck tape to enclose the hoof. If the heal is very sensitive, the hoof and heal can be wrapped in something very soft and nonabsorbent such as cotton and Vet Wrap, Flex Wrap, Co flex…telfa pads or a hoof boot.

We recommend all farrier tools be sterilized before working on any other hooves or horses. When line disease is treated in an early stage, this is not a serious problem and can be eliminated easily. When the disease becomes seriously advanced or if horse appears to be worsening, please contact your veterinary professional.