Lameness: White line disease

These information sheets are provided for your interest. They should not replace veterinary advice from your veterinary surgeon.

Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, your specific circumstances must be discussed before advice can be given.

The white line is a point of weakness where horn from 2 different sources (wall horn, sole horn) join. Dirt may become impacted here which may compromise the strength of the join, allowing infection to enter.

Risk factors:

  • Subclinical 'laminitis'
  • Abrasive surfaces
  • Wet conditions
  • Poor horn quality
  • Excessive walking on hard surfaces
  • Gravel

Signs on examination of foot:

  • Black areas in white line (impactions)
  • Tracking (up to coronary band; under-run heel; Solar Abscess)

Radical drainage is required, opening the entire draining tract, which may involve removal of quantities of hoof. A block should be placed on the other claw of the same limb. Antibiotics are indicated.