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White Line Disease is a hoof infection caused by fungi, bacteria, or both, that destroy inner hoof tissue. These organisms slowly annihilate the inner connective tissue (laminae) that make up a healthy hoof and hold the coffin bone in place. This destruction leads to cavities within the hoof. Left unchecked, the hoof slowly disintegrates from the inside out.

Why Is It Called ‘White Line Disease’?

The disease gets its name due to a powdery, crumbly, white residue visible when an infected hoof is trimmed. This residue is the disintegration of the white line area. If you see this, act swiftly because it means that white line disease is already flourishing inside your horse’s hoof.

Why is it so Hard to Detect?

You can’t “eyeball” it. Even though the disease enters from the outside, it only attacks the vital internal hoof tissue. White Line Disease pathogens are anaerobic, meaning, they cannot tolerate exposure to oxygen. That makes the interior of a horse hoof the perfect place for them to thrive.

Two hooves with white line disease evident.
White Line Disease – Two Feet, Two Treatments – picture courtesy of John Halko (American Farriers Journal)

Traditional Treatments for White Line Disease

Treatment must begin with an X-ray of the affected hoof. If you skip this step, recovery can take months even years because you’ll never know how far UP, in the hoof, the disease has progressed.

In minor cases, conventional procedures call for the farrier or veterinarian to dig out the infection with hoof nippers, a knife, or Dremel-type tool and then treated. More advanced cases require the removal of the hoof wall to expose the disease’s anaerobic pathogens, hence spelling their death.

Some success has been achieved with drilling access holes in the hoof wall. However, the time-honored practice is to remove areas of the hoof wall but, doing so will compromise hoof stability and your horse will need a custom shoe

A horse's hoof with white line disease.

What’s the Best Way to Treat White Line Disease?

Most veterinarians & farriers agree that the best treatment for White Line Disease follows a two-step process: First, have the hoof x-rayed. Second, Resection of the affected area of the hoof to expose the offending organisms to oxygen and treat with a high-quality antifungal/antibacterial product such as Banixx.

To apply Banixx, the hoof tissue must be awash in the solution. Use a medicine boot, Davis boot or an IV bag (from any vet).

Add enough Banixx to the “boot” so that the affected area is covered with the Banixx solution. Let the hoof sit in this solution for a half hour, twice a day for 5 to 6 days, by then the hoof wall should be harden enough to continue healing on its own.

Banixx has proven effective at eradicating stubborn, long-afflicting White Line Disease thanks to its unique pH level that completely inhibits the growth of any fungi or bacteria. But, Banixx does not harm healthy tissue. By using Banixx you avoid exposure to harmful chemicals such as copper sulfate, formaldehyde, or other chemicals found in caustic treatments. Safe for your horse, safe for YOU!

How Do I Prevent White Line Disease?

Knowing what to look for, such as the appearance of crumbly, white granules at trim time or a mysterious lameness, can serve as a signal for investigation. Be sure to keep your horse’s feet current with a qualified farrier; it’s the most cost-effective solution!

No hoof, No horse! becomes not just an expression, but… a fact!


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