White Line Disease in Horses: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?

White Line Disease in Horses: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?

15th Jan 2024

In this in-depth guide, we will unravel the complexities of white-line disease in horses, shedding light on its causes, treatment options, and preventative measures. Whether you are an experienced equestrian or a newcomer to the equine world, grasping the fundamentals of this common hoof ailment is vital for ensuring the well-being of your cherished equine companions.

White Line Disease, also known as Seedy Toe, is a concerning condition that affects horses' hooves. Despite its name, it is not linked to the hue of the hoof but rather refers to the whitish, crumbly, and powdery appearance of the inner hoof wall as it separates from the sensitive laminae. This separation forms a cavity, providing an ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi.

Understanding White Line Disease

What Is White Line Disease?

White Line Disease, also known as Seedy Toe, is a troublesome hoof condition that affects horses. Contrary to its name, it has nothing to do with the colour of the horse's hoof but refers to the whitish, crumbly, and powdery appearance of the inner hoof wall where it separates from the sensitive laminae. This separation creates a cavity, making it a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria and fungi.

Causes of White Line Disease

1. Moisture and Hygiene

Excessive moisture and poor hoof hygiene are leading causes of White Line Disease. When horses are exposed to wet or muddy conditions for prolonged periods, their hooves become soft and vulnerable. This makes it easier for foreign debris to infiltrate the white line area and create an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive.

2. Hoof Trimming

Improper hoof trimming can also contribute to white-line disease. Over-trimming or uneven trimming can weaken the hoof wall, making it more susceptible to separation and infection. Regular and balanced trimming is essential for maintaining hoof health.

3. Diet and Nutrition

Inadequate nutrition can weaken the overall health of the hooves, increasing the risk of white-line disease. Ensure your horses receive a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including biotin, zinc, and amino acids, to promote strong hoof growth.

Recognising the Symptoms

Early detection of white-line disease is crucial for effective treatment. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Hoof Wall Separation: The most apparent sign is a visible separation between the hoof wall and the sensitive laminae, often accompanied by a chalky appearance in the affected area.
  • Foul Odour: White Line Disease can produce a foul odour emanating from the affected hoof.
  • Lameness: As the condition progresses, lameness may become noticeable, especially during exercise or when walking on hard surfaces.

Treating White Line Disease

Once diagnosed, prompt treatment is essential to prevent further deterioration of the hoof. Treatment options include:

1. Trimming and Cleaning

The first step in treating White Line Disease is to trim away the affected area of the hoof wall. This removes the compromised tissue and allows for proper cleaning.

2. Topical Medications

Antibacterial and antifungal treatments are often applied topically to combat the infection within the affected area. Consult your veterinarian for the most suitable medication.

3. Shoeing Changes

Your farrier may recommend changes in shoeing to provide additional support to the affected hoof and reduce stress on the white line area.

4. Dietary Adjustments

Improving your horse's diet with supplements that support hoof health can aid in the healing process.

5. Isolation and Hygiene

Isolating the affected horse from wet or muddy conditions and maintaining strict hygiene practices are vital to prevent reinfection.

Preventing White Line Disease

Prevention is always better than cure. To safeguard your horses from White Line Disease:

1. Proper Hoof Care

Regular hoof trimming and maintenance by a qualified farrier are essential to prevent overgrowth and imbalances that can lead to white-line disease.

2. Hygiene and Dry Conditions

Keep your horses in clean, dry environments to minimise the risk of moisture-related hoof issues.

3. Nutritious Diet

Ensure your horses receive a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients to promote strong and healthy hooves.

4. Routine Check-ups

Schedule regular veterinary and farrier check-ups to detect any early signs of hoof problems.

Horse Vet Supplies for White Line Disease Management

At Scone Equine, we understand the importance of equine hoof health, and we're committed to helping you provide the best care for your horses. Our range of horse vet supplies includes top-quality products to aid in the prevention and management of white-line disease.

Hoof Picks and Brushes

Regular cleaning is essential to maintain hoof hygiene and prevent debris buildup that can lead to White Line Disease. Explore our selection of hoof picks and brushes to keep your horse's hooves clean and healthy.

Hoof Supplements

Give your horses the nutritional support they need with our premium hoof supplements. These supplements contain key ingredients like biotin and zinc to promote strong and resilient hooves.

Topical Treatments

For effective treatment of White Line Disease, we offer a variety of topical medications designed to combat bacterial and fungal infections within the hoof wall.

Farrier Tools

Proper hoof care starts with the right tools. Discover our range of farrier tools to ensure your horse's hooves are trimmed and maintained correctly.


White Line Disease in horses can be a concerning condition, but with proper understanding, early detection, and the right horse vet supplies, you can effectively manage and prevent it. Remember that regular hoof care, a nutritious diet, and a clean, dry environment are key to maintaining your horse's hoof health.

At Scone Equine, we're here to support you in keeping your horses healthy and happy. Explore our horse vet supplies today and give your equine companions the care they deserve. Trust in our expertise and products to provide the best for your horses.

Take the first step towards ensuring your horse's hoof health. Explore our horse vet supplies now and give your equine companions the care they deserve.

This guide explored White Line Disease in horses, from its causes and symptoms to treatment and prevention strategies. By prioritising your horse's hoof health and utilising the right horse vet supplies, you can keep them on the path to wellness. Thank you for joining us on this educational journey, and we look forward to serving you at Scone Equine.

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Please Note: *CUSTOMER SELF DECLARATION* By purchasing any prescription product from the SEG Online store, you acknowledge and agree the following is true and accurate.

  1. I confirm that my horse was examined by a Scone Equine Group veterinarian who prescribed this medication for use in the horse’s treatment on the basis of their diagnosis of the horse’s condition.
  2. By confirming this order, I agree to use this prescription medication in the manner prescribed, on horses under my care and for which I have the authority to act under veterinary direction.
  3. I have read and understood that I need to seek immediate veterinary advice if my horse’s condition changes or deteriorates in any way whilst being treated with this prescription medication.

NB: If there is a particular prescription product you need which is not on this list, please contact your SEH veterinarian directly.