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Hoof Diseases







Kept in dirty stall conditions, infection caused by trapped anaerobic bacteria

Foul smelling black dead material in frog and grove between sole and frog.

Clean hoof regularly, apply topical medication like Thrush buster, etc.

Clean out hooves regularly and expose foot to air.  Trim hooves every 6 to 8 weeks.  Keep stall clean.

White Line Disease

Infection in the hoof wall caused by fungi.  Common in humid climates.

Wall separation, lameness, and brown specks near white line.

Removal of infected wall and treat with strong fungicide.   Shoe hoof to support missing wall.

Keep stall clean, maintain balanced diet and keep from excessively washing hoof.

Sole Bruise

Injury to the sole by rocks, gravel or packed snow.

Red spots on sole of foot, lameness.

Keep sole protected with frog pressure shoe, pad.

Avoid over trimming sole, protect with shoes and pads.


Sole bruises in the heel area of the foot.


Remove shoe, trim away bruised area and apply bar shoe to protect bruised area.

Trim and shoe horse on a schedule every 6 to 8 weeks.


Infection of the corium.  Caused by bruising, laminitis, puncture or wet conditions.

Lameness, heat, drainage of pus.

Drain abscess, soak with Epsom salts, don’t remove excessive tissue, use poultice, protect hoof with shoe and pad. Vaccinate for tetanus.

Keep stall clean, trim and shoe every 4 to 6 weeks.

Sand Crack

Vertical crack in hoof wall.  Caused by uneven weight bearing, irregular hoof growth, hoof too long and dry climate.

Lameness, crack in hoof.

Use bar shoe to transfer pressure from crack to frog or sound wall.

Trim and shoe hooves every 4 to 6 weeks.


Neglect of hoof, long toes, lack of conditioning, type of work.

Lameness, shortened stride, worn toe of hoof or shoe, pointing stance.

Raised hoof angle, egg bar shoe, isoxiprine therapy by your veterinarian.

Check conformation when buying a horse, shoe and trim every 4 to 6 weeks, properly condition.


Lamina of the hoof dies caused by stress, which moves blood away from the sensitive lamina, damage of bone/hoof, cannon bone drops destroying the blood supply.

X-ray shows rotation or sinking of cannon bone, very painful, laminitis stance bearing weight on heels.

Need both veterinarian and farrier.  Systemic medication, use bar shoes, treat abscess if present, euthanasia may be needed.

Keep stressful situations away from horse: colic, poisons, overeating of carbohydrates, overeating of spring pasture, retained afterbirth when foaling.


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