Common Hoof Infections
Hoof horn is susceptible to infections, as is the rest of the horse’s skin. The most common infection is Thrush, which affects the frog, turning it into a smelly, soft mass of blackened horn. When the organisms eat away the outer part of the frog, the frog corium is exposed. This is sensitive and will cause lameness.
Seedy toe is a common infection of the white line in the front part of the hoof, most common in chronic founder cases where the white line is permanently damaged. Seedy toe makes the hoof wall horn dry and cheesy, weakening the hoof and predisposing to infections of the laminar and solar corium, pus in the foot.
More virulent forms of horn infection cause onychomycosis or hollow hoof disease. This undermines the hoof wall from the inside. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose until large areas of hoof wall become under-run and have to be removed.
Some horses have chronic infection of the bottom of the hoof wall. The bacteria digest the horn at the bottom at about the same rate as new horn is produced by the coronary band at the top; giving the false impression of no hoof growth. Black areas around nail holes indicate horn infection due to the action of sulphur reducing bacteria. This condition is potentiated by over-supplementation with selenium.
There are a number of common infections that can render your horse lame and off work for months at a time. Regular use of Solution 4 Feet will help prevent these problems when combined with good management, feeding and stable hygiene. Using Solution 4 Feet regularly along with Formula 4 Feet, gives your horse the best chance of sporting a set of strong, healthy hooves.
Copyright Robert A Eustace, EquiLife, UK