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Seedy toe is a white line disease problem specifically in the toe area. It is a separation of the horse’s hoof wall from the underlying sensitive laminae at the white line caused by fungi, anaerobic bacteria, yeast or a combination of either one. This results in a cavity that fills with crumbling dirt, horn and debris, and is prone to associated infection. Seedy toe is very common among horse hoof problems it can have a short-term effect or long-term effect the hooves should be cleaned on a regular basis to keep clean and well-trimmed by a professional farrier. The better the hoof wall attachment between the coffin bone and the wall the stronger the hoof, therefore a good trim that keeps the wall well aligned with the coffin bone goes a long way towards preventing seedy toe. When cleaning the hoof when seedy toe is present the white line appears dry and crumbles off, it can also appear like a black paste.
Short-term Seedy Toe
In the short-term effect seedy toe breaks the integrity of the hoof capsule, this often can cause vertical cracks along the hoof wall. If left untreated cracks can reach the coronary band resulting in permanent damage and pain for the horse. The short them seedy toe can also result in formation of abscess.
Long-term Seedy Toe
The long-term seedy toe can leave permanent scar tissue in the dermal laminae this can predispose the horse to possible infections in the future and the pathogens can penetrate the dermal layer leading to bone infection and bone erosion.
How is it caused?
There are many factors that can cause a seedy toe. Here are some examples:
Chronic Laminitic horses:
It can be a secondary effect due to chronic laminitis with rotation and sinking of the pedal bone (P3 or distal phalanx), and it may be followed by infection.
Long toe-low heel conformation:
The long tow causes the wall to flare stretching the connection of the wall causing secondary cracks, splits and potential entryways to infection.
Poor dorso-palmar (front to back) balance:
This type of conformation will be accompanied as a sequel to a “club foot” predisposed by poor quality hoof horn.
Infections are caused by anaerobic bacteria (Fusobacterium necrophorum), fungi and yeasts that are common hoof contaminants. These can liquefy hoof keratin, separate the sensitive laminae and progress to rotation of the pedal bone as in laminitis.
- When cleaning or searching the horse’s hoof, a cavity is found between the hoof wall and underlying sensitive laminae at the toe. This is considered lameness (unless there is an active infection)
- Crumbling hoof wall
- Poor quality hoof wall
- Must consult your veterinarian and farrier before
- Necrotic and infected horn should be removed
- Expose infected tissue to air
- Application of antiseptics and astringents (ex. Dilute povidone iodine or antibiotic wound spray)
- Tetanus antitoxin must be given, if the infection reaches the deeper tissue of the foot
- Copper Alloy horseshoes
Kawell Copper Alloy Horseshoes
What are Kawell Copper Alloy Horseshoes?
Kawell copper alloy horseshoes are the best, safe treatment on the market for hooves with fungal and bacterial infections. The copper alloy’s characteristic “set and forget” application acts independently of other care once applied to the affected area.
How do they work?
The horseshoe must be in contact with the affected area to do its job. The copper alloy has an antimicrobial effect killing bacteria or fungus on contact. The copper alloy naturally reacts chemically and produces copper salts, which have bactericidal and fungicidal properties that inhibit the proliferation of these bacteria and fungi.
Benefit of Copper Alloy
- Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and fungus within two hours after applying
- Decreases the cost associated to hoof damage over time
- Works full-time while in contact… “Set and Forget”
- 100% recyclable material
EPA approved copper alloy metal (EPA) # 82012-3
How are they applied?
The horseshoes are nailed on with regular metal nails so that it can cause a galvanic reaction. This creates copper salts that get released in to the hoof. They can be shaped hot or cold, and borrium can be added to them.
See our Copper Horseshoes HERE.