White Lines Disease (Seedy Toe)

A seedy toe: what does it mean?

When this condition occurs, debris, crumbling dirt, and crumbling horn fill the cavity. Because the hoof wall separates from the sensitive laminae at the white line, it is susceptible to associated infections.

How is seedy toe caused?

Infection may follow secondary rotation and sinking of the pedal bone due to chronic laminitis.
Symptoms of Seedy Toe can also occur in non-laminitis horses with long toes and low heels, where the hoof wall separates. It is common for anaerobic bacteria and yeasts to infect the hoof. As a result, the keratin protein may liquefy, separating the sensitive laminae and causing laminitis.

What is the diagnosis of a seedy toe?

During hoof cleaning or examination of the toe area, a cavity is located between the hoof wall and the underlying sensitive laminae. It is often associated with a crumbling horn in the hoof wall. When hoof cleaning or inspecting the toe area, there may be a cavity between the hoof wall and the sensitive laminae. It is often associated with a crumbling horn in the hoof wall. Unless there is an active infection within the cavity or chronic laminitis is present, this condition does not cause lameness. These conditions exert pressure on the hoof's sensitive laminae. X-rays determine if there is a rotation of the pedal bones and if there is pedal osteoarthritis.


What is the treatment for seedy toes?

After the raw tissues have been thoroughly cleaned, antiseptics and astringents should be applied. Antibiotics should also be used to treat any infection. In the following weeks, the horse's hoof wound should be cleaned and treated frequently until the infection is controlled and the tissues are healed. Horses should then be fitted with seated-out, flat, broad-webbed shoes or fitted with shoes long at the heels or with full bars to aid in the hoof's regeneration. It may be necessary to use glue-on shoes if a large amount of hoof has been removed.

Zinc, biotin, and methionine supplements may help improve hoof quality in horses with naturally brittle feet.

To keep seedy toe away, what could I possibly do?

Regular exercise and clean, dry conditions are essential for your horse. Your horses' feet should be trimmed and shoed frequently by a competent farrier to prevent extensive toe conformation that could lead to laminitis or seedy toes. Prevent infection by picking and cleaning your horses' feet. There can be complications if there is laminitis or deep tissue damage. Hoof defects may take a long time to heal with a newly grown horn. Ensure your horse's nutrition meets its needs and provide them with the necessary supplements to promote healthy hoof growth.
Approximately one centimeter (1 inch) of hoof wall horn grows monthly.
Last but not least, extreme hoof conditions are challenging to correct quickly. It all comes down to patience and maintenance.


All information on the Aussie Joint Health website is for educational purposes only. There is no diagnosis or treatment intended for individual animals in the Aussie Joint Health content. It is imperative that you address any questions or concerns you may have about your animal with your veterinarian. The information provided on Aussie Joint Health should not replace your relationship with your veterinarian. This blog post is intended to help you have a better conversation with your veterinarian about the appropriate treatments to use for your pet.