Treating Seedy Toe in Horses

how to treat seedy toe

Seedy toe, often also referred to as white line disease, is a common concern for horse owners. Here we will look at what it is and what causes it, as well as treatment and prevention.

What is seedy toe

Seedy toe is a separation of the horse’s hoof wall from the laminae of the horse’s hoof. This separation is as a result of invading bacteria and fungi that compromises the hoof. The resulting  cavity that develops can become filled with dirt and debris. Consequently, infection is an all too common occurrence. 

What does it look like 

Seedy toe is characterized by a cavity between the hoof wall and underlying sole along the white line. The hoof wall in that area usually has a degraded quality. Lameness is not usually seen in horses with seedy toe unless there is an infection in the cavity. Conversely, lameness may be seen if the condition is a result of chronic laminitis. 


When a hoof becomes compromised, the opportunistic invasion of fungi and bacteria may cause seedy toe. There are a number of factors that can increase your horse’s chances of a compromised hoof, including: 

  • Chronic laminitis 
  • Abnormal hoof conformation
  • Irregular blood blow
  • Improper hoof trimming 
  • Poor quality hoof horn


  1. Consult a farrier or veterinarian if you suspect that your horse may be suffering from seedy toe. A trained professional will remove the infected tissue with a hoof knife and examine the extent of the condition. 
  2. The infected tissue will be exposed to air, which will hamper the growth of anaerobic bacteria in the affected area. 
  3. Your farrier or veterinarian will taper the rest of the healthy hoof in such a way that it is protected from collecting dirt and debris. 
  4. Antiseptics or VetMed Wound and Skin Care liquid is applied to the exposed, cleaned area. 
  5. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to fight against both aerobic and anaerobic microbial infections. 


  • The first step in preventing this condition is to maintain hoof hygiene. Check your horse’s hooves daily for any signs of cavities along the white line and at the toe.
  • Bacteria and fungi that cause seedy toe seek out damp and dark environments. You should therefore maintain good hygiene in your horse’s environment. You should ensure that all dirty and wet bedding is removed promptly to reduce bacterial breeding grounds. 
  • A farrier should regularly inspect your horse’s feet, with visits every six weeks at least. A competent farrier will ensure that your horse’s hooves are properly trimmed and shoed as necessary. 
  • Carefully monitor your horse if it has previously suffered from seedy toe as this condition has a high chance of recurring. 
  • Moreover, ensure that your horse’s nutritional requirements are met in order for it to develop healthy hoof tissue.  

VetMed Wound Care is the perfect option for hooves affected with seedy toe because of its cleaning and healing actions. In addition, the active ingredient in VetMed Wound and Care products, hypochlorous acid, kills microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Unlike other treatments, microbes cannot build up a resistance to hypochlorous acid. This makes our range perfect for daily cleaning and healing purposes.

To learn more about VetMed Wound and Skin Care, click here