Friday, 28 October 2016

All About ... Seedy Toe

What is it

Seedy Toe is when the wall separates from the sole at the toe.  This leaves a cavity running under the wall.  If the wall is tapped the sound will be hollow!


  • May or may not be lameness 
  • When sole pared back the cavity is obvious 
  • Cavity is sometimes filled with black, foul smelling, greasy and decaying hoof 
  • Poor and crumbly horn 
  • Possible vertical crack up the hoof wall


  • Chronic laminitis 
  • Poor hoof trimming and/or shoeing 
  • Foreign body eg: stone wedged between wall and sole at toe 
  • Horses with long toes and low heels are more likely to suffer 
  • Infection entering a small crack in the wall


On examination of the hoof the cavity will be found along the white line. 


Farrier or vet will cut away the dead horn.  Sedation may be necessary and nerve blocking is sometimes used.  Once the horn is cut away the infected tissues will be able to drain and the exposure to air will also discourage bacteria from growing.  Antiseptics can be applied and in some cases antibiotics will be needed.  Tetanus vaccination is advised if the horse is not up to date!

The horse must then be kept in clean and dry conditions whilst the tissues recover and the infection is gone.  The wound will need to be regularly cleaned.  A special shoe will then be fitted to support the hoof as it regrows.  This will take time.


Regular foot care.  Keep the feet clean by picking out daily and checking them.  Regular trimming and/or shoeing by an experienced farrier.  Access to a clean and dry area so that the horse is not standing in cold and wet conditions 24 hours a day.  Feed supplements can help improve the health of the horn.  Rapid and appropriate treatment for a hoof crack.

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Until next time!

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