Thursday, March 21, 2013

On the Case: California Wrap, British Style, for White Line Disease

One of the best things about the Hoof Blog is hearing from people  inspired to share how they would use different materials or methods to achieve the same thing.

Paul Raw, DipWCF is a farrier in northern England who had never heard of the California Wrap featured on the Hoof Blog back in December 2012. But as soon as he saw what Southern California Equine Podiatry's Dr Mark Silverman and farrier Ernest Woodward had done for a case of white line disease, Paul "got it" -- because he had come up with a similar solution using a completely different material.

British farrier Paul Raw wrapped a white line disease case in a jacket of plastic granules, with a palladium-style window.

In both cases, the problem is white line disease in the lateral wall but there's a very big difference between the two cases that goes far beyond the variation in materials. In California, the assignment was simply to create a treatment-friendly matrix that would allow someone else to shoe the horse. Ernest never drove a nail into his adhesive-impregnated fabric hoof jacket. But someone else did. (Photo below.)

Paul, on the other hand, built his design from the shoe up. His choice for a shoe was a glue-on Imprint thermoplastic shoe. For those who haven't seen them, these shoes are extremely lightweight and, when heated, become completely malleable.

The Woodward-Silverman solution in California was to wrap the hoof in adhesive-impregnated fabric and cut windows for the owner to treat the white line disease. The regular farrier was given the case back ready to be shod as he saw fit. (Ernest Woodward photo)

To help Reggie, a Thoroughbred gelding with white line disease, Paul's vet-reviewed wall jacket includes the negative space of a palladium-style treatment window. He constructed the jacket of moldable thermoplastic granules, which are integrated into the shoe made of the same material. The granules are transformed by hot water or a heat gun into a flexible, shapable, transparent material that can fill cracks, create extensions, or (in this case) create a barrier jacket over the hoof.

After six weeks in the thermoplastic wrap, the foot had recovered enough that Paul reversed the process he had begun: he filled the defect with thermoplastic crystals and shod the horse with a Blurton heart bar shoe.

The Hoof Blog asked Paul if brittleness was a factor in the Imprint system. He answered, "They do not get brittle at all as (the material) has been engineered to mimic the exact hardness of the equine hoof so it is very flexible."

Imprint shoes and granules aren't common in the United States, but here you see a stallion at a Kentucky farm with what appears to be a form of Imprint hoof protection on his front feet during breeding season. It looks like he's wearing comfy bedroom slippers! (© Wendy Wooley image, used with permission.)

"On the odd occasion, if the horse is worked in a sandy environment, it can work down the collar at the top. But if you use the corner of your rasp to put a groove one centimeter down from the top and peel away the filler, you can replace it using the Imprint structural adhesive and imprint granules. So very easy from a running maintenance point of view."

"It was packed with pevidine (iodine solution) and sugar (known as "sugardine" in the USA) for the first week," Paul continued, "as it acts as a super drying agent but keeps it clean while new tissue granulated. Then it was left open for the air to get to it unless (the horse) was going anywhere unclean-- i.e muddy field or hacking out -- then it was wrapped up with duck (tape) briefly to keep it clean to reduce the chance of it abscessing."

How did Paul's palladium window work on this horse? He reports: "I did see the horse after that and still shoe him. The shoe stayed on for six weeks, which was long enough for the treatment to make such a leap forward I was able to fully fill the crack with Imprint granules on the second shoeing and within 4-5 months it had completely grown out. The horse was back in work after a month."

© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to  
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Would this be similar to using a hoof casting material and then doing soaks as a way to aid in killing the infection?

Fran Jurga said...

Hi Kristen, I think hoof casting material is definitely another option. I believe the motivation in these two cases was to keep the defect open to the air. I don't see why you couldn't do something similar with casting tape but these two examples just selected different materials and treatments, that's all. If you read the California case, they began the treatment with a chlorine dioxide soak although Dr Silverman said he is favoring ozone gas over chlorine dioxide at the moment (or was when he wrote the article).

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Great to see progress with various materials. I've been (working) successful in our white line disease (from post laminitis) with on/off hoof casting (soaking with clean trax) and every other day spraying with Zephyr's Garden Thrush spray and Thrush Off in grooves. It's a process but growth is motivation!

Kim Kobow said...

Fran ....
Dr. Nick Carlson, DVM @ Steinbeck
Country Equine / Salinas, CA and
I worked on a big Fresian gelding
about four years ago .... whereby
we "did use casting materials".
Very successful case. Began with
the unfortunate situation whereby
somebody was shoeing ( and padding
the horse ) not realizing ( and
hiding, so to speak ) a very bad
case of white line. Chuck Kolb
started the project at SCEC and
then asked me to take it and run
with it.... as he was overbooked
and needed a little help. This
horse had so much "un-attached
wall removed that there was no way
to hang iron..... in all reality
it was akin to a laminitis case
because of this loss of attachment
in the toe region. Doctor Nick
Carlson and I put the horse on a
five week calendar .... whereby
we'd take it all apart and start
over utilizing x-rays so that we
could set him up perfectly just as
though he was shod ..... In
addition to the casting material,
we utilized "Vettec Super Fast" on
the bottom to create an acrylic
heart bar .....the concept worked
great .... a few months later we
had a shoe on one foot and a
couple months after that the other
foot received a shoe as well. If
anyone is interested, I do have
pictures of part of the
project .... mainly in the early
days .... very much a fun and
challenging case .... with a great

Kim Kobow
Central Coast Farrier Service
Salinas, California

Anonymous said...

It may be worth bearing in mind Equitech Polyester Wraps remain pourous when they are screwed on and not glued. Cutting windows are not then that important as medication and clensing fluids will pass through wraps with ease, antibiotic, astrigent or sugardine no matter which. Wraps are maybe to good in fact as they allow athletic output almost immediatly,with no break in training. Regular veterinary monitering is often not undertaken due to the effectvness of the product. Maybe a mistake but healing seems not to be inhibited.PNB.

Fran Jurga said...

Thanks, Peter. But they are also not available state-side, right?

Anonymous said...

Fran that is easily fixed.
Contact: I have to.
or see Free DVDs available I understand.
NB - An up to date download of screwing on a cuff without glue was filmed last week.

I think one can Buy direct. I understand overseas agents a sought and welcomed.

Trust all is going OK, Best regards,

Be lucky.


Anonymous said...


Did you get my last comment? I spoke with Equitech they export the whole range of their products to a Farrier in New York.

Hopefully he will contact you!