Line Disease and Thrush Treatment
Using Pads and Packing
2006 Cherry Hill ©
I have been fighting white line disease and thrush on my 2 barrel horses since
last summer. I have been looking in the different hoof related areas on the web,
and have not found anything. I read your book Maximum
Hoof Power and saw mention of a pad and packing that can be used to treat
this. Can you tell me more about it? Both horses have been on Farriers Formula
since last summer. JJ
taken the right step in feeding a hoof supplement - good hooves depend on good
nutrition. My husband Richard Klimesh, a Certified Journeyman Farrier, has developed
a hoof packing that has helped many horses with the problems you describe. His
Gasket Pad method is described below.
CVP GASKET PAD ®
"THE PAD THAT'S
GOOD FOR THE SOLE"
ASSEMBLY AND APPLICATION
1995 Richard Klimesh
are times when a horse needs a full pad between the shoe and the hoof. The
trouble is, pads often do more harm than good! And, like many other farriers,
I used to discourage horseowners from using pads unless absolutely necessary or
prescribed by a veterinarian.
require a packing material to fill the space between the pad and the hoof - and
the packing is the problem. A packing is supposed to prevent soil, rocks
and bedding from getting under the pad and minimize the growth of bacteria.
I have to tell you, I had my share of frustration
with pads, especially at reset time when I'd pull the shoe and pad and find the
hooves punky and soft and reeking with thrush. It seemed like a Catch 22:
the feet needed protection from pads, but the pads made the feet worse...
I made it my mission to find a hoof packing
that worked! I tried every hoof packing I could lay my hands
on, including the old standard pine tar and oakum, the modern "quick fix"
silicone, all the commercial packings medicated and otherwise, and many homemade
recipes. Some worked better than others, but they all had serious drawbacks.
When polypropylene felt became available
as a hoof packing material, I tried it in combination with many ingredients.
Finally, I found a method that did what a hoof packing was supposed to do, the
packing I'd been looking for my entire career, the CVP Gasket.
I've since used the Gasket on hundreds of horses in a wide variety
of conditions. This packing has consistently improved the integrity of hooves,
especially those that suffered from white line infections, thrush, thin soles,
and weak quarters and heels.
letters "CVP" stand for the three ingredients used in the Gasket:
copper sulfate, Venice Turpentine, and
C = Copper
sulfate, also known as bluestone or blue vitriol, is a naturally occurring
inorganic salt most commonly seen in the form of bright blue crystals. It
is used to provide an essential trace element, copper, in plant and animal feeds,
as a fungicide to control bacterial and fungal diseases of crops, and in medicine
as a topical fungicide and bactericide, and in municipal water treatment systems.
use a granular form rather than a powder, because it is easier to handle and less
likely to be inhaled.
Copper Sulfate is toxic if ingested in quantity and should be handled and treated
as a strong irritant. It can be corrosive to the skin and eyes and mucuous membranes.
It is readily absorbed through the skin and can produce a burning pain, along
with the same severe symptoms of poisoning from ingestion. Users of this material
should acquaint themselves with the applicable MSDS information before handling
or using the chemical. When handling powdered copper sulfate it is recommended
that you wear gloves and a dust mask to avoid inhalation. |
V = Venice Turpentine is a yellowish,
viscous resin from the European Larch, a pine tree. It is used for lithographic
work, as a sealing wax, and in varnishes. Horsemen have used it for years
as a salve for cuts and as a hoof dressing.
P = Polypropylene
is a plastic material used to make baling twine, water-ski ropes (because it floats),
and sportsmen's underwear (!). Recently, it has been made into a felt-like
material specifically for hoof packing. This hoof felt is extremely
tough and does not readily absorb moisture.
unique characteristics of the Gasket's ingredients combine
to make it a superior hoof packing.
sulfate and Venice Turpentine, when mixed in the proper proportions,
saturate the polypropylene felt and act like an adhesive to glue
it to the bottom of the hoof. This forms a "gasket" between the
pad and the hoof.
protects the hoof wall and sole from the invasion of water, soil and
manure for the entire shoeing cycle. No other packing I've tried will do
this as well. This feature is extremely valuable when treating white
line separations, especially when the horse cannot be assured of an absolutely
The copper sulfate
migrates deep into fissures in the hoof wall and sole and kills fungi and bacteria
that live there. When the hoof is trimmed for a reset, you'll see a green
stain extending far into the crevasses of the hoof. "It goes where
they live and kills 'em dead!"
foul odor associated with full pads is not a problem with the Gasket
. In fact, most people are surprised at how it doesn't smell!
This is because the CVP method prevents the growth of thrush and other
the shoe, add clips, and fit the shoe to the hoof. I strongly advise using
two tall quarter, or side, clips anytime you're applying a full pad. The
clips help keep the shoe secure and also assist in positioning the shoe/pad package
on the hoof for nailing. See my video "Welding Clips with a Wire-Feed Welder" for step-by-step instructions on making and welding clips
of any size and shape.
Cut a full pad to
fit the shoe. I recommend a stiff plastic pad for most applications.
Nail the pad to the shoe with the two heel nails, twisting the nails off close
to the pad. Don't rivet the pad to the heels of the
shoe. This allows the pad to conform to the heel bulbs which will help keep
debris out. Also, resetting the pad and shoe is much easier when they're
not riveted together.
Use the pad/shoe
as a template and cut a piece of poly-felt that will exactly cover the
bottom of the hoof. By covering the entire bottom, not just the sole, the
Gasket can be used on flat-footed horses without fear of the packing
adding sole pressure.
With an applicator
stick spread a 1/16" thick layer of Venice Turpentine on the frog
area of the hoof surface of the pad. Sprinkle copper sulfate
over it. This will adhere the poly-felt to the pad and prevent debris
from getting between the felt and the pad. It will also hold the
felt in place as you apply the package to the hoof.
the piece of felt on the pad. Spread a thin layer of Venice Turpentine
on the hoof surface of the felt, much as you would spread honey on a piece
of toast. Sprinkle copper sulfate lightly over the Venice Turpentine.
Using too much copper sulfate will cause excessive drying of the
hoof wall and flaking of the sole. Apply only as much as will stick when
you shake off the felt; or even less.
the sole has a generous cup to it, cut appropriately-sized pieces of felt
to fill the central area level with the hoof wall and coat them with a mixture
of CV (copper sulfate and Venice Turpentine. If the
sole is flat the single full-sized piece of felt will be sufficient.
Avoid using too much packing - it will put unnecessary pressure on the sole.
Tear or cut small strips of felt to
fill the sulci and triangular pieces to build the frog up to the level of, or
slightly higher than, the hoof wall. (If the horse has a prominent frog,
you won't need extra frog pieces.) As the horse bears weight, the packing
will conform to the contours of the hoof, sealing the opening between the heels
to keep out debris and water.
side of the filler pieces with a CV mix. Stack the pieces on the
felt attached to the pad, coated side up, in the reverse order in which
they'll be applied: frog pieces on the bottom, sulci pieces on top.
you follow the above preparation, applying the Gasket will be easy.
Set the shoe/pad package where you can reach it when you're holding up the foot.
Have some extra CV mix and small pieces of felt at handy, such as
in your shoeing box.
If there are any cavities
in the ground surface of the hoof wall, use a pointed tool such as a large nail
to clean them out. Pack the cavities with alternating layers of CV
and very thin layers of dry felt. (See the following section on treating
Pack the sulci strips,
coated side down, along either side of the frog. Don't ram them tight.
You want to fill the space and still allow for the normal movement of the frog
Apply the frog felt, if
needed, coated sides to the frog. Apply enough layers to bring the packing
at least to the level of the trimmed hoof wall.
the shoe/pad/Gasket on the hoof and nail it. Now you'll appreciate
how tall clips can ensure easy and precise positioning of the shoe.
a hoof sealer along with the Gasket is very beneficial, especially
if the horse cannot be kept in a dry environment. When liberally applied
to the hoof/pad junction after shoeing, the sealer is absorbed along the
perimeter of the poly-felt, increasing the effectiveness of the gasket.
sulfate is a strong irritant and is considered a skin sensitizer that can
cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Skin contact may result in
itching or eczema.
copper sulfate will cause excessive drying of the hoof tissues. However,
when the Gasket is removed it's normal to find a layer of crumbly
"dead" sole. This material would normally sluff off if the horse
were not wearing a full pad.
much Venice Turpentine will cause it to squeeze out the back of the pad,
making a mess. This can be a real nuisance if it gets on the horseowner's
tack or on the horse's chest when the horse lays down. Use it in moderation.
(See "Clean Up" later.)
much poly-felt will cause pressure on the sole. This could result
in discomfort (the horse being "off"), and/or sole bruising. Don't
pack the felt in tightly. The goal is to fill the space between the
sole and the pad and still allow the hoof to move in a normal manner when its
loaded and unloaded.
HOOF WALL SEPARATION
with a separation in the white line or cavities in the wall will generally improve
with application of the Gasket. In many cases, the hoof wall
can be helped to grow down solid without the need for hoof wall debridement or
The first step is to clean out
the cavities in the hoof wall thoroughly. A thin pointed tool such as a
#12 horseshoe nail works well for digging out dirt, thrush, and dead hoof tissue.
Then, use the tool to work a small amount of
CV mix into the extreme depth of the cavity. Pack a very thin piece
of poly-felt (the layers of felt separate easily) over the CV, forcing
it as deep as you can. Continue with more CV and layers of felt
until the felt is level with the hoof wall.
many cases, especially if the feet can be kept out of wet environments, a shoe
without a pad will suffice. If a pad is needed, apply a Gasket
are many advantages to being able to treat white line infections and separations
without resecting the hoof wall""
The intact hoof wall will contain the medication, eliminating the need for repeated
time consuming treatments and expensive bandaging materials.
A standard shoe, either a nail-on or glue-on, can be attached to the hoof without
the need for labor-intensive fabrications. A properly applied shoe will
protect the already weak hoof wall from further disintegration.
The horse, unless it is lame, can remain in work while the restoration of the
hoof takes place.
minor separations early and routinely will help maintain horn strength, especially
at the heels, and will often prevent the onset of the self-perpetuating condition
of low, underrun heels.
As with other methods
of treatments for restoring white line integrity, the CVP method will show
better results if the horse's hooves are kept dry.
only disadvantage to the CVP method is that it can be messy. The very properties
that make CV valuable in protecting the hoof, make it a bugger to get off hands,
hair and tools. But the improvement CV brings about in the condition of
your horses' hooves will make a little extra clean-up seem like a very small trade-off.
can be removed from tack with waterless hand cleaner, baby oil, turpentine, paint
thinner, or WD-40. It can be remove from a horse's coat by using waterless
hand cleaner or baby oil and a comb. A scissors is a last resort and not
usually the owner's favorite option. Use Venice Turpentine in moderation
and wipe off any excess from the heel bulbs before you leave the barn.
QUICK GUIDE FOR THE GASKET PAD
Shape, clip, and fit
Fit and attach
pad to shoe.
poly-felt and glue it to pad with CV.
Spread Venice Turpentine on poly-felt and sprinkle with copper
for center of sole and frog build-up if needed.
Prepare small pieces of felt for sulci.
Take Gasket package (shoe/pad/felt) to horse.
Pack hoof wall cavities, if any, with CVP.
Fill old nail holes on ground surface with CV.
and frog felt, if needed.
Nail package to hoof and finish as usual.
Trim (rasp) any exposed felt around edge of shoe.
Apply hoof sealer.
nail holes with wax.
Wipe any CV that squeezed out back of pad.
Use a small
pair of tin snips or scissors for cutting poly-felt.
To soften Venice Turpentine that's become stiff, stir it with a light piece
of bar stock to bring it to a consistency of thick honey. Heating the can
in hot water or near a heater (NOT over a direct flame) will make the Venice
Turpentine liquid. The thicker form is easier to work with.
Keep a small container of CV and small pieces of felt in your shoeing
box at all times. That way you can routinely treat small cavities in the
hoof wall before they develop into real problems.
When packing white line cavities, pack them very firmly. Gravity and the
movement of the hoof will try to work the packing out.
Save felt trimmings from Gasket to use for filling
sulci and hoof wall cavities.
Just before nailing on the Gasket package, work some CV into
the old nail holes on the ground surface of the hoof.
Fill nail holes in the hoof wall with wax. Use your finger to force
it down into the holes, don't just smear it over the top of the holes. It
will still be there at reset time! (The best source of wax
is a pure wax toilet ring from a hardware store. One ring will fill 6-8
plastic film containers.)
Use waterless hand cleaner to remove CV from your hands. WD-40, gasoline,
paint thinner, and motor oil will also work, but are harsher on your hands.
Use the solvents for taking CV off your tools. Use WD-40 or similar
spray solvent for quick clean up.
OF GASKET PAD INGREDIENTS
Turpentine; Northeast Farrier Supply, Inc.,210 Holabird Avenue,Winsted, CT
Toll Free 866-333-6337