Twenty-three horses with persistent hoof horn defects were treated topically with a hoof disinfectant as part of a hoof care programme for a year. The active ingredients of the disinfectant were a poloaximer-iodine complex, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, isopropyl alcohol and propylene glycol. Hoof trimmings were taken at the start of the study and every six weeks, and examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. At the beginning of the study all the horn samples contained large numbers of bacteria, and samples from eight of the horses also had fungal hyphae intermingled with the bacteria. After the application of the hoof disinfectant and adjustments to their diet, there were rapid improvements in the gross appearance of the feet of all the horses; some of them improved within two to three weeks and by 12 weeks the horn quality of all the horses had greatly improved.
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