Re Coronet Band Dystrophy?

November 10th, 2010 by Emily

Question: Re Coronet Band Dystrophy?
I have just seen a question on the above and thought it might be useful to post my experiences with this disease as it is so rarely diagnosed properly.

Coronet Band Dystrophy (CBD) is NOT greasy heels, mud rash/fever, a shoeing problem, mites or any of the relatively minor conditions mentioned on a number of equine forums. It is a serious auto-immune condition in which the body is effectively rejecting the feet. It is incurable but is not in itself terminal even though the effects of it might lead to euthanasia.

In addition to the feet the chestnuts and ergots might flake and bleed, the coat might be affected and in really unfortunate cases the liver might be seriously damaged. In my elderly mare her coat becomes scurvy and staring and her chestnuts are severely affected when she is suffering a flare up but fortunately blood tests have shown no liver damage.

It is unclear whether it is a rare condition or whether it is not widely known so it is not diagnosed correctly. Prior to her retirement (which was when I purchased her), she had been treated for many years for incurable thrush by her previous vet. My vet had never heard of it and her boss, a very respected vet in the north west of England, had heard of it but never seen a case. It was diagnosed with the help of a very experienced horse-woman friend who recommended CBD to the vet, having seen it in a veterinary text book..

It is common for treatments to be successful for a few weeks and just as you think you are getting somewhere the treatment ceases to have any effect. We had reached this stage with my horse when co-incidentally my vet met Professor Knottenbolt of Liverpool University who is running a study into CBD. She showed him photographs of the Old Girl’s feet and described her condition and he confirmed that it was a classic presentation.

We were given some of the medication which Liverpool are trialing but in the way of these things, despite a brief improvement, it didn’t work in the long term (ie 3 weeks!). Shortly afterwards the Old Girl had gone so severely down hill and was so ill and in great pain and we had arrived at the hard decision. However, our vet persuaded us to give her a last chance with steroids, on the principle that they couldn’t make things worse and might help – at least giving her a few months more of good calibre life.

This was six months ago and the old girl hasn’t looked back. We are aware that steroids can't be a long term answer as they cause ruin themselves but the Old Girl is healthy and happy and enjoying life as a field ornament and companion to a friend’s nervy gelding.

I know that it’s a long time since the original post in this thread but I hope the poster is still watching. If so it might be worth consulting your vet about the possibility of steroids. They don’t always work and they are expensive* but absolutely worth discussing. It might also be a good theory to have a joint consultation with a good remedial farrier and your vet to decide on the best way to proceed with hoof trimming and shoeing. Do not go down the route of unothodox foot “care” such as Cytek, Strasser, etc.

There is a recommendation that selenium poisoning might be implicated in CBD. Massive amounts of naturally occurring selenium are not usually present in grazing or equine forage in
the UK, but if you are in the USA or elsewhere in the world it might be worth having your horse tested if he or she is diagnosed with CBD

* the medication costs around £200 for 30 days supply in the UK!

Hope this proves useful

Best answer:

Answer by foxhunter1949
Thank you – that was interesting.

One thing that you might try as you are in the UK is NAF D-tox. It is brilliant for immune problems in horse, cow, sheep and humans.
I had a horse with Cauda Equina and was given D-tox to trial. He was on it in massive doses and within a week there was significant improvement. I have used it for so many things with great results.

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One Comment on “Re Coronet Band Dystrophy?”

  1. gallop says:

    I’m glad you posted this. Autoimmune diseases are so complex that they are a huge dilemma in medicine. In the 40 + years since I began studying autoimmunity, we’ve discovered more and more diseases that relate to autoimmune responses. Genetic factors and enviromental factors, exposures to multiple infectious microbes or chemical deficiencies or overages can all be involved in triggering the autoimmune responses. And oversupplementing with unregulated and questionable products also poses very legitimate risks. Even when selenium or other substances are found to play a role, they may only be one needle in an immense haystack. Steroids can temporarily relieve progression of the damage because they inhibit the immune responses, but they are not cures and will sooner or later lead to other problematic effects. There are billions of dollars going into human research on autoimmune diseases, which will ultimately benefit veterinary research and hopefully find better treatments and ways to prevent the onset.
    What matters is that vets and horse owners are aware of these kinds of disorders so that when traditional treatments don’t effect cures for common conditions, these disorders are considered.
    I’m glad your horse has been able to enjoy more good, quality time with you, and I think it is good that you shared this to raise awareness of the condition…it may help a lot of horses along the way.

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