Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.
Below you will find Part 1 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: Are there any research studies demonstrating the value of biotin in hoof growth in ponies?
By Eleanor Kellon, VMD
A study on the role of biotin with hoof growth and hoof growth rate in ponies was conducted some years back at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland. Researchers J.D.
Reilly, D.F. Cottrell, R.J., Martin and D.J. Cuddeford looked at the impact of feeding dietary biotin supplementation at a rate of 0.12 mg/kg of bodyweight to evaluate the growth and growth rate of the hooves with 8 match-paired ponies.
The treated ponies had a mean hoof growth at the midline dead-center of the hoof capsule of 35.34 mm after 5 months of biotin supplementation. Ponies that did not receive biotin averaged 30.69 mm of hoof growth.
The treated animals had a 15% higher growth rate of hoof horn and 15% more hoof growth at the midline dead-center after 5 months of biotin supplementation compared to the control ponies. No differences were found between various feet for horn growth, but the older animals had significantly lower hoof growth than the remaining ponies.
Dr. Eleanor Kellon, a staff veterinary specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition, has been an established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years. The owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions in Robesonia, Pa., she is a founding member and leader of the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance (ECIR) group, whose mission is to improve the welfare of horses with metabolic disorders via integration of research and real-life clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine).
Like many significant achievements, Absorbine® grew out of humble beginnings—and through the tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. In this case, it was a young woman in late 19th-century Massachusetts: Mary Ida Young. Her husband, Wilbur Fenelon Young, was an enterprising piano deliveryman who relied on the couple’s team of horses to make deliveries throughout the Northeast. Inspired by Mary Ida and Wilbur’s vision, Absorbine® has continued to add innovative products throughout the years — products used every day by horse owners around the world. Which is why, since 1892, we’ve been The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®.
Click here to read Part 2 of the May 15, 2018 installment: What are the chances my somewhat laminitic overweight horse will be insulin resistant?