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 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: Will adding biotin to my horse’s ration take care of what the farrier calls a poor-quality hoof concern?
By Frank Gravlee, DVM, MS, CNS
In most cases, feeding biotin alone is not enough to correct poor horn quality in the hoof because it’s only one of many nutrients needed by the adult horse.
In fact, the adult horse is said to have no dietary requirements for biotin unless there are stress conditions such as intense work, traveling, being stabled for long periods of time or being fed a low-quality diet. Even under these conditions, a biotin deficiency is relatively rare and is usually accompanied by many dietary deficiencies.
Horses that respond to biotin supplementation alone (approximately 5% of horses with poor-quality horn) show large holes in the outermost layer of the hoof wall when it is viewed under a microscope.
While the inner layers of the hoof wall are usually not affected, recent research indicates an increased amount of biotin helps the hoof when laminitis is a concern.
Frank Gravlee is an equine veterinarian and the founder of Life Data Labs, Inc., in Cherokee, Ala.
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 1 of the Nov. 15, 2018 installment: Does a lactating mare have higher calcium requirements than the typical mature horse?