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: How can I overcome foot-sore issues with one of my horses?
By Laura Petroski-Rose, B.V.M.S.
Most horse owners have heard the phrase “tender-footed,” meaning foot soreness. The same owners have probably dealt with the problem in one way or another without knowing what causes the problem or what to do to avoid it.
Foot soreness is characterized by sensitivity when pressure is applied to the foot. Horses with foot soreness can appear more painful when walking on hard surfaces, like asphalt or packed clay, than when walking on a more forgiving terrain, such as grass or the footing in an arena.
Foot soreness differs from an abscess, which is a compromise in the hoof structure due to bacterial infiltration. With an abscess, as with any infection, the body builds an immune response to the bacteria, resulting in the formation of pus. Because the pus cannot escape, pressure from this fluid-filled space causes pain and results in lameness. With foot soreness, there is no bacterial component.
Proper nutrition is important. Horses should consume a well-balanced diet, which focuses not only on energy but also fulfills the daily requirements for protein, vitamins and minerals. For many horses with poor-quality hooves, biotin supplementation provides the nutritional support necessary to support hoof growth, including the development of a strong hoof wall.
Research focusing on biotin supplementation has revealed that 20 mg of biotin daily produces optimal results for horses that respond to it. Giving more than 20 mg per day has yielded no additional benefits.
Laura Petroski-Rose is a veterinarian with Kentucky Equine Research in Versailles, Ky.
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 Dec. 1, 2018 installment: Are there concerns with feeding sulfates or whole feeds to my horses?