Hoof Nutrition Intelligence 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: My laminitic horse already receives biotin in a supplement. Is there any value to also trying acupuncture for dealing with laminitis?

By Kathleen Crandell, PhD

Eastern or traditional medicine is being embraced by some equine educators in the western hemisphere through nutritional and herbal supplementation therapies, acupuncture, etc.

Several studies support acupuncture for various equine ailments, including:

  1. Musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, and circulatory disorders.
  2. Skin diseases.
  3. Endocrine or hormonal irregularities.
  4. Respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  5. Digestive disorders (such as colic).
  6. Maximizing reproductive efficiency.

Acupuncture has been studied previously in laminitic horses, showing promising results. In a recent study that further explored the benefits of acupuncture for this leading cause of pain and death in horses, the researchers studied 12 adult horses diagnosed with chronic laminitis. Each horse underwent two acupuncture treatments spaced 1 week apart. Horses were evaluated for lameness using a commercial lameness evaluation system (Lameness Locator) and routine examinations following American Association of Equine Practitioners scoring guidelines.

After acupuncture, a major reduction in lameness severity was seen with both lameness evaluation techniques. The researchers concluded that using acupuncture in conjunction with other treatment options can be successful in treating chronic equine laminitis.

Other treatment options alluded to by the researchers include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and nutritional supplements that contain biotin and other nutrients to support hoof growth and strength.

Kathleen Crandell is an equine nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research in Versailles, Ky.

Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine). 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 Jan. 1, 2019 installment: Should I be concerned with the level of keratin with my horses’ hooves?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.