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 1 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.

Q: What may be the causes when biotin doesn’t seem to work?

From American Farriers Journal

A: While the success rates are remarkable, equine nutritionists are still looking for answers on those few horses when biotin doesn’t seem to do the job every time.

Also known as vitamin H, biotin is a water-soluble, sulfur-containing vitamin that interacts with enzymes in the horse’s digestive tract to produce proteins.

Studies performed on other animal species, such as swine, show definite hoof quality improvement when biotin supplements are added to the diet. Conversely, experimentally induced biotin deficiency in hogs has produced soft friable hooves, cracks in the plantar surface and, less commonly, the side-wall of pigs’ feet, which may or may not cause lameness.

Nutritionists have noted that biotin can be ineffective in as many as 25% of the swine cases, and the reasons for failure are varied. Yet in some of these failures, biotin could work if given the full opportunity.

In most cases, it takes at least 6 months for the effects of supplemental biotin to be seen and another 6 to 9 months for the equine hoof to be restored to its natural state of health. Unfortunately, not all horse owners have that kind of patience.

Owners with the necessary patience have found biotin is most frequently effective when administered in dosages of at least 15 milligrams per day. But remember that biotin is not a silver bullet.

From a “When Biotin Doesn’t Work,” article that appeared in the May/June, 1995 issue of American Farriers Journal

Click here to read part 2 of the Jan. 1, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: My farrier says there are proud flesh concerns on a wound on the leg of one of my horses. How do I treat and prevent it from reoccurring in the future? Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.