Adding Moisture To Feet Can Be Harmful, Study Finds



Adding moisture to the equine feet not only fails to keep them from drying out, it's possibly harmful.

Julie Bullock, a Mount Sidney, Va., veterinarian and podiatrist, points to a study several years ago that was conducted by Robin Dabareiner, a veterinarian at Texas A&M.

"She and two other people looked at the common practice of letting horses' water tanks overflow so the feet are in contact with moisture whenever they come to drink," Bullock says. "Many horse owners think the feet need moisture to keep them from drying out too much. She said this practice is not helpful - and possibly harmful - since having feet continually going from wet to dry to wet to dry was harder on them, disrupting the external surface of the hoof wall.

"We always see more white line disease in horses that have wet conditions or are getting bathed every day."

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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