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 role do antioxidants play in hoof growth and health?
By Kate Hore Rnutr
A: In recent years, the role of antioxidants has been highlighted in numerous areas of equine health, including hoof care. The key role of antioxidants in equine nutrition is to flush out free radical toxins and neutralize the inflammatory markers that trigger and accelerate inflammation.
Inflammatory markers are recognized in many conditions within the hoof, especially the epidermis and are particularly true with laminitis and navicular syndrome. Sources of antioxidants for horses are similar to those for humans, which include fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Hoof supplements that include needed antioxidants offer a holistic approach to total nutritional health rather than simply looking at biotin, methionine and sulphur.
Supplementing for improved hoof health may take up to 9 months before a completely healthy foot is seen. Once clients have started using a hoof supplement, we recommend that they take a digital photo each time the horse is shod, as this will document the progression in improved hoof health and growth.
Kate Hore Rnutr is a senior animal nutritionist at Natural Animal Feeds in England.
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 2 of the August 1, 2016 installment: Do owners need to worry about black walnut concerns with horses?