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.

This edition is sponsored by the W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine) of East Longmeadow, Mass.

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

Q: What’s really critical when it comes to effectively feeding for hoof quality and growth?

By Eleanor Kellon, VMD

The most common nutritional deficiencies that will impact the hoof include the following:

  • Crude protein
  • Sulphur containing amino acids (methionine primarily, cysteine)
  • Essential fatty acids
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin E
  • Biotin
  • Pyridoxine

The reason that nutritional deficiencies show up in the hoof so often is simply that it is a very metabolically active tissue. The hoof horn is being worn away and must constantly be replaced.

If the horse is lacking one or more of the nutrients it needs to do the job, hoof quality will suffer. All key nutrients must be present in the correct amounts.

Dr. Eleanor Kellon, a staff veterinary specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition, is an established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years. The owner of Equine Nutritional Solutions in Robesonia, Pa., she is a founding member and leader of the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance (ECIR) group, whose mission is to improve the welfare of horses with metabolic disorders via integration of research and real-life clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal.


Click here to read Part 2 of the December 1, 2017 installment: What’s really critical when it comes to effectively feeding for hoof quality and growth?

Click here to read more installments of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence.