Biotinis one of the most importantB vitaminsin the horses' diet, particularly for hoof growth and hoof horn quality.
The B vitamins are closely involved with protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and interactions, therefore they play a very important part in the metabolism of hoof tissue which is highly active and fast-growing.
Vitamin E and Selenium are commonly deficient in the Equine diet and deficiency symptoms are commonly seen in horses. Low levels will also cause a decline in health and performance before symptoms are obvious.
Psyllium (Plantago) Husks are the thin outer coating on Psyllium Seeds and are rich in a form of soluble fibre called mucilage. Large doses of Psyllium Husk form a gel in the intestines and can be used to help horses move sand out of their digestive tract.
Copper is one of the ‘Trace’ minerals required in Equine Nutrition. Even though it is only needed in tiny amounts, it is extremely important for good health and is utilised in 100’s of enzyme systems throughout the horse’s body!
Many horse owners, even equine professionals, will ignore these symptoms unless the horse is actually lame. However, they can all indicate serious pathology in the hooves and be a sign of things to come.
The digital pulse is the pulse flowing through the artery to the hoof and is a useful tool in determining if a horse has inflammation in the hoof capsule. It is also useful in determining if a horse could be suffering from Laminitis.
Diet is key when it comes to addressing laminitis and founder in horses. The number one priority is to ensure that the diet is low in simple sugars and starch.
When testing forage, Ethanol Soluble Carbohydrates (ESC) is the measure of simple sugars. It's the ESC and starch that need to be considered when assessing forage for the laminitic prone horse. Anything with a combined ESC and starch content below 10% is considered safe. Unfortunately, many feeds, pasture and even hay, can be much higher than this.
It is very tempting to want to give your laminitic horse pain relief medication such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone (bute). However, these medications must be used with caution and preferably only in the first 3-5 days.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest risk factors for laminitis and founder in horses is domestication. In the wild, horses will often cover very long distances looking for food and water and their digestive systems have evolved to be very efficient in obtaining energy and nutrients from sparse low-calorie fodder.
Not all the signs of Laminitis are obvious! Your horse doesn’t have to be standing ‘Camped under’ in the classic Founder Stance or have ‘Aladdin’ slipper feet! Some of the signs can be subtle and easily confused with other common problems.
It can be confusing for people to actually visualise what is happening inside the hooves of their laminitic horse, so we’ve drawn some pictures for you! But first, before we go into what’s ‘abnormal’ we need to have an understanding of what’s ‘normal’
The promise of spring is just around the corner! But with it comes the risk of Laminitis for all our susceptible horses. There are a few very simple steps you can take to help prevent the onset of this horrible disease…
As you sit all cosy in front of your fireplace, you can't help but notice your horse huddled up under his tree or shelter with a miserable ‘I’m cold!’ look on his face. Apart from throwing on an extra rug, what can you do to help him feel better?
Hoof tissue is highly metabolic, which means that it is very responsive to diet and systemic occurrences such as illness and exercise. Poor hoof quality is one of the most obvious outward signs that your horse is not healthy on the inside.