Hoof Nutrition

Nutrients that Influence Hoof Health

The nutritional demands of domesticated modern horses are much different than the nutritional demands of wild horses. A myriad of feed stuffs and supplements have been developed and marketed in reaction to these changing needs. While proper supplementation can provide numerous benefits, insufficient or excessive supplementation of any nutrient can be detrimental for hoof health.

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Laminitis Hoof Recovery

Case Report: Laminitis


A 13-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was treated for severe laminitis with Animalintex poultices, Farrier’s Formula®, Pegasus Laser Therapy, and Soft-Ride Boots, which allowed for the growth of new hoof walls after the old hoof walls had rotated away and sloughed off. These therapies to increase circulation and provide nutrition to the hooves were successful in returning the gelding soundly to his previous level of work after 18 months.

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Feeding for Hoof Health

Feeding for Hoof Health

Hoof quality can be influenced by many factors, such as:

• Genetics
• Farrier work
• Type of environment
• Work intensity
• Microbial invasions
• Nutrition

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Hot shoeing horse shoe

Sulfur Over Supplementation in Horses

Why is Sulfur Important for Horses?

The connective tissues of all mammals are rich in the mineral sulfur. The skin, hair, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and the hooves of horses are comprised of connective tissue. Collagen is the protein of connective tissue, and is the most abundant protein in the mammalian body. Sulfur, an important component of collagen, is required for both joint health and, in horses, healthy hooves. One dietary source of sulfur is methionine, an essential amino acid that the body can convert to another “sulfur containing” amino acid called cysteine. Once converted, cysteine furnishes the sulfur “welds,” or crosslinks, that are necessary for healthy collagen and thus strong connective tissue infrastructure. The lack of sulfur or methionine in a horse’s diet is known to lead to structural weakness in the ligaments, tendons, bones, joints, and hooves. However, too much sulfur in a horse’s diet can lead to over supplementation and weaken joint strength and hoof quality as well.

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