5 Early Signs of Unhealthy Hooves

5 Early Signs of Unhealthy Hooves

Your horse will not verbally inform you of a hoof related problem. So, unless your horse is related to Mr. Ed, it’s your job as a horse owner to detect hoof issues. Luckily, there are signs to look for that can help you in this process. With a keen eye, knowledge of what to look for, and a commitment to maintain healthy hooves, these signs can help you address hoof problems before they become serious. Below are 5 early signs of unhealthy hooves:

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Itchy Horse

The Causes and Management of Sweet Itch (Summer Dermatitis)

Sweet itch in horses, also known as summer dermatitis, is an allergic hypersensitivity reaction to biting flies or midges. Midges breed and hatch in stagnant water, and are more abundant around dense vegetation. Although smaller than mosquitoes, they often make their presence known by flying in swarms of black clouds. The seasonal nature of the horse’s skin allergy is correlated with the life cycle of the midges.

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Horse eating grass

Nutrition’s Role in White Line Disease Prevention

Burney Chapman, a world-renowned farrier from Lubbock, Texas, became one of the foremost authorities on White Line Disease back in the late eighties and early nineties.  At that time, he began to see an alarming increase in the numbers of white line cases he encountered in his shoeing practice both in the U.S. and U.K. Burney determined that it was not a disease of the white line, but rather the result of a fungal invasion of the middle hoof wall.  Burney named the condition “Onychomycosis”, or ONC. The disease is also known as Stall Rot, Seedy Toe, Hollow Foot and Wall Thrush.

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Products for Hoof Health

Why Farrier’s Formula® Still Works

Nutrient Requirements of the Horse

Although thousands of years have passed since the the days of the wild horse, the genetic makeup of the horse has changed little. Therefore, the nutrient requirements for maintenance have not changed significantly.

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Farrier With Hoof Thrush

Debunking Hoof Remedies for Equine Thrush

No horse owner wants to pick up the hoof of their horse to find the signs of thrush staring back at them. Seeing that blackish discharge associated with thrush or even catching a whiff of its unpleasant odor can ruin anyone’s day. We do a lot to maintain the health of our horse’s hooves, and fighting thrush can sometimes seem like a never-ending battle. There are many tips and home hoof remedies that claim to be the answer to curing thrush, but many of these “remedies” only allow the infection to spread or kills the microbes only on the surface. As equine science has progressed over the years, many of these “remedies” are now red flagged and known to cause more harm than help. Unfortunately, many of these substances that were once deemed “safe” are still being used today to treat equine thrush.  Much of this is to do to a misinformed public or even due to the tradition of use. In this article, we will discuss many of these unsafe or ineffective practices, and what to look for when finding a proper answer to thrush.

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Farrier's Formula® and the Older Horse

Feeding Farrier's Formula® to an older horse even though he does not have hoof problems has many benefits.
One of the problems in feeding the aging horse is that mastication (chewing) offeed becomes less efficient and after the feed reaches the digestive tract nutrient absorption is diminished. Also, the connective tissue including skin, hoof, bone, tendons, and muscle is not as strong and healthy as in younger horses. Another geriatric problem is that many times the metabolism, therefore activity, is usually slowed because of decreased levels of thyroid hormone (thyroxin).

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Farrier's Formula Hoof Supplement

Positive Results of Feeding Farrier's Formula®

Initial Results

Within as little as two weeks of feeding Farrier's Formula® one should see a glossy, more deeply colored coat. By nine to ten weeks a new band of strong, healthy growth will be clearly visible at the coronary band, and the difference in the structure of the hom in the periople can be seen with the naked eye. Internal benefits, while more difficult to see, are just as dramatic.

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The Amino Acids Methionine and Cystine

There are twenty amino acids known that make up the building blocks for mammalian body protein. Approximately one-half of the amino acids are essential (this means the body is unable to make those nutrients; therefore the nutrients must be ingested). Methionine is an essential amino acid that can be converted to cystine by the body. Cystine is important because it furnishes the sulfur crosslinks that are necessary for healthy collagen thus strong hoof infrastructure (hoof, skin, hair, ligaments, tendons and cartilage). A certain quantity of essential amino acids can be manufactured by the micro organisms in the hind gut of the equine.

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Horse grazing

Recognizing Nutrition Related Hoof Problems

Dr. Frank Gravlee, founder of Life Data®, has worked with horses suffering from mild to serious hoof problems for over 50 years. During this time, his research has determined that horses with hoof problems often have nutrient deficiencies or excesses that negatively affect the dermal tissue structure. The hoof is dermal tissue and the hoof shows weakness more quickly than other dermal tissue structures due to its function and location. The horse owner should be able to recognize a few of the nutritional concerns that can occur in the hoof:

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Supplementation for laminitis

Feed Supplementation for Laminitis and Founder

Proper feed supplementation can help repair damage done during a laminitis/founder cycle. Many horses are being fed rations deficient in the nutrients necessary to maintain and rebuild their health after having suffered from laminitis and founder. Some hays are deficient in essential nutrients, especially those put up after being rained on, grown on nutrient deficient soils or harvested at a late stage of maturity.

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