Article

Effect of supplementary dietary biotin on hoof growth and hoof growth rate in ponies: a controlled trial

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Abstract

The effect of dietary biotin supplementation, at a dose rate of 0.12 mg/kg bwt, on growth and growth rate of the hooves of 8 match-paired poines was investigated in a controlled feeding trial. Treatment animals had a mean hoof growth at the midline dead centre of the hoof capsule of 35.34 mm after 5 months of biotin supplementation compared to control animals 30.69 mm (P < 0.05). Comparison of regression analysis also showed that biotin supplementation produced a significantly higher (P < 0.02) growth rate of hoof horn in this trial. Treatment animals had a 15% higher growth rate of hoof horn and 15% more hoof growth at the midline dead centre, after 5 months of biotin supplementation compared to control ponies. No differences were found between feet for growth of horn, but the older animals in the trial had significantly lower hoof growth (P < 0.05) than the remaining poines.

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... The growth of horn at the midline dead centre (MDC) of the left fore foot of all horses in the trial was measured according to Reilly et al. (1996Reilly et al. ( , 1998. The hooves were initially brand marked 40 mm from the distal hair line. ...
... The timing of the response seen in the treatment animals only in this study agrees with the findings of Campbell and MacEwan (1982), who supplemented human patients with EPO, and it is different to the timing of another growth effect shown in horse hoof with biotin by Buffa et al. (1992) and Reilly et al. (1998). This may reflect differences brought about in the metabolic processes of keratinisation which, for the hoof, are far from fully understood. ...
... What these results do show however, together with the results of Buffa et al. (1992) and Reilly et al. (1998), is that the hoof capsule is capable of different responses when the horse is supplemented with different nutrients. Therefore, evidence is accumulating from controlled work, for a nutrient-hoof horn axis in terms of growth and growth rate responses. ...
Article
The lipid chemistry of the normal equine hoof, together with the effect of oral supplementation with an evening primrose oil mixture (EPOM) on its growth, growth rate and lipid content was assessed in a controlled and blinded feeding trial at the Defence Animal Centre. Twelve horses were paired as closely as possible according to sex, age, weight, height and colour and then one from each pair was randomly allocated to treatment or control groups. The treatment group received 30 ml of oral EPOM/day, otherwise the nutrition and management regimes were the same for all horses. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were seen between treatment and control groups for hoof horn growth or growth rate. However, there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in hoof horn growth within the treatment group only between weeks 4 and 8 after the start of supplementation. The stratum medium contained significantly higher amounts of cholesterol ester (P < 0.05), triglycerides (P < 0.001) and free fatty acids (P < 0.05) than the periople. The periople contained significantly higher levels of free cholesterol and phospholipid (P < 0.001) than the stratum medium of the hoof wall. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between treatment and control groups for any of the lipid fractions measured for the stratum medium from the clippings of the hoof wall. However, there were differences in perioplic lipid analysis with significant increases (P < 0.05) in cholesterol esters and partial glycerides and a significant reduction (P < 0.001) in free cholesterol in the treatment group following supplementation.
... Equids, much more geographically ubiquitous than capuchin monkeys, and whose recent ancestors go back to the Miocene, have the capability of modifying rocks with the purpose of trimming their hooves. These grow regularly-between onequarter inch to almost half-an-inch per month in horses-and varies according to season (Lewis et al., 2014) and diet (Komosa et al., 2012;Ott & Johnson, 2001/6;Reilly et al., 1998aReilly et al., , 1998b. Equids regularly wear off growing hooves through what veterinary literature refers to as "selftrimming" (Emery et al., 1977;Jackson, 1992). ...
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Identifying how early humans flaked stone tools is one of the crucial elements in hominin evolution. Here, we show that equids can sometimes also produce equally complex cores with conchoidal breakages that exhibit the characteristics of intentionally-flaked hominin artefacts by bipolar technique and methods. As a result, sharp edged flakes with percussion platforms, previous scars and bulbs, which can easily be mistaken with hominin-made flakes, are also produced by equid self-trimming. Given the ubiquitous presence of equids in landscapes inhabited by hominins, this imposes caution when interpreting isolated flaked rocks and urges some degree of revision of the criteria to identify strictly hominin-made tools.
... Salt licks can reduce boredom and encourage increased water intake. Finally, it has been shown that dietary biotin supplementation (0.12 mg/kg bwt) significantly increase hoof growth rate (Reilly et al., 2010) and so is advised for laminitic horses. ...
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Nursing plays a crucial role in the management of the hospitalised laminitic horse, and can significantly impact both the welfare and the outcome of these critical patients. This review looks at aspects of supportive care for hospitalised laminitic horses that can be provided by veterinary nurses, ranging from monitoring, environmental management, cryotherapy, nutrition, and provision of solar support.
... Numerous options are available for the treatment of brittle nails, including buffing and moisturizing, application of essential fatty acids, and ingestion of vitamin C, pyridoxine, iron, vitamin D, calcium, amino acids, and gelatin. 13 A nutritional supplement that has been extensively investigated and recently shown promise is biotin, or vitamin H. 31 The present results suggest that MSM could also be a good source of nutrition for nail health. ...
... Because of their long term duration, Slater and Hood (1997) have rightly indicated that the prevalence of these conditions may be having more impact on horses worldwide than information about inci'knce alone will describe. The practical effects of prolilems associated with hoof defects, for elements of the equine industryhorse, vet, farrier and owner has been mentioned Naked eye Naked eye Light microscope Electron microscope method (Reilly 1995;Reilly et al. 1998). Rossdale et al. (1985) reported that 68% of 'lost days' in racing were due to lameness with the foot identified as the most common site of insult. ...
... For example, gelatin is a common dietary addition [31] despite having previously been proven to have no benefit on hoof growth or strength [32]. On the other hand, the supplementation of zinc or biotin is also popular among horse owners [33], and the efficacy of these supplements is grounded in scientific research, which has reported significant improvements in horn quality, hoof growth, and strength [34][35][36][37]. ...
Article
It is accepted that equine performance is directly influenced by hoof condition. Despite this, hoof abnormalities are the most frequent owner-reported cause of lameness and limited literature has evaluated hoof management practices. A survey was developed to establish the prevalence of hoof abnormalities in the UK, the corresponding routine treatments and to explore the client-farrier relationship. Of the respondents, 89% reported to have encountered hoof problems in the previous five years and routine use of hoof care products such as supplements and dressings was widespread. Whilst 96% of horses in the United Kingdom receive regular hoof care from a farrier, the client-farrier relationship has not previously been explored. It was found that 74% of respondents had worked with their farrier for more than two years; 41% however, had previously had difficulties finding a farrier they trusted. Of the respondents, 23% had a criticism of their farrier and 29% felt their farrier would have criticisms of their demeanour. It was suggested that both parties have a responsibility to one another in order to maintain an effective client-farrier relationship. Although certain supplements can be beneficial, scientific investigation is required to ascertain the efficacy of products such as hoof dressings on hoof growth and integrity. Furthermore, it would be of benefit to explore farrier and veterinary willingness to communicate and collaborate in order to provide optimal farriery. Cooperation between the professions has previously been highlighted as essential to therapeutic farriery but has not been investigated.
... The horn growth rate of treated horses and of control horses was the same. Reilly et al. (1998) used a higher dose rate of biotin in a controlled feeding trial. They examined the effect of 0.12 mg/kg body weight on growth and growth rate of the hooves of eight paired ponies. ...
Article
Many performance and racehorses cannot perform to their potential because of hoof problems. The old adage "no hoof, no horse" still applies today and this article examines some of the nutritional factors that impact the hoof. There are many factors that can influence development of the hoof, and this article will discuss some of these variables that can aid the search for increased hoof growth and improved hoof quality. Unfortunately, rapid hoof wall growth may not be synonymous with top hoof quality. Despite recent advances in the prevention or treatment of equine disease, laminitis remains high on the list of potentially crippling or life-threatening diseases. The second part of the article will summarize new research findings in the cause, pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of laminitis. Factors Affecting Hoof Growth Hoof growth is influenced by several factors. These include age, breed, genetics, metabolic rate, exercise, external temperature, environmental moisture, illness, trimming, and shoeing. Nutritional influences include energy intake, protein and amino acid intake and metabolism, minerals such as zinc and calcium, and vitamins such as biotin and vitamin A. Moisture has an influence on both hoof growth and strength of hoof horn. Growth is often increased in wet conditions, and this could be a primary effect from increased hoof moisture or a secondary effect of greater pasture growth and energy intake. However, it has been demonstrated that poor-quality, softer horn has a higher water content (Coenen and Spitzlei, 1997). Butler and Hintz (1977) showed that hoof moisture in growing ponies dropped from 29% at the coronary border to 27% at the tip of the toe, and this was associated with, but not necessarily responsible for, a 30% increase in hoof strength between the two areas.
... neither of these authors shows any data to support their timings, although the authors of this article accept their anecdotal accuracy. In research papers, growth rates in mature horses has been reported without stating hoof wall renewal time (Faramarzi et al, 2009;Reilly et al, 1998). In a case of total hoof wall avulsion of a four year old Quarter Horse, it was reported that 24 months after the trauma the hoof had completely regrown implying that this was the length of time for hoof renewal in this case (de gresti et al, 2008). ...
Article
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A circumferential ring in the hoof horn of foals occurs at birth and grows down to the distal border as the fetal hoof is replaced. Horn growth and complete hoof capsule renewal has not been measured in Thoroughbred foals but the determination of time of hoof renewal may allow accurate predictions of healing time to be made in cases of hoof lesions. The objective of this study was to measure the time taken for the fetal hoof of newborn foals to grow to the distal border and be replaced by hoof grown since birth. The age of the foal in days on the day that routine hoof trimming removed the hoof ring of the front hooves was recorded. The mean age at which the fetal hoof was removed was 145±15 days (95% CI, 141.8-147.2), range 120-165 days. Thoroughbred foals replaced the fetal hoof in approximately half the time given for mature horses (270-365 days).
... Kainer (1987) stated that the time for the hoof at the toe to grow to the distal border was 270-365 days. Hoof growth rates in mature horses have been reported without stating hoof wall renewal time (Reilly et al., 1998;Faramarzi et al., 2009). A number of authors have speculated that the hoof wall grows faster in young horses but only two groups measured hoof growth rates in foals (Butler and Hintz, 1977;Smallwood et al., 1989). ...
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The Effect of Feed Additive Containing Vitamins and Trace Elements on the Elements Profile and Growth of Skin Derivatives in Horses An important role of nutritional supplements in the quality and growth of skin derivatives is not sufficiently explored. The aim of our experiment was to recognize how the application of selected vitamins and an organic source of zinc and copper affects the growth and elemental content of hooves and hairs. Sixteen warm-blooded horses were divided into two groups. Both groups received the same basic feeding ration, which was enriched with a feed additive for the experimental group. The contents of individual elements in hoof and hair samples were established using the atomic absorption spectrometry method. Samples from the experimental group of horses showed a significantly increased amount of zinc (P<0.01), copper and manganese (P<0.05) deposited in the hoof and a significantly decreased (P<0.05) amount of manganese, iron, and calcium deposited in the hair after nine months of monitoring. Differences between initial and final samples of hooves and hair were insignificant in the control group. The growth rate of hair and hoof wall was significantly higher (P<0.01) in horses from the experimental group than from the control one. Horses receiving the feed additive achieved a faster growth of the hoof horn with an adequate quality of hooves in our experiment. The experiment shows that the hair is not a reliable indicator of nutritional status of horses. However, assessing the impact of individual vitamins and trace elements, or the impact of various sources of trace elements on the elements profile and growth rate of skin derivatives of horses should be subject to further observation.
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The nail is a specialized keratinous skin appendage that grows approximately 2 to 3 mm per month, with complete replacement achieved in 6 to 9 months. Although this structure can be easily overlooked, nail disorders comprise approximately 10% of all dermatologic conditions. This contribution first provides an overview on the basic anatomy of the nail that will delineate between the nail unit (eg, hyponychium, nail bed, proximal nail fold, and matrix) and anatomic components not part of the nail unit (eg, lateral nail folds, nail plate, and eponychium). The function of each nail structure will also be presented. The chemical profile of the normal nail plate is reviewed with a discussion of its keratin content (hair type keratin vs epithelial type keratin), sulfur content, and mineral composition, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium, and copper. The remainder will focus on nail manifestations seen in states of malnutrition. Virtually every nutritional deficiency can affect the growth of the nail in some manner. Finally, the discussion will include anecdotal use of nutritional and dietary supplements in the setting of brittle nail syndrome as well as a brief overview of biotin and its promising utility in the treatment of nail disorders.
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The effects of toe angle on the growth of the unshod hooves of mature horses were measured over 126 days. The hooves of 4 horses were trimmed long in the toe and short in the heel (“LT”), with toe angles of 40° for the forelimb and 50° for the hind limb hooves; 4 others were trimmed short in the toe and long in the heel (“ST”), with toe angles of 50° for the forelimb and 55° for the hind limb hooves. Growth of the hoof wall at the toe ranged between .19 and .28 mm/day, and was slowest in the forelimb hooves trimmed ST. After 126 days, the hooves trimmed LT were 7% smaller in width than they had been at day 0. Narrowing of the hoof walls and frogs was accompanied by deformation of the angles of the walls (bending outward of their weightbearing surfaces). Frog lengths and sole areas were not affected by toe angle. Regardless of trimming method, all forelimb hooves tended to return to a toe angle of 45° between trimmings, while all hind limb hooves tended toward toe angles of 52° to 53°. The soles of all hooves were basically circular in shape, although the hooves trimmed LT tended to be skewed to the left, as viewed from above, after 126 days.
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SUMMARY A pelleted ration was fed limited or ad libiturn to two groups of seven Shetland 8- month-old ponies for 117 days. During the last 56 days, gelatin was added to the diets of four animals in each of the two intake groups. Gelatin was added at levels of 30 and 90 g per 100 kg body weight for the first and second 28-day periods, respectively. Ponies fed the diet ad libitum consumed 180% more feed, had 50% greater rate of hoof growth (.384 +- .009 vs .254  .008 mm/d), 200% greater increase in height at the withers and 425% greater increase in body weight than ponies fed the limited level. The hoofs of ponies fed ad libitum had 82% greater surface area at the sole border than those fed limited amounts. The addition of gelatin did not affect (P
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Farrier's Formula feed supplement was added to the diet of 18 horses with two types of hoof horn defects. The first group of horses showed sand cracks and crumbling horn around the nail holes; the second group suffered frequent bruising and had flat feet with collapsed heels. Hoof clippings from both groups were studied in the transmission and scanning electron microscopes. All the horses showed a progressive improvement in the gross and microscopic structure of the hoof horn, starting six weeks after the supplementation began. Once good quality hoof horn had grown there was no relapse during the two year period of the study.
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Two types of defect were observed when hoof clippings from horses with brittle feet were viewed in the scanning electron microscope. The first defect showed a loss of structure and horn in the stratum externum. This defect was remedied after biotin treatment. The second defect showed poor attachment of the horn squames and failed to respond to biotin treatment alone. An improvement in this case was achieved by the addition of powdered limestone to the diet.
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Horses with weak hoof horn, which becomes misshapen and crumbles around the lower parts of the hoof walls, pose problems for treatment in practice. The effects of dietary supplementation with a high level of the B-group vitamin biotin (which has proved successful in the treatment of the similar condition in pigs) were investigated in more than 40 cases. Varying degrees of improvement in the hardness, integrity and conformation of the hoof horn were observed in all cases. The signs and progress seen in three typical cases are described. It is concluded that dietary supplementation with 10 to 30 mg biotin/day (depending on bodyweight) for not less than six to nine months is a useful treatment to support other remedial measures in such cases.
Experimental strategy with cattle In: Considerations for the Design and Interpretation of Cattle Experiments
  • P Roberts
  • P Roberts
Role of Eiofin in Equine Hoof Horn Infegrity Roche Vitamin and Fine Chemical Division Fracture toughness design in horse hoof keratin Functional design of horse hoof keratin: the modulation of mechanical properties through hydration effects
  • B Bains
  • J E A Bertram
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