Hoof Care

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Seasonal weather changes have a major effect on a horse’s hoof health. Depending on the time of year, horses’ hooves change and may require extra attention and treatment. Neglecting environmental factors can lead to sole deterioration or other harmful consequences. When it comes to a horse’s environment, there are two main seasonal factors that impact hoof health: temperature and moisture.

Life Data Labs Equine Nutrition farrier's formula Dr. Frank Gravlee Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine horse feed hoof care

Life Data Labs, Inc., a family owned business, has been in existence for 30 years. Founder Dr. Frank Gravlee has an extensive background in equine medicine. He graduated from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced veterinary medicine before attending graduate school at MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During a three-year residency in nutritional pathology, he received a master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry and intermediary metabolism. Prior to founding Life Data Labs, he spent six years in the field of nutritional and clinical pathology.

Horse Shoes Foot Skeleton racehorse hoof care performance horses hoof injury horse equine skeleten hoof care

Every day, thousands of horses are shod as part of normal maintenance of foot care. But have you ever wondered whether the placement of a horseshoe affects foot skeleton stress in racehorses and performance horses? At Australia’s University of Queensland School of Biomedical Sciences, research team leader Dr. Olga Panagiotopoulou says that musculoskeletal injury is one of the main animal welfare concerns in the racehorse industry.

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Common Conditions, Challenges and Pain Recognition - Keeping a horse comfortable into their senior years requires an attentive caretaker backed by a knowledgeable team. It is important to seek the input from your veterinarian and farrier to help maintain the health of an elderly equine and to spot conditions that will need special treatment sooner rather than later. Recognizing changes and not just dismissing them as “old age setting in” is a large part of the responsibility assumed when caring for the senior horse.

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Proper trimming and awareness of the horse’s sole thickness is vital to maintaining optimal hoof health. Whether the horse is growing back over-trimmed soles or is genetically predisposed to thin soles, it’s important that hoof care professionals examine the conditions the horse is kept in because environment directly impacts sole health. Think of soles as calluses on feet – if you’re active, calluses protect your feet from getting blisters. If calluses are removed from your feet when you’re active or in abrasive conditions, the feet develop blisters and become painful. In order to keep soles in healthy condition, hoof care professionals need to be familiar with the conditions the horse is kept in. If the horse has naturally thin soles, different methods can be applied to help the horse regain sole thickness, depending on its environment.

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Prevention is key to avoiding hoof issues - During her daily field visits to farms and acreages around the Saskatoon area, equine veterinary specialist Dr. Kate Robinson sees a wide range of hoof issues in horses – many of them preventable with a consistent daily hoof care regimen.

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Anyone out there remember the typewriter? You know, that noisy mechanical gadget that slowly tapped out letters on a piece of paper. This relic of communication technology was really a remarkable invention, but hands-up everyone who is glad we don’t have to use it anymore!

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