Hoof Care

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For as long as there have been horses, there have been hoof problems. And for as long as there have been hoof problems with domesticated horses, there have been millions of man hours spent trying to find solutions and remedies for them. Almost invariably the greatest concern has been horses that have become footsore and cannot travel without limping. The cosmetic concerns that we have regarding cracks and breakage may or may not adversely affect a horse’s ability to perform a required function. These problems are often blamed on a horse’s “bad” hooves. But what is a bad hoof? First, let’s define what constitutes a good hoof.

horse Laminitis Vaccine preventing equine laminitis Dr. David Wilson equine musculoskeletal western college of veterinary medicine lynne gunville

After nearly four decades of watching the devastating impact of laminitis on horses, equine surgeon Dr. David Wilson has developed a vaccine that has the potential to save the performance careers — and lives — of horses around the world.. Laminitis (or founder) is one of the leading causes of loss in horses, right alongside colic and musculoskeletal problems.

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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.

equine sole Thickness horse trimming proper equine hoof trimming equine pour-in pads horse vettec equi-pak vettec equi pak cs

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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