EQUUS - - Medical Front -

Re­search from the Nether­lands sug­gests that hoof prob­lems are sur­pris­ingly wide­spread among horses.

For the study, GD An­i­mal Health and Utrecht Uni­ver­sity re­searchers in co­op­er­a­tion with Nether­lands As­so­ci­a­tion of Cer­ti­fied Far­ri­ers mon­i­tored a group of 942 ran­domly se­lected, healthy horses dur­ing the win­ter and sum­mer of 2015. Dur­ing rou­tine hoof trim­ming ses­sions, each horse’s hooves were ex­am­ined by cer­ti­fied far­ri­ers, who looked for 12 com­mon hoof dis­or­ders. The far­ri­ers also col­lected ba­sic data on each horse’s hous­ing and man­age­ment dur­ing those vis­its.

The in­for­ma­tion col­lected showed that hoof prob­lems are wide­spread: At least one type of (usu­ally mild) hoof dis­or­der was ob­served in 85 per­cent of the horses. The most com­mon were thrush0, su­per­fi­cial hoof wall cracks, growth rings (ridges that ap­pear on the out­side of hooves and are as­so­ci­ated with dis­ease, stress, feed­ing changes and other prob­lems) and sole bruises.

The re­searchers iden­ti­fied sev­eral cor­re­la­tions be­tween man­age­ment prac­tices and spe­cific hoof con­di­tions. Some were not sur­pris­ing: For ex­am­ple, horses kept in stalls

Ref­er­ence: “Cross-sec­tional study of the preva­lence of and risk fac­tors for hoof dis­or­ders in horses in The Nether­lands,” Pre­ven­tive Vet­eri­nary Medicine, May 2017 with wet bed­ding were nearly three times more likely to have thrush. And horses who went more than eight to 10 weeks be­tween trim­mings were nearly five times more likely to de­velop sole bruises and three times more likely to de­velop cracks that per­fo­rate the hoof wall.

The data also re­vealed how par­tic­u­lar man­age­ment fac­tors seem to in­hibit the de­vel­op­ment of some con­di­tions while mak­ing oth­ers more likely. Horses on flax bed­ding (more com­mon in Europe than the United States) were less likely to de­velop thrush but twice as likely to de­velop white0 line dis­ease.

The re­searchers con­clude that given the “un­ex­pect­edly high preva­lence” of con­di­tions found and mul­ti­ple con­trib­u­tory fac­tors, “horse own­ers may need to specif­i­cally adapt their man­age­ment prac­tices to re­duce the risk of a spe­cific dis­or­der.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.