Fix­ing brit­tle hooves

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

I read “Cop­ing With Brit­tle Hooves” (Con­sul­tants, EQUUS 478) with in­ter­est. Bruce Con­nally, DVM, MS, is 100 per­cent cor­rect: You can­not fix a brit­tle hoof with paint.

My Ap­paloosa geld­ing Cloud Dancer had hoof walls so thin and brit­tle they would not sup­port a shoe, but that wasn’t his only prob­lem. His skin was also very thin and prone to in­jury, and his coat was thin be­cause his skin was so dry and itchy, he rubbed all the hair off of his chest and both flanks. I had just bought this beau­ti­ful geld­ing and was des­per­ate to give the poor guy some re­lief. Our Texas sum­mers can be bru­tal for a hot, sweaty horse even with lots of shade.

My vet­eri­nar­ian, Melissa Hub­ble, DVM, checked Dancer’s diet, which was good, and none of our other horses were hav­ing this is­sue. She also checked Dancer’s ances­try and dis­cov­ered too much in­breed­ing---the same horses ap­peared too many times.

Dr. Hub­ble rec­om­mended a broad­spec­trum sup­ple­ment with lots of bi­otin and other key el­e­ments for the skin and coat. It took al­most a year for Dancer to grow a good hoof, but in the mean­time his skin and hair im­proved tremen­dously. He is no long rub­bing him­self, and there are no bald spots. Dancer’s coat is a bright, shiny cop­per, and he has an ex­cel­lent hoof. The only time I use a hoof dress­ing is to put a lit­tle mois­ture bar­rier on when it has been ex­tremely dry. A good hoof comes from in­side the horse. Lynda Ed­wards Mont­gomery, Texas

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