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JulietMacie
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 Posted: Tue Feb 10th, 2015 07:44 pm
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Hi Pauline and DarlingLil. I haven't done the heel padding experiment yet but will today or tomorrow and report back. And Yes! I'd like to discuss nutrition! I'll write up her current nutritional profile for you as soon as possible. As for metabolic issues, this is something I looked into with the vet last Spring when I showed him the red line in her front feet. He took a blood sample and reassured me that there were no metabolic problems indicated. Although he had no other explanation for the red line. I don't have the report with me at the moment, but I can tell you the test results when I report back with the padding and nutrition info. The vet is coming this Friday and I'm going to have him do x-rays of all 4 feet. Hopefully, we'll be able to get to the bottom of this! Thanks so much for your help. --Juliet

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2015 01:31 am
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Juliet, I am going to request that Pauline guide you through this, but want to respond to your repeated question about what the red line is. I assume you're talking about the arc-shaped redness that follows the "white line" at the toes of the forefeet. Redness is always due to effusion of blood, and redness in this area indicates that there is some tearing-away of the capsular toe (the tubules of the toe, the "insensitive laminae") from the sensitive laminae to which they should be attached. Bleeding occurs from small vessels lining the folds of the sensitive laminae when the two layers tear apart.

What is causing this tearing remains to be seen. I assure you that it isn't the trim; your farrier is doing an excellent job, so I agree with Pauline that we need to see XRays and review diet and supplementation. This is going to be a tough one in all likelihood, because out in New England as you are, generally speaking there is ready availability of Timothy and/or Orchard Grass/Cocksfoot that are usually quite benign, indeed the best grasses for horses that can be found anywhere. Much will depend upon how heavily you depend upon alfalfa, and perhaps also on the type of soil you're on. One thing Pauline is going to want to know is whether dairy farmers or beef raisers in your immediate neighborhood need to give their cows a selenium injection before they calve. Also, whether grass tetany is a common occurrence; these are things that the local cattle vet will be able to tell you.

As to the horse being sore right after a trim -- again I agree with Pauline that this is not normal and it certainly is not desirable. However, it is common for farriers, in their desire to "clean the foot up properly", to take more sole out with the knife than they really need to. This will to a degree be visible on the XRays. Pauline's question as to whether it occurs every time is germaine, as is whether she's unsound or less sound on certain types of substrate, i.e. sand vs. packed dirt vs. gravel road or driveway.

Onward and upward with this -- Dr. Deb

Evermore
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 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2015 02:58 am
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Dr Deb - I don't know if this will be of any interest but I have followed this thread and Pauline's protocol with good results. However, for my location and my horse, the final piece of the puzzle has been eliminating all controllable sources of iron from his diet. I live in a high iron area. Not sure if it relates to Juliet's issues.

Thank you.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2015 05:59 am
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Thanks, Evermore....this is exactly the kind of information that's always needed but usually lacking. Plants, meaning in this case the foodstuffs that the horse eats, cannot absorb anything not present in the soil they're grown in. Many types of forages have wide tolerances, meaning that they can be seriously deficient in certain minerals and/or other nutrients and still grow and be reaped and made into hay. Likewise, if forages are grown on soil that has very high percentages of certain minerals and/or nutrients, they may soak those up to a degree that makes an otherwise benign feedstuff actually become toxic to the horse.

The one and only certain way to know this is to have both the soil and the feed tested; and sometimes, this must be done repeatedly, i.e. at different soil depths (depending on how porous the soil is), or at different times of year. Ditto for the feeds themselves; one test may not prove all.

Obviously this is not only a nuisance, but can get to be expensive. Therefore, we also look for symptomatology, and in general, this is how we actually figure out what's going on. So you monitor your neighbor's cows and you talk to him or her about any supplements or other feed regimens that they feel are necessary or alternatively to be avoided, and you talk to your local cattle vet who will know all about it. Then you also talk to the older-type ranchers or farmers who keep horses and see if they're experiencing anything like y ou're seeing with your horse, and what they do about it if anything.

This may only elicit what seems like incidental data, but actually it's that one little piece of supposedly irrelevant info that may be just what Pauline needs to hear, or will suggest an idea or a direction.

I think Juliet's problem with soreness immediately after a trim is rather common; I've experienced it with Ollie and I know I'm not alone. I have less trouble -- in other words, he's sore for fewer days and less sore overall -- if I remind my farrier to take minimum sole with the knife, i.e. take ONLY the loose flaky material and do not get down into the "raw potato". This helps but it isn't the whole picture and I'm just as eager to hear what Pauline has to suggest as Juliet and everybody else is.

This is also why I listen far more to Pauline than to some of my other friends who have been concerned with these types of problems -- Pauline recognizes, where the others do not seem to, that everything in fact ultimately depends upon the soil type, which means that solutions to these kinds of problems absolutely must be different in different regions of one country and in different countries. General principles will apply but the specifics will almost certainly be different! -- Dr. Deb

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Wed Feb 11th, 2015 07:48 pm
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Hi Dr. Deb, thank you for the explanation of the red line. I'm in the process of gathering all the nutritional info for Pauline but wanted to add that my farrier definitely took more sole than usual in this last trim. I'm reassured by your assessment of his work as I've been using him with no problems ever since I bought Macie 8 years ago. The situation with her feet (red line, contracting under-run heels, deep central sulcus) began to develop about 2 years ago after I moved her from my home to the barn where she currently lives. Before that move my farrier's typical comment about her feet was "great textbook feet!". In my nutritional report to Pauline, I'm going to try and detail everything that changed when I moved her to her current home. -- Juliet

Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2015 08:15 am
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Soil type; exactly according to my shoer, the soil here in Oregon- east and west- dry side and wet side is loaded with iron and manganese, which she says binds with the iron. So the nicer looking eastern Oregon grass hay picks up iron and manganese from the soil and the local hay here in the western part of the state does the same. This would explain why sidekick showed a toxic level of manganese in late October of 1.722, when a normal range of manganese ranges from.675 to 1.626. So my question then becomes if the manganese is high and binds to iron how come iron only showed up at 31.3. The report says the normal iron range should go from 13.8 to 42.1. So am I correct to think the iron is ok. In the same hair test sidekick also showed an arsenic level of .032 with the report saying the normal arsenic level should be no higher than .034. I surmise the arsenic came from his eating treated wood. Lots of commercial lumber nowadays is treated with arsenic to prevent termite infestation. The hair test Vet felt sidekicks recurring skin issues- scratches, hives and mud fever were made worse by a weakened immune system caused he felt by the high arsenic level and toxic level of manganese. Also the report said he was deficient in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and chromium. So the hair test Vet mixed up a supplement, to even out the deficiencies, along with chelation material to help remove the manganese and arsenic. The other question I have is does chelation really work?
Finally had some pictures taken riding sidekick, they came back dark and out of focus. So I'll see what I can do to get some better ones taken.
best wishes
Bruce Peek

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2015 10:05 am
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Perhaps this is a good time to discuss mineral supplementation in a little more detail. The concept of doing soil and forage tests and then supplementing to make up for any deficiencies is very appealing, and has certainly improved the overall health of many horses. It is also useful for revealing toxic levels of any one element. However, I have yet to see that approach transform a weak hoof into a structurally strong hoof.

As Dr Deb has explained, frequent repeat testing of soils and pasture/forage is just not practical or affordable for most horse owners. Soil and plant chemistry is extremely complex; mineral profile alone does not give a complete picture of nutrients available to the horse as other factors such as pH and anion/cation ratios are also involved. Added to that is the even more complex interaction with the individual biochemistry of each animal consuming the forage.

Even if we all did have free access to an analytical laboratory, that would still not tell us everything we need to know as it does not, and cannot, take into account the internal digestive efficiency of every individual horse in a multitude of different external environments. As Dr Deb has said, we have no real choice but to rely on local knowledge and the evidence of our own eyes when looking at our own horses.

A good example is my own soils and pasture. Although the soil test showed low iron, the pasture test of the same day showed high iron so some other element or factor must be causing the plants to accumulate iron. Pasture copper, zinc and calcium is very low but magnesium and potassium is high, yet I do not need to supplement copper, zinc or calcium but do need to supplement magnesium.

In conventional ‘mineral balancing’ terms, this makes no sense at all. Theory must be abandoned when the real experts, the horses themselves, are telling me loud and clear what they need. They ‘tell’ me by the strength and function of their feet, particularly old Rory whose chronically weak, tender feet transformed at age 20 into the consistently strong feet he still has at age 24. (See comparative photos on the next post about trimming).

Other horses in different regions or different countries, or even my horses moved to a different paddock over the hill, will likely have subtly but importantly different needs. In my experience, a one-size-fits-all mineral formula or a forage-customized formula just does not work despite pervasive and persuasive advertising to the contrary. We have to learn to evaluate each horse individually, and even then there will be some horses for whom nothing will work perfectly as prior damage to their feet is too great.

Pauline

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2015 10:10 am
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Another lesson received from my own horses is the matter of not removing sole tissue unless absolutely necessary. I’m glad you raised this issue, Dr Deb, because it’s something that appears to happen frequently and doesn’t help the horse.

When I first started to trim, over a dozen years ago, I was taught to remove all calloused areas to produce a smooth, even surface over the whole sole. Although difficult to remove, I dutifully did this but invariably noticed that some areas of hard callousing, especially the ‘lumps & bumps’ around the frog tip, would rebuild within days. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that if sole material was rebuilding so quickly, it must be there for a purpose, so stopped removing those hard lumps of built-up callous. From that point on, I never had a horse with any post-trim tenderness so assumed that a thick layer of calloused sole was necessary to protect the live sole and inner soft tissues – just as my ungloved hands develop calloused areas with regular use of gardening tools. It makes no sense to remove protective callousing in either horse or human.

Years later I was very surprised to see that for the first time Rory had shed all the layers of protective callousing in all four feet. The newly exposed sole was much closer to the ‘raw potato’ live sole than I had ever trimmed in earlier years, so I had never before seen the dark spots of pigment right around the hoof (he has striped feet). This happened in October 2010 during an intense wet period that followed a prolonged dry period. Although his feet were wet and soft, he was completely comfortable on all surfaces, even stones, but I expected the sole callousing would return once the rain cleared.

It did not return, and never has since then. More than four years later, I can still see that ring of dark pigment even in dry weather. The photos below show the same hoof over ten years.

1. The December 2005 photo shows a hoof with a significant amount of lumpy sole callousing, wall separation and poor structure. He was sound on gravel only because the extended drought conditions were masking the innate weakness of the foot.
2. The October 2010 photo shows the newly exposed ring of dark pigmentation on the sole; all sole callousing has disappeared. Sound on all surfaces. This was about 6 weeks after switching from magnesium oxide to magnesium chloride in his diet and about 2 weeks after eliminating all sources of supplemental calcium.
3. The 3rd photo was taken today, about a week after the last trim. Sole pigmentation is still visible; he is still sound on all surfaces regardless of wet or dry conditions.

My trimming style did not change in those 10 years; the improvement to overall hoof structure and function was entirely due to diet change. This experience has been repeated with many horses so I have to believe that sole callousing is there to protect a weak or thin sole, and that it will disappear by itself when it is no longer needed by the horse.

Pauline

Attachment: Rory LF.jpg (Downloaded 300 times)

Last edited on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 10:16 am by Pauline Moore

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Thu Feb 12th, 2015 07:36 pm
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Pauline, this issue of sole callus is very interesting and something I've wondered about since my mare has never really built up significant sole calluses yet many of the pictures of hooves show them. Macie has always had somewhat concave, "raw potato" looking soles. Her farrier typically doesn't remove any sole but did so this time in his effort to shorten her toe more than usual. I'm almost done with gathering my nutritional info and will post that later today.

--Juliet

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2015 12:27 am
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Juliet, if your farrier takes his loop-knife out of the toolbox at all, then you can bet that he has been removing sole. Very few farriers on earth would feel good about leaving the foot in the condition you see in Pauline's no. 1 photo on the lefthand side of the series. This is because the farrier is trained when he goes to farrier school to believe that leaving all that callus would be a "bad" job, i.e. not "cleaning the foot up" enough, or at all. This is where Pauline is somewhat revolutionary, though not entirely unique; many a farmer and rancher knows to do the same, in other words, if they're not lame, then leave them alone. However, in the rural situation this is often also accompanied by a failure to trim the edge of the horn, so that the lower part of the foot looks ragged and often also is seen to be warping away from the sole.

In some ways here, you're caught between a rock and a hard place -- the effort to take the toe back is absolutely necessary, if you intend to keep the horse barefoot. The alternative, as I suggested above, is to use Gene Ovnicek's snub-toed shoes, which would instantly relieve the pressure on the toes which is causing the red lines, and would probably also instantly make the horse sound.

That would not let you off the hook with doing Pauline's protocols as to magnesium and chromium supplementation, and dietary changes as to removing calcium. This is because although the shoes are humane as being effective at relieving pain, reducing internal bleeding and/or stresses and/or tearing, they are to be regarded to some degree as being like Bute -- ameliorative but not curative. However, I will add that stub-toed shoes CAN actually create improvements in hoof shape and DO encourage the foot to grow properly.

So CAN boots, if you get the boots and pads working just right.

One of the bottom lines that, in the current enthusiasm for "no shoes, no nails", needs to not get forgotten is this -- that not only are the "ecological" conditions such as soil type and the nutritional content of feedstuffs, the presence of poisonous plants in the pasture and so forth important, so are the "economic" conditions. These include your time commitment -- in other words, how many days per week are you in the habit of being at the barn? Also your situation -- do you keep your horses right at home with you as Pauline does, or do you board/agist, so that there is a drive with a gasoline expense involved? And your budget for appliances, farriery, supplements and so forth must be considered. If we do not consider these things, we are just as remiss as if we had not paid attention to the quality of the feed.

The truth is that shoes, or shoes and pads if necessary -- demand much less of the person's time and money than do boots and pads. On the downside, they are less flexible; so that if what is needed is little daily adjustments that the person makes herself by rasping and/or adjusting the padding, then you must use boots and pads. To me, a sensible program would be to begin with boots and pads along with Pauline's Cr/Mg/no Ca regimen, and then judge by the degree of improvement whether shoes should thereafter be considered. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a horse in shoes or shoes and pads, if that's what the workload on the horse, the footing, and the horse itself tells you it needs. -- Dr. Deb

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Fri Feb 13th, 2015 07:39 am
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Hello Dr. Deb, I think I'd prefer to go with your recommendation to try boots/pads along with Pauline's recommended nutritional changes and see how far that goes toward fixing the problem. I'm up for the effort involved in boots and pads and more importantly I want, if at all possible, to get to the root cause of this and won't be content with treating the symptom. It seems logical to me that since this wasn't a problem for the first 9 years of her life, something has changed that is causing her feet to show these symptoms. I'd really like to understand what those changes are and fix them!

So, to that end, Pauline, here is what goes in her mouth (sorry, if I've erred on the side of too much detail!):

The changes in her feet started about the time I moved her to the barn where she currently resides. This was about 2 years ago and prior to that she lived at my house. The changes that were introduced around the time of the move were:
    new footing: we mostly ride in an indoor arena on a sand on top of hardpack crushed stone footing, we used to ride exclusively on trails and in fields
    new water: however both the barn and home water supplies are from dug wells and the two wells are only a few miles apart. If you think it’s a good idea, I’ll get the water tested.
    hay: this is unchanged since I supply her hay and have been buying from the same local farmer since I bought her 8 years ago. I spoke to a local dairy farmer who I know to be very knowledgeable about soil and forage. She wrote: "All hilltown (our area of Western Massachusetts) soils are generally deficient in calcium, and any regularly harvested hayfield that is not fertilized at least annually is definitely deficient in sulfur and boron.  If it is a nutritional problem related to hay, it shouldn't matter whether the hay is from Hawley or Ashfield or Shelburne or Heath or anywhere - what would matter would be a fertilizer/lime/trace mineral program. I know Jim Scott (the farmer I buy my hay from) fertilizes his hayfields with cow manure. I doubt very much that he spreads anything else (lime or trace minerals). ... a lot of people will skimp on fertility if they know they will be selling to horse owners. In case groundwater does matter - it's pretty minerally here (calcium, not iron)"
    pasture: at her current barn she has access to some grass during the summer months but it’s overgrazed and there’s not much of it. When she lived at my home she had access to as much grass as she wanted during the day but was in a dry lot/run in shed at night. My pasture is a typical New England unimproved pasture: mostly orchard grass with some timothy and lesser amounts of smooth bromegrass, tall fescue, perennial rye, and quack grass. There are probably plenty of other plants in there that I’m not aware of but in the 5+ years she was living in that pasture she never had any problems other than being a little overweight.
    supplements: since moving to the barn, she been getting 1 oz per day of Farnum VitaPlus. Here’s the analysis per ounce:
    Crude Protein (min) 10.00%
    Lysine (min) 0.50%
    Methionine (min) 0.20%
    Crude Fat (min) 8.00%
    Crude Fiber (max) 12.00%
    Calcium (min) 638 mg
    Calcium (max) 780 mg
    Phosphorous (min) 425 mg
    Salt (min) 567 mg
    Salt (max) 709 mg
    Potassium (min) 241 mg
    Magnesium (min) 12.5 mg
    Iodine (min) 1 mg
    Zinc (min) 20 mg
    Iron (min) 100 mg
    Cobalt (min) 0.05 mg
    Copper (min) 4.0 mg
    Manganese (min) 10 mg
    Selenium (min) 10 mcg
    Vitamin A (min) 25,000 I.U.
    Vitamin D3 (min) 2,500 I.U.
    Vitamin E (min) 25 I.U.
    Vitamin B12 (min) 200 mcg
    Riboflavin (min) 25 mg
    D-Pantothenic Acid (min) 62.5 mg
    Thiamine (min) 12.5 mg
    Niacin (min) 125 mg
    Vitamin B6 (min) 5 mg
    Choline (min) 106 mg

    Ingredients: Ground corn, dehydrated alfalfa meal, wheat middlings, soybean oil, dried whey, lysine, dl-methionine, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12supplement, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, potassium iodide, choline chloride, ground limestone, salt, monocalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, cobalt sulfate, propionic acid (as preservative).
    Magnesium--for the past year or so she’s also been getting supplemental magnesium. I use Ancient Minerals and she gets 2T solution of a 1:2 crystals:water solution or about 23.375 grams of MgCl/day
    Since moving her to her current barn she’s been getting about 3 grams/day of Mare Magic which is dried Raspberry Leaf or (Rubus Idaeus)
    Salt: She has a redmond salt block in her paddock and a himalayan salt rock hanging in her stall. This hasn't really changed from home to barn.

Also, I tried the temporary duct tape pads on her hind feet and didn't really notice much difference in her movement. Tomorrow I'm getting her feet x-rayed and asking my vet for his ideas about what's going on. Thank you for any advice you can provide and please let me know if there's anything else I can tell you or try!

--Juliet

Pauline Moore
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 Posted: Sat Feb 14th, 2015 01:56 pm
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Hi Juliet
There can never be too much detail when trying to figure out what has changed in a horse’s environment that might then have created changes in the feet, so thanks for all the work. I view the feet as a built-in barometer that signals the overall metabolic health of the horse; if the feet are strong and functioning optimally, there’s a good chance the whole horse is equally healthy.

Great that you did the experiment with raising the hind heels. Providing the radiographs do not show anything significant, it’s likely we can knock low palmar angle off the list of possible problems and concentrate on the front feet. Macie appears to have intrinsically good feet so I doubt there will be much difficulty in restoring them to full function.

Visible blood in the white line at ground level can occur as a result of mechanical leverage on a long toe, as Dr Deb described previously. However, I’ve seen many shockingly neglected feet with horrifyingly long toes and stretched white lines – but no blood. Conversely, I’ve also seen many well-trimmed feet with short toes that do have blood in the white line, so clearly there are other factors involved.

I’ll digress here for a moment to relate a recent experience with one of my own horses, a 10-yr old who rarely gets a mention because there’s never anything wrong with him. He’s an easy-keeper type with very strong feet who’s never had a long toe in his life. This horse has always needed less magnesium than my other two (based on manure consistency and lack of any deficiency signs) so I was rather shocked to see blood in the white line of the toe area in all four feet when I trimmed late last year. There had been no change to his movement or willingness to heel-strike on any surface, or any other magnesium deficiency signs that might have alerted me to the impending issue. However, I had become complacent and did not notice that his manure pellets had become harder/smaller. That should have been a warning sign that something had changed as this horse had thrived on the same small amount of magnesium for several years. I immediately increased his daily magnesium and was happy to see at the next trim that most of the blood had disappeared. The support of his strong digital cushions and lateral cartilages prevented any lasting lamellar damage but this experience is a timely reminder that no horse is exempt from the need for daily monitoring.

Back to Macie – comments below on each of your list of items.

Footing
The footing itself should not make any difference, but would you say that Macie gets more or less movement/exercise now than she did before the move?

Water
Water testing might be good as wells or bores quite close together can provide completely different water if they are drilled to different depths. Perhaps save this for later if needed, as a good rule-of-thumb guide to alkaline mineral content will be if there is any build-up of crusty lime deposits on taps etc?

Hay
If you are using the same hay as previously, that is not likely to be the main culprit so we can probably forget about hay. I was intrigued by the comments about soil calcium deficiency but high calcium groundwater in the same area – unusual.

Pasture
Pasture forage is also unlikely to be a huge issue, especially as she seemed to cope with an abundance previously, including the perennial rye which is often a problem.

Concentrated feed
I could not find an ingredient list on the link, but there may be one on the bag itself. However, even without that the 22% NSC level is way too high. Maximum non-structural carbohydrate levels of around 10% to 12% are usually recommended for easy-keepers or laminitis prone horses.

The calcium content of around 1% (ie 6.8g of calcium in 1.5lbs) is also likely a problem as it will be reducing magnesium absorption.

Supplements
This product contains another 638mg of calcium per daily feed (making 7.4g calcium from concentrate + supplement alone).

Dr Tom Levy (Death by Calcium) states that adult humans need only 250mg of calcium per day from all dietary sources, any excess being toxic. The official recommendation is for a daily intake of 1000mg. The official recommendation for adult horses is 20 grams per day from all sources. If we extrapolate the same ratio to horses, their ‘real’ need may be somewhere around 5 grams per day (this is not researched or proven but certainly accords with my own observations over several years).

Forgetting about calcium from pasture intake as it’s too hard to calculate for Macie, but looking at likely intake from hay at about 0.3%, Macie is probably consuming around 27g of calcium from her daily 20lbs of hay. (Average grass hay calcium content of approx. 0.3% x 20lbs hay (2% bodyweight 1000lb horse) = 27g calcium).

So, we are up to around 34g of calcium per day from all food sources, plus whatever is in the drinking water if it is a high-calcium source.

Magnesium in the supplement is 12.5mg from gut-irritating magnesium sulphate. We don’t know how much is in the concentrate feed or what form. Magnesium from grass hay is not likely to be more than half of the calcium content, let’s say 14g for Macie from her daily hay. Elemental magnesium content of Ancient Minerals magnesium chloride is about 12% so Macie will be getting less than 3g of magnesium from that. Total magnesium from feed, hay and supplements could be as low as 18g per day.

In summary, Macie will be getting around twice as much calcium as magnesium from her overall diet – just what is officially recommended, but the exact opposite of Dr Levy’s findings with people and my experiences with thousands of horses worldwide. Perhaps Macie is telling us that this inverted ratio does not work for her either.

I’ve found that it is almost impossible to achieve meaningful improvement in hoof structure unless all sources of excess calcium are eliminated. Simply adding magnesium to an existing diet rarely produces any great difference.

If you would like to try something different, I would suggest you replace the concentrate feed with a feed that is less than 12% total NSC. Others have told me it is hard to find unprocessed feeds in USA so it may be difficult to find something that is low NSC and also has no added calcium. Many low NSC feeds are soy based which creates its own set of problems. I’ve reported previously how well horses do with copra coconut meal and I believe this is now available in some areas of the US, but perhaps there is something else locally.

Most horses do not need any form of supplement other than magnesium chloride, chromium, iodine and unrefined sea salt. If your local soils are deficient in boron, that could also be worth adding. If Macie does not get any fresh grass, then maybe Vitamin E would be a good idea. You might also consider giving her a good quality kelp supplement to make up for what she’s missing from grass. Look for an organic cold-fermented liquid kelp with a stated iodine content if possible

You might find that Chastetree berry would be more effective than raspberry leaf, but with the reduced NSC content of a new feed she might not need anything.

We can talk about boots & pads after we’ve seen the radiographs; I have a hunch she may not need them, or at least not for long.

Anytime I see horses with badly deformed and collapsed feet, I’ll recommend the owner stays with shoes for a few months as I know the horse will not cope even with boots. Not only is it unethical to leave a horse in pain, it also prevents rehabilitation of the foot as the horse will be unable to use the foot properly. Those few months give time for diet change/magnesium to initiate growth of a stronger lamellar connection from the coronet down. By the time that new growth is about half-way down the foot, the horse may be OK to transition to boots and pads before finally being completely sound barefoot some time later.

Macie does not have badly deformed feet so I’m hopeful she will become comfortable quite quickly once the source of the problem has been eliminated, and the farrier persuaded to leave his knife in the toolbox.

Best wishes
Pauline

JulietMacie
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 Posted: Sun Feb 15th, 2015 11:26 pm
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Hello Pauline,

thank you for your detailed and informative post. I truly appreciate your generous help with my horse. Below I have a couple of answers to your questions and some more questions about carrying out your recommendations.

x-rays: I saw the vet on Friday (day before yesterday) but it was too cold for his x-ray machine to work! (it continues to be a brutal winter here). I’m going to reschedule with him as soon as it warms up a little. He did hoof-testing with the big pincers and found no tenderness or pain in her feet. He was rather at a loss as to what’s causing the red line but guessed that it’s bruising from the toe-striking.

treats: I currently give her an apple or a couple of carrots whenever I see her which is between 4 and 6 times/week. Should I stop doing this? or are there other treats that would be better for her?

exercise: she gets more exercise since moving to the barn, but her work load is still quite light.

concentrated feed: I’ll replace her SafeChoice with cocoanut copra which I think I can find locally. But I wanted to ask you about whole oats instead of the copra. They’re less expensive and easier to find -- would these be a suitable replacement? if not, I'll go with the CoolStance copra. I’m assuming I should do a gradual replacement over 7 - 10 days, right? and follow suggested amount per day.

magnesium chloride: I’ll stick with the Ancient Minerals solution, but can you recommend an amount per day? or should I follow the “increase until her poops are soft” technique?

chromium-yeast: I’ve ordered this and will feed as per your website: 5 grams (1 tsp) per day.

kelp: I couldn’t find liquid kelp except as a plant fertilizer. Would this be a suitable substitute? http://www.4source.com/products/sourceoriginal.shtml I can buy this locally so it would be convenient. Also, would .5 oz/day (the manufacturer’s recommended dosage) of this take care of her iodine needs?

Unless you say otherwise, I’ll hold off on the Vitamin E, boron and chasteberry for now until I see what these other changes do.

I'm going out of town for a week starting Tuesday 2/17, so I won't start making these changes till I get back on 2/24. I'll be in touch after that and tell you what I see.

thanks again,
Juliet

Pauline Moore
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Joined: Fri Mar 23rd, 2007
Location: Crows Nest, Australia
Posts: 273
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 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2015 03:34 pm
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Hi Juliet
Will be good to get the radiographs done when the weather permits, probably no great urgency. In my experience, localised spots of blood in the white line can be due to bruising, from toe-striking or other forms of trauma, but the uniform spread of blood from quarter to quarter on both feet that Macie displayed suggests stress or minute tearing of the lamella.

Treats: I'd suggest giving her a couple of chunks of carrot rather than a couple of whole carrots, at least until her feet are better.

Concentrated feed: Oats can be up to 45% starch so that would be worse than her current processed feed. You can feed as much or as little copra as necessary to maintain ideal weight. A cupful or two might be enough if Macie is an easy-keeper - just keep an eye on her weight and adjust accordingly. You could mix the copra with timothy pellets or some other form of fibre and add all her supplements into that. For large quantities it's best to mix with water also. As always, change the feed slowly over a couple of weeks.

Magnesium chloride: I would suggest staying with the existing amount while you are changing the feed, but then monitor her manure consistency to determine whether she needs more or less. Incidentally, extremes of cold weather can increase need for magnesium.

Chromium: Just check on the product packaging for suggested dosage as not all chromium yeast products contain the same amount of elemental chromium.

Kelp: This product should be OK provided the manufacturer can verify the source weed is grown in unpolluted waters. Heavy metals contamination is a huge issue for all of us, our horses no less so. The iodine content may be enough to prevent goitre, but may not be enough for whole-body iodine needs. This is a controversial area so everyone needs to make their own decision after reading the research.

Pauline

JulietMacie
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Joined: Tue Jun 25th, 2013
Location: Ashfield, Massachusetts USA
Posts: 96
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Mar 23rd, 2015 05:15 am
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Hello Pauline,

I’ve been waiting to report until I felt a degree of certainty about what I was seeing. I now feel fairly confident that things are moving in a good direction. Macie’s been on her new diet since March 1st: copra with supplemental magnesium, chromium and kelp along with hay and salt. Her feet were last trimmed March 5th, which was four weeks since her previous trim. The farrier did much less this time, mostly just taking her heels back a little. The photo of her hoof was taken today, two and half weeks since her trim on 3/5.

Her movement seems freer to me and once warmed up, she appears to be landing more heel-first (see fuzzy photo). The red line is still there but I think it’s not as intense or distinct -- it’s sort of hard to tell though. When I bring her in from her pasture where she’s been standing on snow, her feet are very clean and the line is pretty apparent. The photo in this post is of her foot after working in the sand arena so her feet are dirty and the line is harder to see. I’m wondering how to interpret this line: is it a current redness, or is it possibly a “growing out” redness? in other words, could the redness be from the past and is just now growing out to her sole and becoming visible? If her new diet is helping, would the redness be gone? or do you think this would take some time? Thanks for any insights and info!

--Juliet

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