Equine nutrition is an important component of the healthy longevity of all breeds of horses. Do you think your horse's diet needs improvement through a multivitamin or other supplement? Read this article to learn more about the common signs of equine vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Coat and Skin
Horses with certain dietary deficiencies may experience various problems with the coat and skin. The coat may start to become lackluster or appear as though faded from the sun. Dry skin can also indicate a poor diet.
Poor hoof health can be caused by many factors. Environment, maintenance, diet, and work routine all play an important role in the condition of horse hooves. Biotin and amino acids are a common supplement used to improve the strength of the walls. A Vitamin A deficiency may also cause deformed or brittle hooves.
Bones, Joints, and Muscles
As horses age, many will experience brittle bones and sore joints and muscles. However, improving the horse's diet can often either eliminate or greatly reduce swelling and pain.
The eyes are a highly valuable and often under-protected aspect of equine health. Certain deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can cause keratinization of the cornea, catarrhal conjunctivitis, photophobia, and even blindness. Check your horse regularly for eye health. Look for a hazy film, oozing fluids, and frequent blinking or aversion to light as signs something may be wrong.
How to Help
If you suspect your horse has a deficiency in diet, it's best to seek the expert care of a professional veterinarian. Nutrition is not the only culprit that may cause the conditions listed above. Also, excesses of certain vitamins and minerals in the diet may also cause problems.
If your equine doctor suggests a multivitamin, fish oil, or other supplement be sure to ask for his/her recommendation on a specific dosage and brand.
Disclaimer: This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any equine condition or disease. Always refer to your licensed veterinarian for a complete check-up if you suspect poor health.
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