Over the past five years, vet Stephen Ashdown has written many articles, spoken on equine matters and contributed widely to horse magazines.

Here he reproduces in the form of questions and answers about 100 topics, all of them common problems which afflict horses.

To access Topics click on Vet Advice Menu.

Hoof problems
Q: My 10 year old Hanoverian x Thoroughbred mare has very poor hoof growth, even with careful shoeing and the regular use of feed supplements.

When she is shod the farrier ends up having to nail into the same shoes and now she's torn off one of her rear shoes, taken some of the hoof with it. Are there any herbal supplements I could try to help improve the condition of her hooves?

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A: Your mare certainly seems to have a severe problem with her hooves. I would suggest that the problem is likely to be dietary, so it would be wise for you to try complementary supplements. We are having increasing success with food supplements based on an African cactus, used in conjunction with quite intensive mineral supplementation.

We use this cactus in the form of a mix. This contains natural biotin and improve the uptake of minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.

I also find a liver tonic useful to promote absorption of nutrients. In addition to using a mix you should improve general mineral availability by adding in a good broad spectrum formula with high absorbability.



If your question has not been covered adequately in the Vet Advice Topic Section, please feel free to start a thread in the Forum, and - time permitting - Stephen will endeavour to answer your question.