Effect of environmental conditions on degree of hoof wall hydration in horses

Hampson, Brian A., de Laat, Melody A., Mills, Paul C., & Pollitt, Chris C. (2012) Effect of environmental conditions on degree of hoof wall hydration in horses. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 73(3), pp. 435-438.

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Objective: To determine the effect of various environmental conditions on the degree of hydration in hoof wall horn tissue from feral horses and investigate the effect of short-term foot soaking on moisture content in hoof wall and sole tissue in domestic horses.

Animals: 40 feral horses from 3 environments (wet and boggy [n = 10], partially flooded [20], and constantly dry desert [10]) and 6 nonferal Quarter Horses.

Procedures: The percentage of moisture content of hoof wall samples from feral horses was measured in vitro. In a separate evaluation, the percentage of moisture content of hoof wall and sole tissue was measured in the dry and soaked forefeet of Quarter Horses.

Results: Mean ± SD percentage of moisture content was 29.6 ± 5.1%, 29.5 ± 5.8%, and 29.5 ± 2.9% for feral horses from the wet and boggy, partially flooded, and constantly dry desert environments, respectively. Moisture content did not differ among the 3 groups, nor did it differ between dry and soaked hoof wall samples from nonferal horses. However, soaking in water for 2 hours resulted in a significant increase in the percentage of moisture content of the sole.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Environmental conditions do not appear to affect moisture content in the hoof wall horn. Soaking horses' feet regularly in water would be unlikely to change the degree of hydration in the hoof wall horn but may further hydrate the sole.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 59588
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Environmental Conditions, Hydration, Hoof Wall Horn Tissue, Feral Horses, Foot Soaking, Moisture Content
DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.73.3.435
ISSN: 0002-9645
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 02 May 2013 22:34
Last Modified: 06 May 2013 01:37

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