Sidebone in drafthorses.
Posted by Agathe at 2009-04-19 08:48:21
I am searching for the latest articles and reports about sidebone. I am especially interested in knowing more about nutrition and sidebone, and heritage/genes (since the latest Swedish reports based on 68 yrs of selective breeding of Ardennes show that even though the sire and dam doesn`t have sidebone,they still can get foals with it). All information is appreciated!
Response by Beth Valentine, DVM, PhD at 2009-04-20 10:15:02
Honestly, I haven't seen any recent work on sidebone (hardening of the lateral cartilages of the hooves) in horses. It's very common in heavier breeds such as drafts and warmbloods. In most cases it is not a cause of lameness. There are likely to be multiple factors leading to sidebone, including genetics, hoof conformation and biomechanics, etc. I don't think I've seen anyone relate it to nutrition but that could still play some role, especially on affecting how the hoof grows, how much the horse exercises, and how well it carries itself during locomotion. I'll check around and see if I can find any recent information.
Response by Agathe at 2009-04-27 15:45:59
Thanks that you are willing to help me find more information. I appretiate it a lot! Prof. Bowker is coming here next monday and tuesday, and I am going. I am planning to ask him the same questions. Btw: The reason I asked about nutrition is because some people in Australia is convinced that you can feed the problem away, sort of. I have huge doubts about that myself...
Response by Beth Valentine, DVM, PhD at 2009-04-29 11:15:50
Nutrition is unlikely to be the answer here, but I suppose it doesn't hurt to try to improve it!
Response by Butch Myers at 2009-05-05 11:28:14
Agatha , Is your horse shod ? I'm not preaching , but if it is ,you may be able to help it if you have the shoes removed and a good barefoot trimmer ,trim the hooves . Dr. Bowker is one of the best advocates for natural trimming ,as it improves the biomechanics of the lower leg . I attended a clinic where he spoke at one of Pete Ramey's meetings , he's very good .
Response by Agathe at 2009-05-18 09:56:08
Thanks for answers, everyone. My horses are not shod and are trimmed regularly, since I am an educated barehoof trimmer myself(under Dan Guerrera). Dr.Robert Bowker didn`t have a good answer for me, since sidebone is not his expert field. But he gave me some good advises in general and has also put me in contact with a Finnish veterinary in Helsinki that wrote her doctors degree about sidebone in Finnish horses. Her conclution was that genetics is only a small part, top of the ice berg so to speak. I am waiting for her respond now, and hoping to buy her book.
About nutrition; It is the well known specialist Pat Coleby that is convinced that nutrition is the ultimate key to avoid horses to develope sidebone. She even claims that horses that already HAVE sidebone, can get better after a time with special diet and supplements of vitamins and minerals etc. I have now bought her books, but must say I am still not convinced. I even wrote her a letter, to get her to give a better explanation of her experiences.
Thanks for every interest, and please continue to search around for more info. :-)
Response by Beth Valentine, DVM, PhD at 2009-05-18 21:13:06
I have read Pat Coleby's Natural Horse care so I know who this person is. I'd be very interested in hearing whether any healthy diet can change bone into something else :) The Finnish connection sounds intriguing - please let us know what you find out!
PO Box 2067, Cedar Rapids IA 52406-2067