Sometimes farriers recommend hoof care feed additives that have high inclusion levels of Biotin to promote hoof growth and improve hoof strength in horses that have weak/brittle hooves. Research indicates that optimal inclusion of Biotin is 15mg per dose. If inclusion rate is too high, excess Biotin will be passed in the horse’s urine, as the horse will only absorb what it needs.
This applies to all feed additives that contain vitamins or ingredients that serve a purpose in the horse’s diet, such as promoting hoof growth or collagen synthesis.
Spend a little time doing some research on supplementation. It’s always good to have an idea of what vitamins/ingredients should be in your product (with the optimal inclusion levels) and what shouldn’t be included.
Check the composition of feed additives you are buying or looking to buy! For long-term benefit and to get full value of the product, it’s vital to have a product with the optimal inclusion rate of key ingredients. Inclusion levels lower than the optimum inclusion level will result in low efficacy, and inclusion levels higher than the optimum level will result in wastage as excess is passed through the horse’s urine.
Dosages are generally stated on product labels. This is normally formulated in accordance with the composition of the total product, ensuring that correct inclusion levels of each ingredient are included in the prescribe dose. Stick to the dosage – do not under-dose or overdose! Under-dosing (giving less than the prescribed dose) again means low efficacy as inclusion levels are now reduced, and overdosing (giving more than the prescribed dose) will result in wastage.
Is there an exception to the rule? If you own a horse that is well below or well over the average sized horse, you could adjust the dosage accordingly. This should preferably be done with the assistance of your veterinarian.
Lesson: Feed the prescribed dose of a product that is correctly formulated. Don’t throw away money on products (which are generally expensive) if you or the product will be under-dosing or overdosing.