Bob Childs - ESA/AHA/PHCP Certified Hoof Specialist


Hair Mineral Testing
By admin | | Nutrition |

"Minerals reach hair via the blood so it’s going have similar limitations as blood testing since hormones control the levels of many of the minerals giving little indication of the status for the rest of the body. Dr Kellon VMD 'Hair mineral is not an accurate way to determine mineral status and is worthless for formulating the diet and supplements.' NRCPlus

The kidneys will rapidly excrete minerals when they are higher than a tight range, electrolytes like potassium are a good example. The liver can remove minerals before they reach hair. Hair testing can’t tell mineral balance even if the totals were credible as it doesn’t indicate whether it’s due to a deficiency in the first place or competition with another mineral or the body had a high need at that time. Hair can be useful for some heavy metals and selenium but from a nutrition point of view hair testing is not considered overall to be reliable."

Blood Mineral Testing
By admin | | Nutrition |

"Blood concentrations of minerals and electrolytes are not a reliable indicator of whole body status. Or to put it another way, a horse can have a normal blood level of a mineral/electrolyte but be severely deficient or be excessively over-supplemented. "

Iron Overload by Dr Eleanor Kellon

"The only way to accurately diagnose iron overload is with the correct blood work. Serum iron alone is not accurate. It reflects iron in the diet but not how much is stored. Transferrin is the protein that carries iron in the blood. When transferrin and iron are both measured, the percent transferrin saturation can be calculated by dividing serum iron by transferrin and multiplying by 100. That % is useful in interpreting the third test that is needed, ferritin. Ferritin is a measure of the body’s total iron content. High ferritin can mean iron overload but chronic disease involving inflammation or infection may also elevate ferritin.

With true iron overload, transferrin saturation is high normal or elevated. There is currently only one laboratory in the world that can measure equine ferritin, the comparative hematology laboratory at Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. "