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  • Calcium



Calcium is probably one of the most well-known minerals in the equine diet. This is due mostly to its interaction with phosphorus in the Ca:P ratio and the big impacts that ratio can have on growing horses (and adult horses too!). 


 Many areas in the equine body require calcium – one of the most important is bone, which is approximately 35% calcium in the horse.

  • However, calcium also has other roles in the equine body:
  • It plays a role in muscle contraction, by activating potassium ion channels.
  • It plays a role in cell membrane functions, allowing certain things to pass through the membrane while restricting others.
  • It regulates many enzymes in the equine body. 

Though calcium has many functions in the equine body, approximately 99% of it is found in bone.

In growing horses, calcium deficiency can have severe consequences. It often leads to problems with growing bones, leading to diseases such as osteopenia, which is characterized by crooked long bones and enlarged joints. Metabolic bone disease (MBD), which is a general term for many bone disorders caused by different diseases, can also be caused by calcium deficiency.

It can also lead to a shifting lameness in horses.

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