Like us humans, our horses need iodine primarily for the formation of thyroid hormones. These influence the fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism and thus regulate the horse's basal metabolic rate. They also influence bone metabolism (increasing calcium and phosphate turnover), control the musculature as well as the nervous system and have an effect on oxygen consumption, blood pressure and body temperature.
Daily iodine requirement
The iodine requirement of horses is approximately between 0.3 and 0.5 mg per 100 kg body weight, depending on age and performance.
On the one hand, the iodine requirement decreases with increasing age. On the other hand the iodine requirement increases accordingly due to performance. For example, the requirement for a foal is 0.5 mg iodine per 100 kg, for an adult horse in the basic requirement 0.3 mg per day and for a horse that is worked daily 0.4 mg per day.
An iodine deficiency leads to a reduction in the basal metabolic rate and is recognisable by weight gain with a lack of appetite, fatigue, poor performance and coat problems. Low blood pressure can be another sign of iodine deficiency. In contrast to iodine deficiency, iodine excess leads to an increased synthesis of thyroid hormones, which manifests itself in the horse's emaciation despite good feed intake.