The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of orally administered biotin on the healing of uncomplicated sole ulcers in dairy cattle. In a double-blind controlled study, 24 dairy cows with a mild, uncomplicated sole ulcer on a lateral hind claw were given either 40 mg biotin per day or a placebo feed over a period of 50 days. An orthopaedic shoe was fitted to the medial claw of the affected foot. The healing process was assessed clinically and by histological examination of horn samples. In the biotin-treated animals, the newly formed epidermis covering the sole ulcers was found to be of significantly better histological quality after 50 days than at the start of the study. The significant improvement in histological horn quality found in the biotin-treated animals suggests that biotin exerts a positive influence on the healing of sole ulcers, however the study period of 50 days appears to have been too short to permit macroscopic detection of the improvement in horn quality.
Copyright 2002 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.