top of page

SPECIAL FEATURE: Supplements and kidney failure


Kidney failure

The kidney is an essential organ for the horse, as it is for humans. It ensures the filtration of the blood and thus makes it possible to get rid of a large number of undesirable substances and waste produced by the body. It also participates in maintaining the balance of the internal environment, essential to life, by controlling the volume and composition of bodily fluids. The kidneys act as a filter for the body. Toxins, but also excess chemical and drug compounds are transported by the blood to the kidneys, then evacuated by the urine. 

When the kidneys are not working to their full potential, it can be said to become clogged, like a swimming pool filter. The blood then thickens and causes circulatory disorders. The accumulated toxins stored in the bladders create urinary tract infections which can sometimes go up to the kidneys themselves. This is called pyelonephritis. 

How to recognize a kidney disorder in horses? 


Your horse will more easily arch its back to relieve itself of the pain caused by the kidney disorder. He will stay camped longer before he manages to urinate, and sometimes will keep his hind legs stretched out even after he's finished. Urine also sometimes changes color and has a strong odor.


When the toxins can no longer be evacuated by the kidneys, the body finds other evacuation routes, such as the pores of the skin. Your horse may then show hair loss, pimples or scabs, or dermatitis, if the phenomenon is generalized. The hair is generally dull.


The other escape route for troubled kidneys is the feet. The toxins are sent to the foot which is porous and constitutes an exit route. The forks can then lose condition, show signs of rotting and smell bad. When the blood is too thick and the blood circulation is disturbed, the tissues of the feet are no longer properly irrigated and necrotize. The inflammatory process tends to regenerate these tissues as best they can, we then speak of laminitis.


The most effective way for the body to detox is to fast. In the event of a significant kidney disorder, your horse therefore naturally loses its appetite. It also has a high level of acidity in the body, due to the toxins present in the body. This can lead to ulcers, sometimes accompanied by noisy and painful breathing with dilation of the nostrils. This appears in the acute and/or crisis phases.


In the most advanced cases, the horse may have fever attacks to fight the bacterial and parasitic proliferation which is not evacuated from the body. This is to avoid septicemia (infection of the blood and lymphatic system).

How to protect the kidneys


​ Kidneys are a water filter. The water must therefore be clear and abundant so that the horse can drink with desire, in sufficient quantity. Stagnant water for more than a week, particularly in the hot season, allows the gradual development of bacteria. Rust is a component that also tires the kidneys and solicits them more than necessary. We have also found that placing a salt stone in the bottom of the water tank allows a slow diffusion of salt, without changing the taste of the water, while sanitizing everything.


The horse's diet, like that of humans, contains a precise balance between the different elements that compose it: carbohydrates, lipids and proteins in particular. If a food has a deficit in one of these components, it is because the food intake must be diversified. See the complete file on alfalfa:

The current diet of horses in our society is very rich in carbohydrates due to a high intake of cereals. A lack of protein comes to prevent an optimal metabolism, because a balanced contribution between carbohydrate + lipid + protein, is essential. To trigger digestion, which is made difficult, the supply of vitamin supplements is unfortunately often recommended continuously, to force the metabolism of the carbohydrate, which does not find its protein counterpart, to be metabolized. 

The hand of man cannot add a vitamin supplement, cannot compensate for a lack of protein and cannot compensate for the metabolic imbalance. The excess of vitamin ends up creating a syndrome of intoxication, exhausts the kidneys and the liver and prevents the body from evacuating the toxins with which its environment confronts it. 


Understand the action of vitamins


The body can store certain vitamins and use them later. Therefore, a vitamin cure over a week can be beneficial, whether it is fat-soluble or lipophilic vitamins. Because they are absorbable by the body in combination with a little lipid, like olive oil. The body can build up a store in fatty tissue and the liver. At the start of winter, taking a vitamin supplement allows the body to store what can be stored, then evacuate the rest if it is not needed.

The water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, the so-called hydrophilic ones, diffuse into all the parts of the body containing water, such as the blood or the intercellular spaces. The body cannot store these vitamins. In excess, the body must evacuate them through the kidneys, or is forced to let them stagnate in the blood if the kidneys are saturated. Only vitamin B12 is a hydrophilic vitamin that the body can store. 


When the liver is saturated with fat-soluble vitamins and the blood is saturated with water-soluble vitamins, the blood becomes thickened, both by the presence of toxins which cannot be evacuated, and by the presence of vitamins and other substances which cannot be removed. be either. It is the whole lymphatic system that is disturbed. This is followed by the congestion and other symptoms mentioned above. We also see inflammation of all the intestinal tracts and ulcers. 

In some cases, we observe that these substances even accumulate in certain areas of the brain to the point of generating nervous and neurological disorders. Simply stopping so-called CMV vitamin supplements can restore the animal's health in a few days and see these locomotor disorders disappear.

Insufisance rénale
Où vont le vitamines
Action des vitamines

Concrete case before/after stopping vitamin supplements, within 10 days



The treatments relieved this mare over 10 days by encouraging the kidneys to function at their maximum, but the symptoms reappeared. The total cessation of vitamin supplements made it possible to obtain the results below. 


Cas concret
bottom of page