Fur, hair, nails, hooves

Hair, fur, nails or hooves provide a record of past exposure to mineral and trace element levels.

Unlike blood, fur, hair, nails and hooves are an inert substance that consists of a fibrous protein and trace elements. As these tissues grow, nutrient and toxic elements are deposited from the blood stream into the follicle, the hair, fur, nail or hooves. Once a trace element has been incorporated, it remains fixed. The metal content of these samples will not change. Reliable testing can be performed years after sampling.

Sample taking is painless, sample shipping is not timely.

The analysis of these samples, especially of animal hair or fur requires meticulous sample preparation, during which the sample is freed from external contaminants. Sample analysis is performed using the same instrumentation and criteria as laboratory diagnostics require for metal testing of blood and urine.

Hair analysis, when properly performed, is a reliable measure of tissue levels. Source: Jenkins DW. Toxic Metals in Mammalian Hair and Nails. EPA Report 600, 1979.

Fur Metal Analysis- Mirror of Animal Health

For any animal, a silky coat is not just a sign of beauty. The conditon of the animal’s fur is also a
reflecton of its health, just as hair is in humans. Hair or Fur reflects certain health problems.

  • A dull or shaggy fur can indicate a chronic disease, for example of the liver or kidneys.
  • Round, bald spots in the fur on an animal’s body or just in individual areas are typical of fungal infestation or an excessive metal exposure
  • Unusually long, curly fur or poor shedding can be signs of a hormonal disorder such as Equine Cushing Syndrome (ECS), which primarily occurs in older horses.
  • Sticky or matted fur with thick crusts and scales, especially in the fetlock, can be signs of a bacterial infection such as Mauke syndrome. Nutrient deficiencies are usually involved.
  • Severe fur loss or thickening of the skin, together with poor wound healing and an increased risk of infection can indicate a zinc deficiency.
  • Muscle cramps and nervousness in conjunction with increased exposure to stress are often signs of a magnesium deficiency, especially in horses
  • A horses tail or mane that is too thin in combination with an increased susceptibility to infection, reduced willingness to perform, lameness, itching, and brittle hooves can be signs of a selenium deficiency.

Fur reflects living conditons
The animal's coat adapts to life in the respectve region it lives in, and thus reflects not only the
climatic but also geological conditons. Grazing animals that eat nutrient-rich grass are better supplied
with nutrients than those that live in barren conditons. If the nutritonal content of the feed is not
balanced, the fur and health of the animal is affected. Some nutrient elements are more needed than

Fur analysis and its advantages
Aside from providing informaton regarding long term or chronic metal exposure, the easy access to
the testng material is an advantage that should not be underestmated. Non-invasive sampling is
problem-free for animals and pet owners. 

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