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The effect of excess dietary iodine on pregnant mares and foals
  1. B Drew,
  2. WP Barber and
  3. DG Williams


On a thoroughbred stud four foals were born with greatly enlarged thyroids and leg weakness. Two foals died within 18 hours of birth, the others subsequently recovered. An enlarged thyroid was also evident in one of the resident mares. The thyroids from the dead foals were hyperplastic. Feed analyses showed that the mares had an iodine intake of about 83 mg daily, 8-8 ppm of the dietary dry matter, due almost entirely to the high iodine content of a proprietary compound horse nut which had been fed at the daily rate of 12 lb per head. It was concluded from the histology of the thyroids, the high intake of iodine, the lack of response to treatment with potassium iodide and the elevated levels of serum protein bound iodine that the condition of the foals on the stud was caused by an excess of iodine fed to the mares during pregnancy.

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