Return to Website

Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
This Forum is Locked
Extreme weight loss

Marty is 12, a pleasure horse, but has been a cribber for a long time. I've been able to maintain his weight until recently when he doesn't get regular exercise. He's lost a vast amount of weight in 6 months, looks like a skeleton, w/pot belly and diahrea. His teeth are worn off in front and in spite of free feed, hi calorie supplements, he'll leave the feed and go crib. he has no colic nor other symptoms. He needs 3-400# to look normal, he's 1/4 qh, 3/4 Arab.

Re: Extreme weight loss


Thank you for writing. From what you describe, there appears to be an underlying medical condition or worm problem here. My first question is whether or not you’ve had him examined by his vet recently. I would recommend that his blood be examined to rule out any disease states that may be causing this problem. Such rapid weight loss is not normal and could be an indication of a problem with his vital organs (e.g., liver, kidney, glands, tumors, etc.). Also, worm infestation should be ruled out through a blood test, as well as a fecal exam. From the bloated belly and diarrhea, it sounds as though this is an issue.

Cribbing is a habit, like many of us human-types have – and it is generally due to stress. The stress could be due to physical problems, lack of exercise, or just be his personality-type. He will definitely benefit from a high B-Complex regimen. There is a product called B-Plex, that I like. But, any B vitamin Complex will be fine. The B vitamins will reduce his stress level and improve his appetite.

Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty