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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
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Tying Up

Hello Dr. Getty,

I have a 10 year old mare that has tying-up syndrome, she gets tied-up very often even when she is in good form, she is a show jumper and I would like if you can give me some advice how to feed her. She is very sensitive if she eats corn or barley she gets colic.

Is it ok if I give her Neutradex and Vitamin E and Selenium supplement? I was also wondering since she is 10 years and a show jumper suld I star giving her as prevention Consequine or some other product for joint health?


Where are you from? UK

Re: Tying Up

Hello Nina,

You are correct to not feed her corn or barley – both of these are poorly digested and can end up in the hind gut, leading to colic, and even laminitis.

Tying up (equine rhabdomylosis) can be due to many factors including electrolyte imbalances, Vitamin E/Selenium deficiencies, calcium/magnesium imbalances, lactic acid buildup (due to anaerobic activity), and even difficulty in using grain sources of carbohydrates for fueling muscles.

A better way to supply energy for the muscles is to increase your horse’s fat intake. Horses that experience tying up typically benefit from a low carbohydrate/high fat diet.

So, here is what I would suggest: Stop feeding grain and replace it with an equal amount of alfalfa (Lucerne) pellets. And, to add fat, feed stabilized rice bran, flaxseed meal, flaxseed oil, or a weight building product that contains a combination of these ingredients.

Yes, you can continue with the Neutradex, since that will ease electrolyte losses and promote more water consumption. And, the vitamin E/Selenium may be fine, as long as she is not getting too much selenium from selenium-rich pasture. Selenium, in high quantities, is toxic.

A joint supplement will keep her joints lubricated, so it is a good idea to start now. Try finding a supplement that contains not only Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM, but also Hyaluronic Acid.

All the best,

Dr. Getty