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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Hi, I have a couple of questions. First is niacin a natural calmer? My horses red blood cell count was a hair on the low side 6.85, but his blood was drawn the day after a barrel race, could this be why? My vet wants me to put him on lixotinic, he is already on vita-key antioxidants, which you had suggested for him because hes hypp, I think the two are to much. also if niacin is a natural calmer could you recomend another vitamin/mineral supplement for hypp horses, because it may be coinsindence but it seems my horse got very quiet after being on the vita-key antioxidents? thank you

Where are you from? ct

How did you locate this forum?

Re: niacin

Hi Sharon,

No, niacin is not a calming agent. It has several roles in the body. It is mainly involved in the production of energy from nutrients. And, in high dosages, when administered as free-niacin, it acts as a vasodilator (dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation).

Your vet probably recommended Lixotinic because it contains iron. Iron deficiencies in horses are really quite unusual and this supplement is quite limited in the nutrients it provides.

Antioxidant Concentrate contains several B vitamins which calm the nervous system and thereby helps prevent stress-related disorders. Perhaps his being quiet is his way of showing that he is feeling better. Did he perform well during the barrel race?

His low rbc count could be a result of blood loss during intensive exercise, if he has a slight ulcer. Many performance horses do have ulcers, generally without symptoms. I would suggest you have his blood tested again when he has had a chance to rest.

Another supplement that does not contain potassium would be Grand Complete. This one contains omega 3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for his joint and heart health.

Please keep me posted on how he is doing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty