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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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Foal questions

Hello Dr Getty,
I just had a foal 3 months ago. At 7 weeks of age he developed explosive diarrhea with no other symptoms. And 2 days of this we had to rush the little guy and his mother to Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lex Ky. He was on IV's and Carafate 3 x daily also on Probois 1/2 tube daily and Gastrocote. The foal was there for 5 days. Then 6 days later he had diarrhea again. So we rushed him back so they could do more blood work & ultrasound. And this is what they said, the foal most likely has mild malabsoption secondary to low protein causing the diarrhea. This low protein may be an after effect of his previous colitis. Now its been almost 2 weeks and we have no diarrhea. His stool are normal and we are weaning him off the meds. What a long month! We have the foal on Buckeye Nutrition 18% Foal Starter pellets 2 cups 3 times daily mixed with 1 cup Buckeye Growth Formula 16% Fortified Grain Mix feeding according to bag. He is also nursing still. He is on Orchard & Timothy hay and pastured at nights. Are we feeding him the right food for his age? His mother is 1/2 arab 1/2 Quarter Horse standing at 15.2 hands. His father was reg. Paint Horse standing at 13.4 Hands. He was stunted when we recused him. His parents are normal size paint horses. Could this be passed to our foal? Also because he so was so sick would that hurt his size?
Thanks Alot! :)

Where are you from? Kentucky

How did you locate this forum? Doing a search

Re: Foal questions

P.S. What do you think about keeping the foal on the Probios Probiotic for a while longer. He is taking 10gm every other day. I seem to think that it's helped alot with his diarrhea.

Re: Foal questions

Hi Casey,

Normally, if he is nursing, it is not necessary to give him the additional Foal Starter and Growth Formula. I generally recommend foal starter for orphaned or rejected foals. And, frankly, I am concerned about giving this little guy so much starch. It can lead to osteopathic problems.
So, as long as his diarrhea has subsided, I would suggest that you let him nurse, graze on hay and pasture, and you can let him creep feed on some alfalfa pellets.

Since he has had a rough start, I would also suggest that you boost his immune response by giving him a dose of Foal Response (Vita Flex) and then add a supplement to his diet (and your mare’s, as well) – Vita Key Mare and Foal is something I offer on my website because it is formulated specifically for lactating mares, and foals.

You can likely wean him off of ProBios now that his digestive system is holding its own.

I hope this information is helpful. It’s good to hear that he is doing better. Congratulations!

All the best,

Dr. Getty