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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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horse won't shed hair

I have a 5 yr QH gelding. For the third time in his life he is having trouble shedding his winter coat. It is dull and fried looking and the ends curl up plus it won't come out. All of our 20 other cutting horses look pretty good. They are all on a regular worming program. One year I administered a 7 day extreme worming to this particular horse and it did have a good effect. I am wondering however if this horse could have some kind of diet deficiency that is the actual cause of his poor looking health?? His weight seems fine.

Thank you for your input!!
Kim Klass

Where are you from? Arizona

How did you locate this forum? by chance

Re: horse won't shed hair

Hello Kim,

Generally, failure to shed a winter coat is a classic sign of Cushings Syndrome. It usually affects older horses, though young horses can also have this adrenal/pituitary gland disorder. Is your gelding drinking more water than usual? Does his appetite seem to increase? Your vet can do a blood test to confirm this.

When you did the 7-day worming, I’m assuming you did a double dose each day of fenbendazole (Panacur). This is to take care of a larvacidal infestation and you may wish to consider doing this again (for 5 days).

So, if we rule out Cushings and a worm problem, it would be helpful to address nutritional deficiencies. One of the best things you can feed your horse to boost the health of his coat is flaxseed meal. I strongly recommend adding 1 cup or more to his diet each day. Nutra-Flax, by Horsetech (the description is on my website store) is a product that I have had great success with.

His diet should include high quality grass and/or pasture throughout the day. Additional alfalfa hay is also beneficial. And, a good quality multiple vitamin/mineral supplement is a must for most horses.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty