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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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feeding a pony after colic surgery

Hello, I have a small (12.3) hh Welsh pony who coliced in June and had surgery at OSU removing an impaction and 17 feet of small intestine. He has some type of inflammatory bowel disease. Per OSU advice, I feed him 1.5 lbs of Equs Senior twice a day, and 4 lbs orchard grass hay, plus let him graze for up to two-three hours each day.Hand grazing at first, now he can be turned out in a small paddock, alone.

It is a lot of sweet grain for a small pony, much more than I ever fed before, and I am concerned about over-feeding, but also about making sure he gets proper nutrition for recovering.Any advice?

Where are you from? creswell oregon

How did you locate this forum? web search

Re: feeding a pony after colic surgery

Hello Kathleen,

I share your concern about overfeeding him. You know your pony better than anyone, so your instincts are definitely on target. A senior feed is a good idea because it is more easily broken down in the digestive tract, however, I would go back to the amount you were feeding before.

You didn’t mention the cause of his colic. So, I expect you have removed the risk of him colicking again.

Recovering from surgery takes not only rest, but adequate nutrients and building blocks to allow him to heal. I would suggest that you give him a small amount of equine senior, and the hay and/or grazing. But, in addition, there are three supplements that are important during his recovery. The first one is Grand Complete – this is high in vitamins C and E, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Second, add additional Lysine to the diet – 8 to 12 additional grams/day. And, lastly, Ration Plus, in order to boost the health of the bacterial flora that live in his hind gut.

Once he fully recovers, you can likely back away from the Lysine and Ration Plus. However, continuing with Grand Complete, is a good way to fill in the gaps of a diet that is predominantly hay and pasture.

I hope this is helpful. Keep me posted!

Dr. Getty