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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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Older horse

I have been helping out with an older horse - he is very thin, doesn't get hay - just grain (I don't know the condition of his teeth but he will eat apples and carrots). I saw him eating his own manure, there was lots of grain in it. He also has a goitre. He is in his early twenties.

Thanks for any advice.

Where are you from? Ottawa

How did you locate this forum? Google search

Re: Older horse

Hi Judy,

If his teeth are in good shape, he should be able to eat hay and it is very important to give him this source of forage. If he cannot eat hay, then give him beet pulp, or hay pellets. Grain is the worst thing for him and he apparently isn't digesting it, since it is ending up in his manure.

You mentioned goitre -- this can have many causes and can manifest itself as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Since he is so thin, I would expect that he has hyperthyroidism. This can be due to a tumor which may or may not be cancerous.

I would suggest a thorough physical and dental exam by your vet. And, then, give him a diet that is high in fiber. You can give him a senior feed that is high in fat.

Along with this, give him Ration Plus to help him gain weight. This will boost the health of the bacteria living in his hind gut, so his forage can be better digested.

All the best,

Dr. Getty