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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. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Mini Stallion

I have a mini stallion who is now 13 years old. During his prime he was a top performance horse and has sired many top quality foals. Unfortunatly I had to retire him several years ago due to a second episode of Idiopathic Muscular Hypertrophy (sp?). Basically a colic that has necessitated the removal of 70% of his small intestine. He is happy, active and alert. He loves to show off and still breeds actively. However, with only a small portion of small intestine for digestion, keeping weight on him is a never ending challenge. Also he is a picky eater. Any suggestions for a diet?

Where are you from? Cypres, TX

How did you locate this forum? search

Re: Mini Stallion

Hi, after reading your post I might be able to ofer a suggestion although dont do it until Dr.Getty has approved it cuz she is the expert on feeding not
me I read an article about feeding and and I think it was about keeping grain from being pushed in to the small intestine(I read it a while ago) it said that if you feed grain wait 1 hour after the horse has finished it's hay then feed it it's grain or feed the grain and then wait 3 hours and the feed hay. I hope this makes sence. I know for a lot of people this is not something they can always do with work,life,kids,etc..but it might help in your case if Dr.Getty approves of course.

Hope this helped

Re: Mini Stallion

Hi Al,

The small intestine, as you know, is where the majority of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are digested. Fiber is digested in the hind gut by the bacterial flora that reside there. And, since so much of the small intestine has been removed, it is very important to provide calorie-dense feedstuffs.

Jenni is correct about not feeding hay with a meal that is supposed to get digested in the small intestine. So, in other words, in your case, it is best to feed hay first, so it can reach the hind gut. Then you feed a meal. If you feed a meal first, followed by hay, the hay will move the meal to the hind gut faster, which is not what you want.

So, here's a plan...

Give him all the hay he wants. And, offer him alfalfa hay, as well. Then, for his meal, I would recommend that you offer him something that is high in protein and fat, and low in starch (if starch hits the hind gut, the risk of laminitis is too high). To do this, feed him flaxseed meal (I recommend Nutra Flax), along with some shredded beet pulp, and 1/2 cup of rice bran oil. This will add extra calories to help him gain weight.

This ought to do it! Keep me posted on his progress.

All the best,

Dr. Getty