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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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Update on my horse's hives

Dear Dr. Getty -

Since you asked that I keep you posted on how my horse is doing, I have good news. His hives have gone away, and stayed away for three days, after I again changed hay, this time purchaing it from a different region of the state. I had begun to again suspect the hay since, after reverting to my "original" batch of hay, my horse's hives came back severely. The original hay looks good, smells good, and was eaten well by the horses.

My daughter works at a Hunter/Jumper barn in Austin, and told me they also have recently had a number of horses with hives. Apparently, at least one other barn in Austin has also experienced horses with hives simultaneously. Accoring to my "third-hand" information, a call to a reputable Equine hospital in the area revealed that it is quite possible that, because of our weather conditions for the last several months (namely, drought), some kind of change in the hay has occured that has resulted in, for one thing, a difference in the protein in the hay. Obviously, most horses are not noticeably effected by it, but it is a theory that these horses having hives are reacting to something in the hay. Also, behavioral changes have been noted with some horses becoming lethargic and others becoming "hot." (My horse became "hot.") About half of the horses at the barn where my daughter works improved immediately after they changed their hay. I don't know whether the rest of them have now improved. However, mine is 100% better, but it took changing to hay from a different region, as I said.

I thought you would find this interesting. Thanks for your concern. I promise to leave you alone for awhile now, unless we make a major discovery regarding this issue that indicates something other than the hay as the culprit!

Where are you from? Wimberley, Texas

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: Update on my horse's hives

Hi Jean,

Well, I am delighted to hear the good news!

If you should have a problem in the future, or to help the other horses in the barn, I strongly suggest adding a B complex vitamin preparation to their diet. Changes in behavior and allergic responses are generally helped by additional B vitamins.

All the best,

Dr. Getty