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

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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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mini with laminitis

One of our miniature horses is currently suffering with laminitis. He is 5 and has colicked in the past. He is overweight and we have attempted to control his weight with a vet prescribed diet of 1 cup of Milk Plus a day with magnesium oxide and chromium yeast additions. Since he started on his diet in November he has not lost any weight (using weight tape). He was off pasture and only given hay which he gulps down. Unfortunately I thought going out on pasture when the snow was a foot deep wouldn't hurt so he was out for about 2-3 hours 2 days. He didn't show any lameness signs until 2 days later. Now he is paying for my mistake. Is there any inflammatory herbal that would help him at this stage (he has history of ulcer)? Could the Milk Plus and magnesium and chromium been too much addition to his hay? Our hay supplier had their hay analyzed:
Crude protein 13.6
Lignin 5.4
NSC 14.3
NFC 22.4
Starch 3.6
Sugar 10.7
Crude Fat 2.9
Ash 5.71
Horse TDN 48
Calcium .55
Phosphorus .30
Magnesium .28
Potassium 1.45
Sulfur .24
Chloride Ion .53
Lysine .53
Methionine .19
Thank you so much Dr. Getty for your time. You have helped me out before and I appreciate it immensely.

Where are you from? Jamestown, NY

Re: mini with laminitis

Hi Sally,

I'm not familiar with Milk Plus -- please tell me what is in this? From the title, it doesn't sound appropriate, but I'd be interested in the ingredients.

Your hay is slightly high in non-structural carbohydrates (NSC), which is more likely what caused her laminitis, rather than the grazing under the snow. I would suggest that you soak the hay for an hour in warm water, and drain off the water. This will help the NSC level to drop.

While you're feeding this hay, I would add a product called "D-Carb Balance." It is designed for insulin resistant horses. It is high in magnesium, as well as other nutrients. I normally would suggest Laminex, however it has been contraindicated for horses with ulcers. So, this is a safe choice.

Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty