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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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On gelatin for joints

Hi, Dr. Getty!

I am wondering if it is safe to feed horses gelatin for joints. I ask because gelatin(e) comes from swine and bovine protein sources.

I suffered a badly jammed thumb/wrist a few years ago in an atv accident and the pain just would not subside. For almost a year, I had extreme weakness in that wrist and couldn't build the connective tissues back up because of the pain. I tried all of the normally suggested supplements, including MSM and several different glucosamine/chondroitin brands. They just plain didn't work.

Finally I bought some Knox Gelatin For Joints and took it as directed. Within 3 days I could feel a big difference. Within a week, my wrist was almost perfect. I am wondering if gelatine just might also do a good job with my 14 yo. TWHs perpetually locked up hip. She sees a chiro every other month but hasn't been able to hold her adjustments for long. Rose has been on Acti-Flex powder for 2 mos. and I think it is helping, but it's expensive to use forever. If gelatin is safe and effective for horses, I can buy it in bulk much cheaper and could then afford give it to both of my mares. I would hope to keep their joints healthy as they age.

What is your opinion? If it's ok, what would the dose be? I had to drink mine dissolved in water, but is it ok to mix the powder into their wet feed? Thank you so much for your consideration in this matter.

Where are you from? NC

How did you locate this forum? friend

Re: On gelatin for joints

Hi Wendy,

Gelatin is a protein that is of very poor quality and while feeding it to horses is not dangerous, most of it will be broken down by the liver and the excess nitrogen will end up in the urine. Large amounts of poor quality protein (whether it be from gelatin, or any other source) will tax the liver and kidneys. So, as such, I would not recommend it.

But, if you want to try it for a short while and see if it has some benefit, there is no harm in doing so. But, don't feed it for more than 3 weeks.

Actiflex is an excellent product but you're right -- it is an expense every month. Something else to consider would be two things that are relatively inexpensive -- MSM and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen (part of joint tissue) and MSM is an anti-inflammatory agent that eases pain and also provides sulfur to produce body tissue.

Keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty