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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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7 month old colt diagnosed with wobblers syndrome

As surgery is not an option I have been exploring the possibility of trying aggressive nutritional management coupled with limited exercise and cortisone. I realise this treatment will take time and patience. I have also heard of vitamin E being recommended but know little else at this stage.
In Australia we are in severe drought. However, I see that you concur with hay rather than pelletised feed & chaff. I have been feeding mitavite breeda (pelletised feed made for lactating mares and foals by the Austrlian Feed Co.) with lucerne chaff and oaten chaff along with substantial quantities of good quality lucerne hay. I have also been adding a small amount of molasses & warm water to the bucket feeds (just to warm up their bellies) - I note the molasses is a definite no no. The many vet recommendations in Oz is to terminate now but I found this small amount of hope from the University of Kentucky and if you can assist me with his nutritional needs or anything else it would be truly wonderful.

Where are you from? seaham, NSW. Australia

How did you locate this forum? exploring vitamin e on the net

Re: 7 month old colt diagnosed with wobblers syndrome

Hi Vanda,

Thanks for writing about your colt. The principle involved in feeding for this condition is to keep the starch and sugars way down, and the mineral balance high. That means, if the Mitavite Breeda feed is grain based (contains oats, corn, barley, etc.), you should discontinue feeding it. The lucerne and oaten chaff are fine, along with the lucern hay. If you can add some grass hay to the mix, that would be best. But, you'll need to discontinue feeding the molasses.

You should provide him with a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement designed for growing horses. This will have the mineral balance he requires. And, you can add this to a meal that does not contain grain, such as hay pellets, flaxseed meal, rice bran nuggets, or a complete commercial ration that is low in starch.

Hope this is helpful. Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Colorado