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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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Underweight standardbred

Hi there:

We just acquired a 13 year old standardbred gelding. This poor horse was not properly cared for and for that he has suffered a tremendous loss of weight. Every bone in his frame is showing, and i mean every bone....he is walking, eating, and drinking his overall health minus the lack of weight seems to be good. Can you please advise me of what I can feed him to put weight on him. He has all the pasture he can get 24/7 now. I am feeding him twice daily grain (2) 3lb tubs along with 1/2 of the tub with flax meal.I am also giving him mineral supplement. If there is anything else I should give him please let me know. I contacted my vet and she said what I am doing is good for now but I am going on instinct here and feel I should be giving him more of something....Please reply asap....thank you Debbie

Where are you from? Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

Re: Underweight standardbred

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for taking care of this poor horse. It saddens me to think of how badly he was treated. He is in good hands now.

The first step you have already taken, and that is to have him examined by your vet. A thorough blood analysis would also be a good idea. His teeth need to be floated and he likely needs to be wormed under a vet's supervision.

He needs a good quality grass hay, along with some alfalfa in the form of hay, pellets, or soaked cubes. And, he also could use a good vitamin/mineral supplement.

Take is slow and easy. Each meal should not exceed 3 lbs in weight. Be sure to weigh your meals on a scale.

And, a good pre/probiotic would also be helpful to replenish his bacterial flora. Ration Plus would be the best recommendation I could make since it will help his existing bacteria multiply and produce necessary B vitamins.

Please keep me posted on his progress.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, Colorado