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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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emaciated mare

I had a 24 year old quarter horse that had been used as a range brood mare all of her life. I bought her three years ago. She was underweight then. She was fed a 10% fat, 9.27% protein & 11.35% fiber grain. Steam rolled oats, rolled barley, cracked beet pulp, wheat germ oil, corn oil, yeast, ground flax seed added vit/min. 5 lbs of grain 2 X day & all the grass hay she could eat. She recently died. She had no parasites, liver & kidneys fine. She did havee an inflammatory airway disease & edema around the coronary band. She had no stomach ulsers. Some people believe I must have starved her for her to be so skinny. What could have made her fail to thrive?

Where are you from? Colorado

How did you locate this forum? searching the net

Re: emaciated mare

Hello Lee,

I know how painful this must have been and I'm very sorry for your loss.

What did your vet have to say regarding her cause of death? For a horse to lose weight the way you describe, it could have been cancer. You certainly were feeding her plenty. And, since you ruled out kidney and liver dysfunction, she may have had cancer, or even died of congestive heart failure (based on the swelling in her feet).

Other reasons could include a viral infection, pneumonia, or even colic. It really is impossible to say without more medical information. But, it wasn't due to starvation, that's for certain.

My best to you,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

Re: emaciated mare

I just wanted to say that my old Standardbred who was put down last year had some sort of weird problem with weight for the last couple of years of her life, so I don't believe it was you. She was 23, I fed her everything and anything to try and get her to gain weight, had numerous tests, etc and she ended up scrawny as heck and she was still happy as can be. I broke the bank on her and it still haunts me that she got that thin. I was afraid the SPCA would come to my house and take her away. But I know in my heart that I did everything to try and get her to gain weight.

Where are you from? NH

How did you locate this forum? Another website

Re: emaciated mare

Hi JS,

I understand your frustration with the situation you had. You're right -- it was not your fault. It was very likely cancer, which can cause unexplained weight loss.

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO