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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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Feeding a horse with chronic renal failure

Dr. Getty, I have a 21 yr. old TB with chronic renal failure and i need a diet to suit his problems. He has had high Ca and Creatinine levels for the past 10 years but is now showing signs of kidney problems. He is under weight but other than that is a very happy guy. I recently swithched him back to Purina Equine Sr and Buckeye Ultimate Finish and the weight is coming back. Now that i have learned he is in renal failure I need to get him off these feeds but need to get weight on him. He can be a picky eater also. Any suggestions on feeding him and can I add any supplements to help him out? Thanks

Where are you from? IL

How did you locate this forum? internet

Re: Feeding a horse with chronic renal failure

Hi Jamie,

I'm sorry to hear about your horse's kidney problem. This takes very careful management and continual testing to make sure that it is not worsening.

His diet needs to be low in potassium. And, because his kidneys are not working well, he is not producing vitamin D and he will likely become anemic (requiring iron, either supplemental iron or injections).

The feeds you mentioned are too high in potassium. The protein content is necessary, but should not be too high. You'll want to find one that has less than 1.5% potassium and around 10% protein.

Hay may need to be soaked, as well, to reduce the mineral content. Pasture is much safer, but this time of year, it is hard to come by.

I would discuss anemia with your vet, have bloodwork done every few weeks, to see if you can get him stabilized.

Please let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO