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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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Wellpride oil vs. flax seed

Wellpride fish oil for horses seems to be the new "cure all" according to anecdotal reports. People say that the health benefits are amazing and that they have been able to cease feeding joint supplements, etc.

My questions are:

1. Since fish oil is a source of Omega 3 fatty acids, as is flax seed, is there any real benefit to feeding the fish oil? I've been feeding ground flax seed for years and find it convenient and cost-effective. Wellpride is significantly more expensive and I'm not sure whether it would be worth the additional cost.

2. Is it really feasible to think that fish oil would provide the same joint lubricating effect as say, Cosequin? Or are people just wishing to see an improvement? Or, did the joint supplement not have any effect to begin with?



Where are you from? Boston Area

Re: Wellpride oil vs. flax seed

Hi Liz,

There are several different omega 3 fatty acids, all belonging to the same family. Fish oils are high in Docosahexaneoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), whereas flaxseed oil is high in Linolenic Acid. All of these reduce inflammation and are therefore, excellent for joint health.

However, horses are herbivorous and therefore, are not accustomed to consuming the DHA and EPA, since these two are of animal origin. So, I prefer to feed strictly plant food sources.

Joint supplements, such as Cosequin, contain other compounds that improve joint health, including chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, and many contain hyaluronic acid (which I highly recommend). Omega 3 fatty acids (linolenic acid, preferably) are beneficial in further reducing pain and inflammation.

So, my recommendation is to stick with the flaxseed meal and add a good joint supplement that further promotes health and healing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO