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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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Nutrition & healthy coat

Hi, I am purchasing a horse(10yrs old) that previously came from a home with lack of nutrition. The horse was way under weight and full of worms. The person who has him now, has taken care of the worms and the horse has gained back about 250lbs so far, so thriving back well. But what I didn't notice is that his skin under his hair is very dry/itchy/gray in color and the horse is biting at areas and is no missing small patches of hair. Can you recommend something additional that I may give him or add to his feed to help him back to a healthy skin & coat, or just now receiving a good diet will it come back to normal on its own.

Thanks so much!

Re: Nutrition & healthy coat

Hi Taryn:

I think things that are kind of like "internal moisturizers" are good for skin and hair? Like Omega-3, Omega-6, Vitamin E, etc.? I don't know if corn oil or something like that would be helpful. When my sister had a major knee ligament repaired, they actually had her put Vitamin E on her incisions to try to heal them faster. She thought it helped. I think the flaxseed (linseed) products have a lot of benefit to the skin and hair because of the Omega-3. I don't think flaxseed has a lot of Vitamin E, though. But I think you can get powdered Vit. E supplement that's very concentrated.

Hope your new guy continues to get healthier!


Where are you from? Tennessee

How did you locate this forum? google search

Re: Nutrition & healthy coat

Hi Taryn,

Since I don't know what you are currently feeding him, let's start with the basics. You'll want to make sure that he has a good quality, grass hay that is free of mold and dust. Offer this to him 24/7. He also needs to have plenty of water. Water plays so many functions in the body, but in terms of the skin, it provides moisture and elasticity. A plain, white salt lick is essential to his overall feeding plan. This will also encourage him to drink more water.

Supplementation is important to fill in gaps and to help him heal. For the skin, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids (as Nancy suggested) are very helpful. But, all of the essential nutrients need to be present. If you are already feeding a good multiple vitamin/mineral supplement, then you could add Nutra Flax to his diet along with additional Vitamin E (E5000).

But, to really assess his nutritional needs, I would need to evaluate his entire feeding program, his history, health, and specific needs. So, let me know if I can assist you further.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO