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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Liver Stones

We have been on a 15 battle to save a horse at our barn. It started as colic, our barn vet treated him to the best of her ability but he continued to colic. So we shipped him to UF where he was treated medically for an impaction. He was sent home but was not getting any better so we returned him to UF for more tests (we were thinking he might have Ulcers?) Well they ran more tests which they found very little sand, and the scope showed no Ulcers. They did find some shadows on his liver and called them Liver Stones (Choleliths). They suspect that the colic was do to him passing a stone. Roanie is home now and doing good. I have been trying to research “liver stones” but I’m not having much luck. I was wondering if you would look at his diet and make any recommendations.
He is feed Nutrena Safe Choice grain
Coastal hay mixed with Timothy Alfalfa
8 hours of pasture grass
Vita Flex MSM
He was on Ulcerguard but we stopped that since he is “ulcer free”
Thank you,

Where are you from? Florida

How did you locate this forum? searching the web

Re: Liver Stones

Hi Kellie,

Choleliths are similar to gallstones in humans, but can have different compositions. If they removed a stone, did they analyze it to see what it was made of?

From a dietary perspective, your best bet is to feed a low fat diet, which you are already doing. The other factor is the precipitation of calcium without enough magnesium and B vitamins. I would add Quiessence to his diet -- one ounce per 250 lbs of body weight (up to 4 ounces per day). This will help prevent calcium choleliths, if that's what they are. And, it won't be harmful, just in case they aren't calcium-related, since your diet is likely low in magnesium in any case.

I hope this is helpful. This must have been a very stressful time for you and your horse. Keep me posted.

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO