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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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White spots on horses coat

Hello Dr. Getty,
I have a 12 year old chestnut arabian gelding that has started growing white spots on his coat. He has gotten these spots before and they would fade away. Last fall one appeared next to his withers on one side and still has not faded. Just over the last couple of weeks he has a few more all over his body.I was just wondering if he could be lacking something in his diet?
Thank you,

Where are you from? Orlando Florida

How did you locate this forum? A friend

Re: White spots on horses coat

Hello Susan,

Thank you for your patience in my getting to your question.

I'm assuming that by white spots, you are referring to the hair coat, and not the skin. Changes in haircost coloration can be favorable or unfavorable, depending on the situation. If a horse has been undernourished and is placed on a nutritious diet, the hair coat will show its true coloration and variations in color. So, if you've improved your horse's diet over the past two years, you will likely start to see his true colors expressing themselves.

On the flip side of this, of course, is the lack of appropriate nutrients. When faced with a nutrient deficiency, the horse's body will use these nutrients in order of priority. His first priority is to stay alive, and will therefore, use what he has available to protect his vital organs (e.g., heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, etc.). As a consequence, his outer tissues (e.g., skin, hair, hooves) will suffer. So, a horse that looks good on the outside is generally healthy on the inside.

Since you haven't mentioned what you're feeding, my first impression is that he is lacking in enough copper. Copper is essential for proper hair coat coloration. And, this is easy to fix by adding a vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in the gaps in his diet. If you are not already feeding such a supplement, consider adding Glanzen or even Glanzen Complete to his diet. Give it time -- at least a year -- but you will notice an improvement in his overall health.

And, please do keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO