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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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Question on Body Builder

Sorry to hear of your accident and will understand if I don't hear right away.

I have a 9 year old mare who I didn't try to bred till she was 3 years old. I thought the first 2 years that she just didn't catch and finally asked vet. He said she needed to be on regumate. (never did blood work just his thought) She got pregnant and delivered healthy foal. When I got ready to rebreed, went to vet (different one) and asked for regumate. He did blood test and said she didn't need it. She bred and carried 10 months. Foal was breech and born dead. Sent off everything and there was no known reason for it's death or early birth.

Now I am rebreding her and she didn't take the frist two times and with stallion again. Do you think the body builder would be good for her or should I just put her on the regumate as it worked before. She is on Progressive Diet Balancer and 24/7 grass and I am giving her some of the Quiessence.



Where are you from? louisiana

How did you locate this forum? internet search

Re: Question on Body Builder

I'm sure Dr. Getty will have some good advice for you, but I thought I'd put in my two cents. I am a retired horse breeder....first of all, the breech foal is not the result of anything hormonal...just 'one of those things'. I wonder if you were there for this breeched birth...most often mares foal with no trouble, but it's so important to be there in case something like a breech birth happens. I would suggest, if you plan on breeding your mare every year that you install a barn camera...I know from experience, it can be a life saver.
Your mare may need Regumate (there is a generic regumate, you might ask your vet about that, it's way cheaper). I think Dr. Getty will tell you, the mares hormones change depending on where she is in her cycle ect. Do more than one blood workup to check her hormones. One of my mares needed (generic) regumate to hang on to her pregnancies, and she receieved low (oral) dose during the first 4 months of her pregnancies...3cc every 5th day thru her 4th month. Bloodwork was done after 2 months just to be certain I didn't need to adjust the dose.
Also, have a culture done...she may have an infection and needs to be flushed...cleaned out & treated for the infection.

I hope you have good luck with your mare....I know how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be when they don't get in foal, or abort or deliver a dead baby.
Hope this may help you somewhat.

Where are you from? Wyoming

How did you locate this forum? I'm a member

Re: Question on Body Builder

Thanks Joanne for your response. I was not aware there was a generic form of regumate. No one has bothered to tell me. lol

This mare was about a month from her delivery date when she started having problems. I called the vet and he said she had colic. After about an hour of treating with oil and shots he noticed she blew her plug. He went in and said she was in labor but the baby was breech. He got the foal out but it was dead. I will never forget the wide open eyed stare of terror in that foals eyes. I feel it could have lived. The vet was sorry and mistakes happen but the mare and myself were shaken by the experience.

Just really hated it happened to the one mare with so much trouble getting to settle.

One vet dosen't like regumate and the other prescibes it for everything. Hard to know whats best.

Thanks for your suggestions. You are appreciated.


Where are you from? louisiana

Re: Question on Body Builder

I feel very sad for you. Vets do make mistakes, but your vet made a could he mistake early labor with Colic!!
I hate to say this, but he may have been able to save that foal, although delivery one month early would have probably given you some problems, you may have overcome them...the reason she delivered early is most likely because the foal was turned. What did your vet say about the placenta? Did she clean up?
Pat, I know from experience how horrible and traumatic it is the see a dead foal...and that image will stick with you for a while, but time does heal wounds, so my best advice is not too beat yourself up over this, grieve for the baby and your mare, and yourself, and give it some time.
Was your mare bagged up at all at this time?

As for your vet not liking Regumate...tough tooties!! If your mare needs it to maintain a pregnancy, then use it...she's your mare!!
Prescribing it for 'everything' is a mistake also...and shame on any vet that gives a horse something they don't need.
Which leaves you in quite a delema...unless you can get a 3rd vet to see your mare.

Regumate is progesterone...your vet can have a drugstore mix up a bottel of progesterone that will cost way less than a bottle of Regumate...I paid about $75.00 for a bottle of PROGESTERONE that latsed the entire 4 mos. my mare was on it.

By the way, you mentioned in your first post that you 'waited' until she was 3 yrs old to breed her...that was good, as breeding a 2 yr old is not a good idea.

You need to have this mare get a complete breeding soundness exam...and go from there.
OH...that Foaling book Dr.Getty mentioned is worth every penny for anyone that is fairly new to breeding mares.
There are also several excellent reproduction sites (since this forum is really for nutritional information & advice)you can read a Google for 'equine reproduction' If I remember by tomorrow, I'll post a couple for you.

Keep us posted...

Where are you from? Wyoming

How did you locate this forum? member

Re: Question on Body Builder

Hi Pat and Joanie!

I read your discussion with great interest, and thank you, Joanie, for offering your invaluable experience and expertise.

Yes, this forum is designed more for nutrition than for breeding, though there are nutritional overlaps that affect a mare's ability to conceive and maintain a pregnancy.

The original question was about Body Builder. Body Builder and other products that contain Gamma Oryzanol, have been shown to increase fertility. Specifically, it helps balance hormonal levels, thereby creating a good follicle response. Gamma Oryzanol also crosses the placental barrier, thereby increasing the health of the growing foal.

The use of progesterone can be highly beneficial in protecting a pregnancy in those mares who need it. However, administering it indiscriminantly, can be harmful, just as Joanie indicated. So, blood work is essential -- and it should be done more than once throughout the pregnancy.

From a nutritional perspective, mares that are compromised nutritionally before conception have greater difficulty conceiving. A diet that is complete, contains the appropriate minerals, and especially B vitamins, will dramatically increase the chances of a healthy foal. To do this, the diet should contain grass hay as a foundation (all that she wants), a legume hay (such as alfalfa) to add quality to the protein as well as additional calcium, and a vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in the gaps. In your mare's case, I would also add a B Complex -- B Plex -- to reduce the risk of birth defects or even a stillborn birth. (A breech birth, however, cannot be avoided one way or another -- so the key is being there during the delivery, as Joanie mentioned).

So, bottom line... before you breed this mare again, give her 6 months on a highly nutritious diet, including B Plex and Body Builder. Have her vet checked for overall health, infection, and hormonal levels. And, you may want to ask around to get a referral for a vet that is particularly experienced with fertility issues. Veterinarians often have their areas of expertise. I had a mare that was only 1 month pregnant and the vet told me that she was due within 3 weeks! And, that was after an ultrasound! --so he obviously did not have experience reading ultrasound results!

I hope this is helpful and I wish you well with future pregnancies!

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

Re: Question on Body Builder

Hi Pat & Dr. Getty,
Pat...there ya go....Dr. Getty has given you excellent advice...follow her suggestions, and you should get her in foal and witness the birth of a healthy baby...after your long wait!!
Best of luck yo you, and maybe try to keep Dr. getty posted on how things develope.

Where are you from? Wyoming

How did you locate this forum? member