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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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What to feed~ Hives & Hair Loss

Hi Dr. Getty,

I'm so confused! I've read many of the posts here, but am still unsure of what to feed. I'll try to be brief.

I am most concerned about my daughter's arabian show horse. He is new to us and when he arrived about a month ago he looked fabulous. Within a day or so he developed hives, which have come and gone over the past month. He is now losing hair and is nearly bald in some places~ most noticeably behind his ears where his halter sits and on the back of his flanks.

His previous owner fed whole oats and grass hay. We gradually switched him to 12/4 pelleted fed and free choice hay, which is what our other 2 horses are on. We also added Equinyl CM and Hylamotion for his joint issues.

In an attempt to deal with the hives (and now the hair loss) we have put him back on oats. He got a vetalog shot 2 days ago and the hives have not returned.

In reading many of your responses on here, I notice you are not a fan of whole oats. So my long winded question is what do I feed this gorgeous 13 year old Chesnut Arabian (and help his coat return to its former luster!).

Thanks so much for your help,


Where are you from? Texas

How did you locate this forum? COTH

Re: What to feed~ Hives & Hair Loss

Hi Goldie,

Thanks so much for writing. If the oats are improving his hair coat, it is an indication that he needs more omega 3 fatty acids. Oats contain very small amounts of this fat, but are mostly starch. So, instead of oats, consider feeding flaxseed meal -- a stabilized product with added calcium to fix the inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio. I recommend Nutra Flax.

Since you are feeding two joint supplements, you may want to combine products by going with Reitsport HA-100, which not only contains joint protection, hyaluronic acid, and flaxseed meal, but is also a comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement, which would fill in the gaps.

I have recently come across a wonderful topical treatment for hair loss, called M-T-G and I've added it to my array of products that I recommend. Here is the link: so you can see if this is something that your horse would benefit from.

So, bottom line -- continue feeding the hay, but reduce the oats and add a supplement to fill in the gaps, provide omega 3s, and joint protection.

Keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO