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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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Proteins effect on laminitis

Hi Dr.Getty,
I have a friend who's farrier told her her mare (who I trained for her) has the beginning of laminitis. I've been telling her for a long time, that she'd better watch what she's feeding her. While I had her here she was eating SafeChoice and when she went home she stayed on it for a short time. They have a ranch in west Texas and the horse goes back & forth from all the grass and molassas blocks (they have goats) she wants, to a little grass, hay and oats. She comes back from the ranch big & fat. All that molassas ..... No surprise there. Anyway, I told her to switch back to SafeChoice but she is concerned about the 14% protein. LiteBalance has 12%... is that a low carb (starch)food? Are oats ok?
Thanks for your help, I'm sure Dixie (the mare)will appreciate it! People don't seem to understand how serious laminitis is!

Where are you from? Texas

Re: Proteins effect on laminitis

Hi Lynette,

Oh my!!! Sugar and starches need to be strictly avoided, so that includes molasses (like you mentioned) and oats -- no oats, none, nada, zip!

Protein has nothing to do with laminitis. The key is to have quality protein so a commercial ration, such as Safe Choice and others, generally has essential amino acids added (lysine and methionine) to boost the quality of the protein found in plant feedstuffs.

SafeChoice may be a good idea, but unfortunately, its ingredients depend on the manufacturing plant; there's little consistency across products. I've seen some products that have corn in them. And, this is not what you want in a low starch feed. So, check the ingredients label for corn, oats, or barley.

Hope this is helpful!

Best regards,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO