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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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Hello, Dr. Getty,
I have a boarding farm and one of the new horses has Cushings. I don't have any experience with this and I have a few questions. This is a 26 year old TB cross. His feeding program when he arrived was 2 feedings of Equine Sr. at 4 1/2 lbs each, and 1 1/2 flakes of alfalfa 2times a day and Safe Starch in the pm. about 16 qts. He also get pergolide in the pm. He doesn't get out in the pasture much as they say he prefers to stay in the barn, and I must say when he is out he justs wants back in. He developed diarrhea a few weeks after being here and was treated with ulcerguard and probios. This helped some but he still has diarrhea on occasion and now has developed some type of skin condition that looks like rain rot. I do know that when the owners visit he get copious amounts of carrots. My first thought was that the alfalfa was irritating the ulcer. Could the Equine Sr. be causing the diarrhea? I have read he should be on a low starch/high fat diet. Any insights would be very much appreciated!! Thanks Barbara

Where are you from? South Carolina

How did you locate this forum? Google search

Re: Cushings

Hello Barbara,

Did I read 16 quarts of feed? In two meals? And, "copious" amounts of carrots?! Please don't mind my shock -- but please, please reduce his meal size to no more than 3 quarts, and preferably less. Horses' stomachs are relatively small and a large meal can cause colic.

And, the carrots need to be completely eliminated from a cushings diet.

I know how concerned you are about him, and rightly so. His skin is a window to what's going on on the inside and it's not doing well. And, the diarrhea is a signal that his digestive tract is inflammed.

There is so much going on with this poor guy that I would very much like to get together with you for a phone consultation. I don't often recommend it on this forum, but in this case, we need to get him on a plan that will first, get him back to health, and second, improve his quality of life.

Here is the link that talks about my phone consultation service:

I hope you'll consider visit about him in the near future.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO