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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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bone spavin

Dr Getty: hello i have a 15 mo old QH filly who I noticed appx. 2wks ago to have a soft round baseball size place on her front inside R hock and another golf ball size soft place on her front outside R hock. I reseached the net and believe her to have bone spavin. these places are not tender, she is not lame, she is not sick, off of her feed, nothing accept she will drag her toes on her back feet on occasion. She has not been over worked or laying on concrete to cause this. She has been on pasture and grained at night she could have a pasture injury but doubtful due to where the injury (thing)is located. I read bone spavin in young horses can be caused by mineral deficit. If this is true what do you recommend to help correct this condition?

Where are you from? west texas

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: bone spavin

Hello Missy,

Thank you for writing. The first thing I would do is have my vet xray your youngster's hocks to see if it is bone spavin. This is often irreversible though sometimes can be treated surgically.

In young horses, this disorder is typically caused by too rapid growth. So, it would be important to evaulate exactly what you're feeding her, the number of calories, along with the nutrient content. I can help you with this if you like through a personal phone visit.

In the meantime, I would eliminate cereal grain (oats, corn, wheat, barley, etc.) from her diet since this can cause osteopathic disorders. And, make sure she has all the hay and/or pasture she wants. A good vitamin/mineral supplement such as Accel (since you are already feeding flax?), or Glanzen Complete, which is flaxseed-meal based, would be good choices. And, additional lysine (Pure Lysine) may be appropriate depending on the level in your hay. I'm sorry I can't give you exact amounts without evaluating her situation closely, but this will certainly get you started on the right track.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO