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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Feeding 26 year gelding

My 26 year gelding is one pergolide and chronium for pre-cushings. He also takes allergy shots and adequan. He gets fed 3 times/day - timothy and alfalfa and a little bit of equine senior and carrots daily. He is always hungry, yet has a bit of a "hay belly." Is his diet correct?

Where are you from? California

How did you locate this forum? Google search

Re: Feeding 26 year gelding

Hi Phyllis,

Increased appetite is a symptom of Cushings, but it is ok to feed as much grass hay as he wants. The "hay belly" that you're seeing is not fat -- it is gas. This is normal and healthy because it shows that the bacterial flora living in the hindgut are doing their job.

If the gas production is excessive, however, it could indicate poor digestion or poor quality hay. To keep these bacteria in good shape, give him Ration Plus.

So your goal is to not let him run out of hay -- going for hours, let's say, without anything to graze upon, will increase the level of Cortisol (the stress hormone) and his levels are already elevated (due to Cushings) -- this can lead to colic and worse, laminitis.

You mentioned that he is given chromium -- that's fine, but he also needs magnesium. I would suggest Cush Alleve -- this may also reduce the amount of pergolide needed.

So, these are a few suggestions. If you find that it would be helpful for me to take a more detailed look at his overall history and situation, please consider a consultation.

All the best.

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO