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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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Non-IR horse that foundered


If someone can shed some light on this, I'd be very appreciative. It is somewhat related to another's post about grass "safety". My horse foundered 2 years ago.. long story there including the possibility that grass was not the culprit and some vet "issues". Be that as it may, she's recovered fully (new vet) with only a couple degree rotation on her left front. I had her blood tested; she is not IR and not Cushing's. Since then, she's used a grazing muzzle spring, summer, fall. I'm just wondering if that is really necessary? Her other diet is grass hay, 1/4 cup low starch feed (mostly to hold the next ingredients), minerals, biotin supplement. She is not overweight, has never been real chunky. Thanks for any insight!
Maryjane (& Graycie, TWH)

Where are you from? Morrisville, NY

How did you locate this forum? searching...

Re: Non-IR horse that foundered

Hello Maryjane,

I do not like using grazing muzzles because most horses find them to be stressful. Stress can induce laminitis because it causes the release of the stress hormone, cortisol. And, over time, elevated levels of this hormone can create problems with insulin levels. So, a horse may not test as insulin resistant but still have induced resistance via high levels of cortisol.

Having said that, it is important to reduce the grazing time on grasses that are high in starch, sugar, and fructans for the horse that may be prone toward laminitis. The only way to know if this is a problem is to have your pasture tested. This is easy to do -- contact Equi-Analytical for a free testing kit: and test your pasture during the late afternoon on a sunny day (the time when the sugars and starches are at their highest).

Magnesium is also a very important component when preventing another laminitic attack. Most horses do not get enough of this mineral, which is why I recommend Quiessence in these cases.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO