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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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Rescued OTTB with major weight gaining issues

Dr. Getty,

About 4 months ago I rescued a TB off the track who was so thin it was scary to even touch her. I consulted my vet who suggested obviously worming her, having her teeth looked at and slowly increasing her grain. I have done that. She currently gets 4 quarts of beet pulp morning and night (before it is soaked) and 5 quarts of Vintage Gold AM and PM. I also give her MSM because she did suffer a broken (or so I was told) right hind ankle. I cannot get this mare to gain weight. The mention of possible ulcers came up because of her history but I currently don't treat her for any. She gets 4 flakes of hay AM and PM. She is literally only about 850 lbs and stands about 16 hands. I am at my wits end here. I adopted her to get her out of the conditions she was living in and to give her a forever "safe" home, but I feel like I am not doing her any good at all. I desperately want her to gain weight but I am aware that it needs to be done properly so we don't end up with any other issues. Now with winter here, I have her double blanketed to help her with the cold, but I just don't know what else to do. Can you help?

Where are you from? CT

How did you locate this forum? Google search

Re: Rescued OTTB with major weight gaining issues

Hello Dawn,

Thank you for taking this poor mare into your care. She is very lucky to have you.

You're on the right track, but I do have a few suggestions. First, make sure she does not run out of hay. It should be a good quality grass hay. Add some alfalfa hay to the mix, if possible -- about 30 to 40% of the total hay ration. If alfalfa is not available, give her alfalfa pellets, added to her beet pulp meal.

Second, give her Ration Plus to boost the health of the bacteria living in her hind gut. This will feed the existing bacteria, making digestion more efficient. The result will be more calories, and hence, weight gain.

Third, since you mentioned that she may have an ulcer, it will not hurt to soothe her digestive tract. I highly recommend Amiquell to promote healing.

If you would like for me to "take a look" at her by visiting with you over the phone, please consider setting up a personal phone consultation. That way, I can go over her entire situation and customize a feeding plan for her to help her not only gain weight, but be healthy in general.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO