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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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Re: cushings pony

Hello Christine,

There are several approaches in managing cushingoid horses. Magnesium as well as chasteberry are two supplements that are effective in reproducing pergolide's effects without the side effects. I highly recommend a double dose of Balance EQ (formly called Cush Alleve).

For pain, I would start with Stop the Pain. Many folks find this herbal product highly effective. There is a stronger preparation called SuPer Substitute, but I'm told it tastes slightly bitter. Most horses do fine, but if yours is finicky, go with Stop the Pain.

I have an entire chapter in my new book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse on endocrine (hormonal) disorders, where I discuss equine Cushing's disease, and the resulting insulin resistance, at length. The goal is to treating Cushing's is to manage the diet in such a way as to lower circulating insulin levels, thereby preventing laminitis. So a low starch/low sugar diet, along with a low %NSC hay (have your hay analyzed) is an important way to proceed.

All the best,

Dr. Getty


We have a pony in the late-stages of cushings. He has been on pergolide for many years (about 4 maybe?) and it has gotten to the point where it no longer is very effective for him. We are looking for a good pain reliever for him--maybe super substitute? We also read that magnesium is necessary to help reduce founder--are there any supplements for that that will also act as pain relievers?

Thank you!

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO