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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: Fine Tuning Nutrition Program

Hello Lisa,

Sounds like you have the details worked out and I'm delighted that she is feeling better over the past few weeks. Keep up the good work!

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

>Frankly, the best way I can help you would be to schedule a consultation. That way, I can go over everything including her history, blood work results, hay analysis, her environment, medical history, exercise, etc.

I will keep this in mind as I try to work through the various issues.

> In the meantime, I would make sure that the probiotic you're feeding has billions, not millions, of CFUs.

Thanks - I'll check the label. I added a liquid prebiotic and that seems to be helping quite a bit.

>Also, anemia can be caused by B vitamin deficiencies, but it can also be due to an iron deficiency. I would need to see her blood work analysis report to distinguish between the two.

Unless she's having problems absorbing the iron in her diet, she's not iron deficient. In fact, we are working to reduce the amount of iron in her diet and provide copper and zinc in sufficient amounts to balance her Iron, Copper, Zinc, Manganese ratio. Hay analysis (which has been generalized to all forage since the hay is cut on the farm where she lives) shows high iron and high manganese.

>Dermatitis could be a factor in immune system dysfunction.

My thoughts on most of the problems I'm seeing this year is a result of stress and I know that can take a toll on the immune system. Also, the gut disruption isn't helping.

>The first step is flaxseed meal -- 1/2 cup per 400 lbs of body weight. And if you're grinding them yourself, be sure to feed it immediately -- they start to go rancid right away. And be sure that the diet is balance with calcium since flax has a large amount of phosphorus.

I'll have to check the amounts I've been feeding. I have been giving her 4 oz, ground - it comes out to about 3/4 to 1 cup ground. She actually has a very high calcium intake so the unbalanced ration in the flax helps to balance her overall Calcium-Phosphorus ratio.

> Balancing minerals can be risky at best, and can even be dangerous -- leading to anemia and other problems with bodily functions.

I understand this and was very cautious before beginning this entire undertaking. the only element of her diet that hasn't been analyzed is the water so we know what's going in. Since I've been balancing her diet, just about everything has improved. She's been on customized supplementation for over a year and it wasn't until a month or two ago that things started going hinky. If I trace it back, I can see how many of these issues relate to stress. Cricket is incredibly sensitive when it comes to physical stress (she's a headshaker). In just the last two weeks of starting her on B-Plex, she's improved dramatically.

If the free choice feeding set-up doesn't turn her the rest of the way around, I'll definitely consider a full consultation.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO