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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: White spots appearing on mare's face

Hello Rebecca,

The white spots could be a nutritional deficiency - in particular, high quality protein and adequate minerals (including copper and zinc). Or it could be a fungal infection if the discoloration affects the skin and not just the hair. But it is difficult to say without knowing more. If you find a phone consultation to be something you'd like to do, let me know and we can set up an appointment.

But in the meantime, I would add a small amount of alfalfa hay to her diet (or pellets or cubes -- moistened) to improve the protein quality.

And she is likely not getting sufficient vitamins and minerals from the Safe Choice unless you are feeding the full recommended amount. If you would like me to recommend a worthwhile supplement, just let me know.

Safe Choice is truly not the best choice for an easy keeper, since it is not low in starch, just lower in starch than a full starch feed made from cereal grain. Go with something that has a %NSC less than 13% (Safe Choice has a %NSC that is closer to 25%). Triple Crown Lite is a good choice.

And lastly, giving her bute over the long term is asking for an ulcer. A joint supplement such as Actiflex senior is a worthwhile and if you need pain relief, you can choose a buteless preparation such as Stop the Pain or SuPer Substitute.

Thank you for writing and happy New Year!

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Dear Dr. Getty,

My tobiano paint mare, who will be 18 years old in April has started to developed white spots on her face. They are approx. a little bigger than a pencil eraser. She is a very easy keeper and is being fed Safe Choice, plus hay. She also has severe navicular on her left front and she gets bute a few times a week in her feed. To look at her she looks like she is in perfect health..and to my knowledge she is, but I am curious about the spots on her face. Any ideas?

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO