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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. 

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: My horse seems to have sensitivity to alfalfa

Hello Leslie,

I do not see this often, but it does occur, generally due to an allergic reaction. Some horses (though few) are allergic to alfalfa and therefore need to avoid it completely. Many commercially fortified feeds contain alfalfa, as do many popular supplements. So check labels well.

I did see one case not too long ago where the horse had a similar reaction to a particular bale of alfalfa, while never experiencing a problem in the past. It turned out that the bale had a lot of white dust, which indicated mold. And while horses will generally avoid moldy hay, I suppose it wasn't enough to matter, and just enough to make him ill.

But, if your horse is not typically fed alfalfa, it is likely due to an allergic response. You can have him tested for allergen sensitivity, if you'd like to confirm this.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Leslie Holder
Hello, my name is Leslie Holder and my horse seems to have a very sensitive system. He recently got into alfalfa only eating a flake and half. He went off feed and on third day he became lethargic and sweating under his blanket in 37*. I didn't have thermometer to check him but his ears were cool. He is not obese. He is a barrel horse in immaculate condition. Do you see much of this?

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO