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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: Watermelon rinds and Vitamin C suplementation

Hello Susan,

Thank you -- I'm glad you enjoyed the teleseminar, "Making Sense of Ingredient Lists, Feed Tags, and Hay Analysis Reports."

Vitamin C supplementation was discussed and can be appropriate for horses of all ages that are ill, have a suppressed immune function, or suffer from allergies. Once a horse gets to be over 17 years of age, it is a good idea to supplement vitamin C, simply because they no longer produce enough. Older horses, therefore, should have vitamin C supplementation for the remainder of their lives, with amounts increasing as they get older. But younger horses, may only need added vitamin C for a short period of time -- and that's where the weaning necessity comes in to focus.

If, for example, you are giving your horse 5,000 mg of vitamin C per day, his/her body will become accustomed to that level. If you were to stop suddenly, the horse will generally respond with deficiency symptoms. Therefore, if you want to stop supplementing it, you would take approximately 3 to 4 weeks to do so, by reducing every few days.

About watermelon rinds -- this makes a nice treat for horses, especially those that cannot tolerate the high sugar content of watermelon. The rinds (including the outer green skin) are low in sugar. Cut them into small pieces and allow your horse to finished chewing before giving more.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Hi Dr. Getty. Thanks for the very informative teleseminar on how to read feed labels. A couple of comments were made up during the teleseminar, unrelated to the feed bag analysis, that I'd like clarification for, please.

First, you mentioned not to abruptly stop Vitamin C supplementation. I'm curious why, and what is the safe way to wean a horse off Vitamin C?

Second, someone mentioned watermelon rinds as a nice treat for horses - are the green skin and white rind of watermelons safe for horses?

Thank you, Dr. Getty.

All the best,

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO