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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 

 



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

Thank you so much for this forum, where we can ask questions about our dear horses. What do you recommend for managing bug season? Flies and ticks are the main problem in California. I do fly sheets and masks, incl. mask on trail. I'm thinking of trying Buggzo, does it work? What do you recommend for ticks? any spray that you like?

Where are you from? California

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Hi 10Walker,

Thank YOU for being such a conscientious horse owner. It is my pleasure to offer insight to improve horses' lives and help their owners.

About Guggzo... I really like Horsetech products and have been recommending them for years. So, this isn't anything against Horsetech but instead, it is my skepticism about any insect-repelling product that contains garlic. Take a look at my Tip of the Month page on my homepage: www.GettyEquineNutrition.com" -- you'll find one on garlic shown there. Basically, garlic is toxic to horses -- can lead to Heinz Body anemia. The toxin is called allicin -- a protein that does repel insects. But, because it is toxic, commercial products that use garlic will heat the garlic to neutralize the allicin. All well and good, but then the bug repellent aspect also goes away. So, the bottom line... risk Heinz Body anemia (takes a while to happen -- using garlic for many months), or have your horse smell like garlic, without any of the allicin left (now a smelly horse may repel insects!).

I prefer what you're currently doing. Fly predators are good, too. And there are so many insect sprays on the market -- find what works well for you. I like natural sprays but you do have to use them several times a day.

Finally, I have two non-scientific suggestions that have worked well for me. Once is apple cider vinegar. And about 1 cup per 20 gallons of water. Most horses love it. Be sure to offer fresh, clean water as well.

The second is vitamin B1 -- approximately 500 to 1,000 mg per day. Many of my camping friends using B1 out in the woods to repel insects.

Thanks for writing!

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: 10walker
Thank you so much for this forum, where we can ask questions about our dear horses. What do you recommend for managing bug season? Flies and ticks are the main problem in California. I do fly sheets and masks, incl. mask on trail. I'm thinking of trying Buggzo, does it work? What do you recommend for ticks? any spray that you like?

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Thanks, I've heard you speak before. I thought you had concerns about garlic, which is in Buggzo. I will try B-1 and apple cider vinegar. Can I add the vinegar to alfalfa pellet/glanzen mix...if so how much? Thanks again.

Where are you from? California

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Hi 10Walker and thank you for your patience. I am now in Ohio and slowly getting settled.

Yes, you can certainly add the apple cider vinegar to your feed/supplements. 1/4 to 1/2 cup per meal is a good
amount to start with, depending on how your horse likes it.

Keep me posted.

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: 10walker
Thanks, I've heard you speak before. I thought you had concerns about garlic, which is in Buggzo. I will try B-1 and apple cider vinegar. Can I add the vinegar to alfalfa pellet/glanzen mix...if so how much? Thanks again.

Where are you from? Waverly, OH

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

B-1 update: so far the B-1 (1,000 mg.)/ mixed with their glanzen and alfalfa pellets, seems to be keeping the bugs away. I still spray for ticks every few days, ususally they get some every ride, even w/ spray, now hardly ever. I take B-1 now, too, with good results (bugs usually eat me up) Thanks for your good advice.

Where are you from? San Luis Obispo, California

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Hello 10 Walker,

That is fabulous news! 1,000 mg of vitamin B1 seems to make a difference for most horses but you can safely go up to 2500 mg per day.

Keep up the good work!

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: 10 walker
B-1 update: so far the B-1 (1,000 mg.)/ mixed with their glanzen and alfalfa pellets, seems to be keeping the bugs away. I still spray for ticks every few days, ususally they get some every ride, even w/ spray, now hardly ever. I take B-1 now, too, with good results (bugs usually eat me up) Thanks for your good advice.

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

I too fight the battle (more like full blown warfare) of the ticks (and flies). If you don't mind the feel of it put Showsheen in the horse's mane and tail and on the legs. I have tried other products such as Cowboy Magic and it did not work as well. The slickness of the Showsheen prevents the ticks from being able to hang on and climb up the mane, tail, or legs. This works equally well for dogs.

As for using fly spray I know people complain that it doesn't work for very long regardless of the company claims. However, they tend to work better if you follow directions. (I would put a smiley face but couldn't figure out how). Many of the directions say to use 8 ozs per horse and rub it in not just spritzing . I actually started to do that and the fly spray started to work for days and so it wasn't wasted. Imagine that : ). My horses are out during the day and I use either the concentrate Repel-X or Wipe. Ok they are oily but used as directed they seem to work. I have used the spot-on stuff but you need to start early in the season and I usually forget.

Research has shown that garlic does not repel flies or mosquitoes.

I also use fly predators with great success. I order from Arbico and have been very happy with them. No I get nothing for recommending them but have had great customer service through the years.

Where are you from? Cool, CA

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Hi Sheila,

Great posting with excellent advice! And I, too, find the fly predators to be helpful but you have to start early in the season.

I am going to try Showsheen on my dog!

I have also heard very good things about Zephyr's Garden products, so if you have experience with them, please feel free to let me know.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: Sheila
I too fight the battle (more like full blown warfare) of the ticks (and flies). If you don't mind the feel of it put Showsheen in the horse's mane and tail and on the legs. I have tried other products such as Cowboy Magic and it did not work as well. The slickness of the Showsheen prevents the ticks from being able to hang on and climb up the mane, tail, or legs. This works equally well for dogs.

As for using fly spray I know people complain that it doesn't work for very long regardless of the company claims. However, they tend to work better if you follow directions. (I would put a smiley face but couldn't figure out how). Many of the directions say to use 8 ozs per horse and rub it in not just spritzing . I actually started to do that and the fly spray started to work for days and so it wasn't wasted. Imagine that : ). My horses are out during the day and I use either the concentrate Repel-X or Wipe. Ok they are oily but used as directed they seem to work. I have used the spot-on stuff but you need to start early in the season and I usually forget.

Research has shown that garlic does not repel flies or mosquitoes.

I also use fly predators with great success. I order from Arbico and have been very happy with them. No I get nothing for recommending them but have had great customer service through the years.

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

I have not tried Zephyr's Garden products so no comment on them.

Where are you from? Cool, CA

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Re: Suggestions for bug season

Thank you, Sheila,

I plan on giving them a try.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Quote: Sheila Larsen
I have not tried Zephyr's Garden products so no comment on them.

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio

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