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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: IR/laminitic horse

Hi Ruthann,

I'm sorry to hear about your gelding. I know you want to take off weight, but I fear that in the process, a relapse has developed. This is because stress causes a hormonal response that leads to laminitis.

He is in pain, now has an ulcer, and you're starting to see changes in his muscle strength.

The best advice I can give you is to give him grass hay, free-choice. That's right -- 24/7. His stomach produces acid all the time, even when empty, and this leads to ulcers, and physical and mental stress. Have your hay tested to make sure it is low in sugar and starch and give him all he wants.

I highly recommend that you listen to my recent teleseminar -- "Laminitis- the Latest" -- you can register at Teleseminars. Also please read my book, Feed Your Horse Like A Horse.

About Quiessence... if he still has a cresty neck or fat deposits along his back, tailhead, shoulders, etc., then give him one scoop per 250 lbs of body weight. Once you start to see a decline in these areas, you can reduce it to a maintenance level of half that amount.

But, in all sincerity, Ruthann, you want him to heal and not have another laminitis attack. Bute is leading to an ulcer, forage deprivation is leading to more laminitis, and it is not a circulation problem so isoxuprine is ineffective (unlike the way we used to think about laminitis -- please register for my teleseminar to learn about this).

And, finally, please consider setting up a consultation appointment with me. That way I can go over all of the details with you and customize a plan just for your fellow.

My very best wishes,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

Ruthanne Hanlon
Hello Dr. Getty
In September of '11 I got a 12yr old MFT gelding. He was overweight and out of shape at the time. Shortly after he arrived he was diagnosed as IR (level was 3 , he had a cresty neck and fat deposits on his girth and flanks. We gave him thyroid powder for a month and switched his diet from Safe Choice to Empower Balance, 18lbs of hay/day and no grass. He was also started on Heiro.
He was diagnosed laminitic in October; 8 degree rotation in front right, none in left.
The weight was easy to get off despite him being on stall rest for quite some time then mostly hand walking.
Vet suspected he had epm, test came back in the 0-10 range and he was treated with Baycox in Ocotber then T/P in February of '12.
Just three weeks ago he had another bout of laminitis and is back in corrective shoes. He has also lost a dramatic amount of weight and muscle. He's being treated for ulcers and we're in the process of changing his feed to TC Low Starch. He's also on Micro-Vet and Isoxsuprine.
So my question is; I just purchased Quiessence for him but am not sure of the "loading dose", instructions say to start at 4oz/day as per his weight "until improvement is seen" - in his case what is the improvement I'm looking for? He no longer has heat in his hooves nor an elevated digital pulse.
Another interesting side note; up until this shedding season he was a very deep black with subtle roaning, his haunches are now mostly gray. He also has a weak hind end, vet suspects stifle issues - think there's any connection?
Thank you so much!

Where are you from? Waverly, Ohio