Therapeutic Diets in Horses Therapeutic Diets in the Horse

By Dee DiPiero Foals Metabolic problems in the horse :obesity, cushings/metabolic syndrome,EPSM feeding the older horse, feeding the thin horse,, HYPP, EMND/EDM, hypertryglyceridemia, liver and kidney disease. Functional nutritional problems in the horse: horse: feeding the horse with colitis or after large colon removal ,tube feeding a horse, parenteral nutrition.

The Newborn Foal
Newborn foals have an intact immune system with no circulating antibodies. The foal absorbs intact antibodies during the first 24hours of life from the colostrum. A foal that does not receive enough colostrum or is septic, will have limited immunoglobulins (antibodies).

Colostrometer from Lane Manufacturing Good quality colostrum is above 1.060 Colostrum can be frozen for up to a year

h o u r s s p e n d



The Sugar in Milk
lactose lactase is enzyme needed

Foal-6 months

2 weeks to 2 months 4 months


¼ to 1/2 flake 1 to 1 ½ flake 1 to 1 ½ flake


6 months stop

Creep feed 161618% CP Grain

Human Nutrition
To calculate calories: ideal weight (kg) x 222244Kcal/kg44Kcal/kg-body weight. ideal weight (lbs.) x 1010-20Kcal/Lb20Kcal/Lb-body weight.

Equine Nutrition
The majority of the diet is complex, fermentable, carbohydrates 1 Mcal=1000Kcal basal req.=30req.=3040Kcal/kg

Performance Horse’s Total Amount Consumed/day as a percent of their body weight
LayLay-up, idle Horses 1 ½% to 2% (15(15-20lbs/1,000lbs) Light Work 9up to 1hr/day) 2% to 2 ½% (20(20-25lbs/1,000lbs) Moderate Work (1(1-3hrs/day) 2 ½% to 3% (25lbs(25lbs-30lbs/1,000lbs) Intense work (3+ hrs/day) 3% to 3 ½% (30(30-35lbs/1,000lbs/day)

Calculating Mcal and the determination of an adequate diet.
Find out what kind of hay is fed and how much. A pound of hay has about 1 Mcal. A flake of hay is 335 pounds Find out what kind of grain is fed and how much. Do not be afraid to weigh the grain fed and look at feed tag. A pound of grain has about 1.3Mcal. pasture Don’t forget about supplements Water and the salt block with trace minerals.



Modification of Mcal

One can meet the nutritional requirements of most horses by feeding a goodgood-quality hay/pasture water and a salt block supplemented with trace minerals.

Modifications in Carbohydrate
Cushing’s SyndromeSyndrome-: Hyperadrenocorticism Laminitis a consequence obesity fructans Not all of these horse need to lose weight but avoidance of lush pastures

Modifications in Carbohydrate
Metabolic Syndrome Assoc. with insulin resistance Want to decrease carbohydrates that produce a high glycemic indexindexstarch and lush pastures. Avoid obesity Not all of these horses need to lose weight.

Modifications in Carbohydrate
EPSM Low carbohydrate diet. 2020-25% Mcal from fatfat- can give up to 2 cups of oil (4Mcal) per 1000lbs. Good quality alfalfa hay or alfalfa/grass hay mix. Can use low carbohydrate grains, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp to mix with oil. Regular exercise regime.

Feeding the Senior
Senior feeds are great Can add fat gradually to increase Mcal Keep a check on teeth Senior mashes. Not too much bran Good quality hay


Feeding the Starving Horse
Refeeding syndrome: -electrolyte imbalancesimbalanceshypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, and hypomagnesemia -fluid overloadoverload-refeeding edema Start with low CHO alfalfa q 4 or grass hay q 1. ¼ of basal needs Increase slowly, follow blood work Check for parasites, teeth, foot problems

Other Dietary Manipulations?
HYPPHYPP- Low potassium. No alfalfa. No molasses. No bananas! EMND/EDMEMND/EDM- Vitamin E HypertryglyceridemiaHypertryglyceridemia- ponies, but have seen in starving animalsanimals- must feed but low fat! Liver DiseaseDisease- low protein Kidney DiseaseDisease-counsel client on horse that cannot concentrate urine.

Functional feeding problems
Post Choke Post large colon resection Right Dorsal colitis

Tube Feeding
When animal will/cannot ingest adequate nutrition. botulism hypertryglyceridemia foals

Parenteral Nutrition
The gut does not work! Foals Anterior Enteritis Post Colic Surgery

Assembled PPN
Clinimix E by Baxter 2-liter bags $80.00/bag 1kcal/cc 0r 2,000 kcal/bag 4.5% amino acids and 25% dextrose



The End


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