Thanks for asking Brenda…

Hi Dr Dan I’ve been using Red Cal for a little over 2 yrs after meeting you at the Horse Expo in Timonium, Md. One of my mares for several months now is peeing in small amounts and very frequently and never pees a large pool of urine.

My vet suggested a urine culture after discussing her issues and they found a few calcium osolete (spelling at risk) crystals and her ph is at the low end of normal range. He has suggested putting her on 2-4 oz of apple cider vinegar for 30 days trying to resolve her peeing issues and retest her then. I mentioned the red cal supplement I’ve been giving her and since he is not familiar with it he asked that I remove it from her diet.

Can you tell me if you would deduct the same conclusion or if the red cal could have any impact on her condition? She has no soft bowels nor diahrea but an imera (also spelling issue) protozoa was also detected in her fecal. Can you shed any light or assist further with appropriate information here?

Thank you so much. Brenda K.

We have thousands and thousands on red cal .. we have never had an issue. they must have salt. there is none better. they have to have trace minerals too. it does have calcium but it also has every other mineral know to man. they get plenty of phosphorus from fertilizers through grass hay and grain so the calcium is not an issue.
Actually red cal would make the pH higher (what you want) , so personally I would be looking at changing feed because what you are now seeing is slightly acidic or close to acidic it sounds like, so…… I would  listen to the audio on what to feed below. commercial feeds are terrible by the way.

As for the protozoa, they are not that uncommon, we see them in fecals regularly (we do hundreds and hundreds of equine fecals). I wouldn’t give this a second thought unless symptoms are present and large numbers are seen but … then I would be looking at what allowed them to be present in the first place (suppressed immune system issue) and boosting the immune system. they would be considered secondary issue not primary cause of disease in horses (in my opinion anyway)

Thank you Dr Dan for your reply………….
this mare’s immune system could very well be at risk due to stress of her past yr…….she had regularly competed in western pleasure with APHA and I hauled her from Md to Ok last June to participate at the Pinto world show and she incurred an injury while there and had to have a bone chip removed once home………inturn she was stall kept with minimal hand exercise from June till Oct.

Once winter set in her physical activity was further limited as I have no indoor and we experienced a lot of icy conditions on my property hence her turnout was greatly guarded to prevent further injuries. I did reduce her grain intake to about 1 1/2 lb per day(Purina Ultium feed) with first cutting grass hay fed at 4-5 feedings per day. Her weight has been kept under control but she has lost considerable body fitness in my opinion.
She seems very happy, alert and energetic and as my tax preparation needs are under control now she should soon begin a fitness regime to bring her back to her normal routines………..
I did listen to your feed recommendations and am curious how to adjust for differing energy requirements or calorie needs I guess………does weight and body condition as she is working determine the volume of oats she will need or would it be necessary to increase the oil content for energy requirements ?
What is a typical weight or volume of oats for a 900 lb horse? I’ve never in 28 yrs fed oats so I have no knowledge here. I also have stone dust turnout for winter turnout and have grass paddocks for turnout from April thru October typically so I have to feed hay year-round. What kind of hay do you suggest for this diet of only oats with limited grazing options?
Sorry for so many questions but my vet here has not even considered her stress issues or change of feeds and wants perhaps to do antiobiotics for the protozoa and the apple cider vinegar to adjust the ph issues.
I’m doing fecals on the other two horses here tomorrow as one has intermittent soft stools from time to time but she could have another whole set of issues as she’s 32 yrs young this yr…..(she’s actually been with me since she was a 4 yr old so processed feeds her whole life have not done her so wrong I figure)….
Thank you again for any further suggestions or considerations.
I’m always open to ideas and a better way to the benefit of “the girls”.
Brenda K.

You do adjust volume of oats and amount of oil according to need. Generally for weight gain increase the oil amount. 2 oz per day is typical amount for weight loss and maintenance (it takes good fat to burn fat by the way). Up to 8 oz per day can be given for weight gain. Books call for grain is 1 percent of body weight daily (9 lbs in your case) BUT that is generally in my experience way to much. I suggest just switching to the same volume of oats that you now give of grain (do this switch over a week or so)

As for hay I like timothy and orchard grass but working horses, pregnant, young stock etc. would be fine with extra alfalfa.

Thanks for asking!!!