Dear Dr. Dan:
I was strongly advised not to feed my 33-year-old stallion oats because a lab recommended by _____________ diagnosed him with insulin resistance, yet ____________ State's lab did not.
My vet has suspected he has had Cushings for a few years now because he has hair (not curly) that takes longer to shed in spots, lethargy and build up on his coat and elsewhere , frequent urination I think, 3-5 times in 3 hours. I haven't had him tested for Cushings because I didn't want to drug him.
After 20 years at the same stable, I had to move him to another private barn in June. One month before the move, I switched his feed from ____________ Sr. to _________ Sr. because of his insulin-resistance. He was actually burping while on ________.
Of course, I was questioning the nutritional value of the hydrogenated oils and other additives from the start in any of these foods, but was told pelleted feed with a beet pulp base was best for him. And not wanting him to be without flavor at this age, I also opted for the ____________, which includes 12 percent molasses (I thought it was a much smaller amount initially). He has had skin allergies, bad resistance to bugs, and at times, difficulty breathing when dust is prevalent (another vet said he had COPD). The alarming part is that he went from 850 lbs to 655, losing nearly 200 lbs in the past 3 months. The most he has weighed since the move is 680.
I have been supplementing his ____________ feed with 3-4 oz. of chia seeds, 2 teaspoons of non-processed coconut oil and other human grade vitamins like magnesium, calcium, celtic salt, kelp, vitamin A (he has only 40 percent of his sight) cosequin, msm, (2) drenamin in AM, Ration Plus and more. He has frequent gas when eating, so it appears he is not be digesting properly. Before I moved him, he was eating 13 lbs. of Tribute Sr.and finishing everything, as well as 7 flakes of grassy hay.
When I switched to ______________, I started to feed him 8 lbs. senior plus 1 lb beet pulp, and 8 flakes of grassy hay (which he sometimes would quid). We increased his feed little by little and now he's getting 14 lbs. senior and 2 lbs. of beet pulp. Even now, he's having trouble eating that much and sometimes leaves 2-20 cups. He doesn't have any back molars that touch anymore so I used to find lots of whole oats in his manure. The initial weight loss was probably due to the fact that he was so distracted by the new environment. The 90 plus degree weather didn't help either. He had been rejecting meals and hay, or eating just some of his food.
The vet now says he needs more calories. I don't know how he's going to chew more or what will entice him. I've also tried hay cubes and chopped hay (seems uninterested). The move has taken its toll. The barn owners also let their 27-year-old mare roam the aisle by his stall for exercise. He doesn't seem to react all the time, but does at times. This, I believe, could also be a contributor to stress.
Bottom line – I didn't want to feed oats because of his lack of chewing ability and insulin or Cushings problems. Can you say you have direct knowledge of less than 100 or several hundred of IR/Cushings horses on oats? Results? Are there any additional precautions I should take with feeding oats? Whole or crimped? What supplements can you recommend for this horse? How much weight gain might I see in a month or so?
Thanks so much for your help Dr. Dan,
Bless you guys hearts you do have a lot going on it seems.
Please know that my feeding "program" and supplements are the foundation that has helped so many through the years. Hundreds of horses with IR and Cushings situations have benefited from the program- that yes, starts with Oats.
www.WhatToFeedYourHorse.com is a good place to start for information for you to "digest" as you make the needed decisions moving forward.
Know that, while I do suggest OATs, they are not enough alone and that is only Step One of the 3 steps of the program as you will see on the above link/site.
Here is an article I want you to read if not done so yet:
For The Health Of Horses Feed Oats, But That's Not All!
Oh, and I prefer Whole Oats over the crimped unless the crimped are very fresh— crimped are only 6% more digestible and they tend to go rancid quickly.
On my pages of info, especially at the "What To Feed" link, within the articles, audios and videos you are going to see my disdain for any commercial feed (pelleted or any other type) beet pulp, flax and salt/mineral rocks/blocks.
So much of what you shared with me goes against "the grain" of my foundational program and in my opinion is a source for these challenges you are now facing.
Our "GMO-FREE" Weight Check Oil is the best source for the good fats that are needed…
We ALL need good fats– and the key is a "good" product to provide.
I have spent a lot of resources to arrive at our Weight Check Oil product and formulation and am proud of the results it has provided. It is going to support healthy weight-it will help put on what is needed
or take off what is needed. As you will see on the What To feed link, it is a component of the program along with the Just add Oats product that will meet your need for vitamins and more. (Also listed on What To Feed link)
With using our Weight Check Oil— there is no need to provide chia, coconut oil or any other sources of what you are seeking to provide- omegas etc.
I saw no mention about salt/mineral rocks/blocks, but our "balanced by nature"RED CAL has to be provided and provided free-choice… All they will want… All the time. (24/7/365). Remove all other salt/mineral/electrolyte "sources".
The above components have helped many and many choose to add a little extra "targeted" support— our Aller Check product and Health or Joint Check (i suggest Joint Check in your case), and of course, our Bug Check— that is much more than just a "bug" product— it provides benefits year-round!
Here is something that someone shared with me that you might garner something from:
And here is someone that asks about how to feed oats to their older horse (soak overnight)
There is also a mention of "Senior feed" in here … 😉
I hope that the above links and info will provide you with some good info that will help as you consider our products/program and your next needed step.
As your time allows, please visit "The Library" link below and there is plenty more info available to you. You might even enjoy some of the audios that mention "live conversations" as there is often someone sharing their testimonial with me and I was fortunate enough to capture. And of course the Magazine link to have the articles within easy reach.
I do appreciate you considering our products and appreciate you contacting me. Please keep me posted!
Please note: I usually (if I don't forget to catch) remove references to names of outher brands and products as well as references to information shared personally from others to the person that is asking me questions. It is for those reasons you see blank lines in place of those references.
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Check out these helpful links:
The Natural Vet Blog,Search for answers:
The Natural Horse Vet Magazine:
What To Feed Your Horse?
Dr. Dan's Library:
The Natural Vet On The Net: