Senior Nutritionist Q&A

HELPING OUT A VERY OLD HORSE, NO TEETH, 42 YEARS OLD
Customer: “My friend has a horse that they say is 42 years old. I had no idea a horse could even live that long. Is that unusual? What is a normal life for a horse? Anyhow, he has no teeth so they feed him grain with water and some other things. I was wondering if you have any suggestions. Thank you.”   
 Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella:That is pretty old for a horse. Typically horses live around 30 years. Losing their teeth is a common problem with older horses. So you have to feed them some sort of mash. I would highly recommend adding our Super Weight Gain product to his diet. It is an extruded soybean-based product so it is easy for horses with no teeth to eat. As horses age (especially this guy, being 42) they need added assistance. Super Weight Gain will not only provide him more fat but also a complete vitamin and mineral supplement to address deficiencies, and prebiotics and probiotics to help him get the most he can out of the feed him is eating. A horse that old needs all the help he can get.
NUTRITION FOR MY AGING QUARTER HORSE MARE2
Customer: “My easy keeper mare is now 23 years old and although she’s always been healthy, now she’s looking thin. She lives on 30+ acres most of the time with 3 other horses. (I say most of the time; sometimes they are fenced off in a smaller area.) What should I be giving to supplement her at this point? She seems hungry.”   
 Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: It would be good to supplement all of your horses with a vitamin/mineral supplement like Horse Guard because it will address any deficiencies in their diet. Now, that your mare is getting older and is starting to get thin I would recommend starting her on Super Weight Gain. It will address any vitamin/mineral deficiencies that she has, provide her more energy, and help to stabilize her gut so she can get more out of the food she is eating. As horses age, their ability to digest decreases. For this reason, I would recommend keeping her on the Super Weight Gain. I would also recommend giving her continuous access to high-quality hay.
WHAT WOULD HELP MY UNDERWEIGHT MARE?
Customer: “I have a mare who is somewhere around 26/27. She’s foundered in the past and over the last month, she’s lost a lot of weight. She’s on grass hay and the special blend pellets from Culver. The vet said her teeth don’t look that bad and she’s been dewormed. The vet said Horse Guard had something that should work for her. So what do you think? She’s 100 lbs underweight!” 
  
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Dr. Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your mare. I would definitely recommend putting her on Super Weight Gain. It not only has cool energy fat and protein (which will help because she shouldn’t receive feeds high in starch), it also has a complete vitamin and mineral supplement. In addition, it has prebiotics and probiotics to help her with any gastrointestinal issues she may be having.
A SUPPLEMENT FOR OLDER HORSE
Customer: “Can you recommend a supplement to keep my 22-year-old gelding feeling energetic and good?”   
 Answer from Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Dr. Kelsey Johnson Nonella: I would recommend feeding your gelding Trifecta. It will provide him a vitamin/mineral supplement, gut support, hoof and hair supplement, and joint supplement all in one dose. The vitamin/mineral supplement is crucial for optimal overall health in your gelding. The prebiotics and probiotics will help to ensure his gastrointestinal tract well. As horses getting older they start losing their ability to digest as well. Biotin will help his feet to stay strong and his coat looking good. Finally, the joint support includes 5000 mg of glucosamine and MSM, as well as 100 mg of hyaluronic acid. These potent levels of these ingredients will help him to keep feeling young.
PUTTING WEIGHT ON MY SENIOR THOROUGHBRED
Customer: “I have a senior thoroughbred gelding that I’ve had for the last two years. He was a rescue horse so he has a few issues, nervous and such at times. I find that he isn’t putting weight on like he should be. I have tried many different feeds and I’ve increased them as much as I can but I don’t see any difference. Is there anything you recommend to feed or do so he can put some weight on… Thanks in advance.”   
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horse. I would recommend trying Super Weight Gain. It will not only provide him with fat and protein like other weight gain supplements but it will also take care of any vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies that he may have. Often times thin horses are more prone to vitamin/mineral deficiencies. In addition, the product contains prebiotics, probiotics, and live yeast cultures. Some horses, especially rescue horses, don’t have optimal gut flora to help break down and metabolize the nutrients ingested. The prebiotics and probiotics in Super Weight Gain will help to develop healthier gut flora in the hindgut so that your gelding can get more out of his feed. The product is a soybean-based product so he would be consuming “cool” energy and not making him more nervous. This along with good-quality hay in front of him at all times and whatever kind of concentrate you prefer, I think should help your gelding to start putting on weight.
ISSUES WITH KEEPING WEIGHT ON MY 25-YEAR-OLD
Customer: "Hi. I am very interested in this product. Do you offer samples? I have a 25 yr old gelding that I am having issues keeping weight on. I have many supplements w no positive results. Thanks in advance…” 
  Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: I am sorry to hear about your gelding. As horses age, it can get harder and harder to keep weight on them. Super Weight Gain has shown many people positive results when they haven’t seen any difference with other weight gain supplements. The reasoning for that is that it not only addresses energy needs with fat and fiber, but it also addresses vitamin and mineral deficiencies and helps to stabilize the gut with prebiotics and probiotics. We don’t offer samples. However, all our products have a 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied, call the office and we will take care of it for you.
350 POUND UNDERWEIGHT OTTB 22 YEARS OLD
Customer: “Jakob is a 22yo OTTB at my barn, I am getting involved in his nutrition due to his high weight loss. He is very ribby, hip bones sticking out, quite underweight. We are heading into winter here in Belchertown Massachusetts and I am trying to help his owner get the situation under control. What is your suggestion as far as supplements as well as pounds of grain/day and how many times as well as how much hay etc. He is currently on an extruded feed 4 pounds a day with two pounds of soaked beet pulp. We are also blanketing him starting tonight in a lightweight blanket. He is getting wormed as that has not been done since April, and he will have a fecal done. He is also getting his teeth done ASAP. Please advise on the type of feed etc if you can.”   
 Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: So sorry to hear about the OTTB being so underweight. Sounds like you are helping the owner get him on the right track. Being dewormed and getting his teeth is the first step in the right direction. When considering his feeding program, it is important that you slowly increase his feed. When horses are very emaciated you can put them in grave danger if you introduce a lot of feed at once. I would recommend starting him on Super Weight Gain right away. The small dosage of 8 oz a day can be fed in full to him immediately. It not only provides fat and protein for energy, like other weight gain supplement, it also contains a vitamin pack that addresses any vitamin and mineral deficiencies the horse may have and helps to stabilize the gut flora with prebiotics, probiotics, and live yeast cultures so the horse can get more out of the feed he is consuming. For forage. I would recommend feeding him a very high-quality forage. Slowly introduce more and more hay. I recommend eventually stepping him up to free-choice hay. Horse's digestive systems are designed to consistently eat small amounts throughout the day. There are continuous feeders designed for this purpose that help minimize wasted hay. The 4 pounds of extruded feed and 2 pounds of beet pulp are a great start to helping this horse. The rule of thumb is that a horse’s daily feed consumption should be no more than 40% concentrate of his total diet. So you could gradually step him up to approximately 10 pounds of extruded feed per day. Feed the concentrate in 3 different feedings per day.
SUPPLEMENTING MY HEALTHY WEIGHT SENIORS
Customer: “I have two horses, a 24-year-old Quarter Horse and a 19-year-old Appaloosa. The Quarter Horse is retired, and the Appaloosa is lightly ridden. They have been on Horse Guard for 15 years and look fabulous. I’ve also recently started them on Hoof Guard. They are on pasture about 5 hours a day, get 2 cups of oats once a day (mixed with their supplements), and get a light “dinner” of grass/alfalfa hay in the evening. I was wondering if I should consider some kind of senior supplement for them in addition to or instead of the Horse Guard.”   
 Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Great to hear they are doing so well. It sounds like they are on a great feed regiment right now. However, have you noticed them starting to develop any stiffness? If so, it would be in their best interest to switch them to Trifecta. Trifecta contains a full dose of Horse Guard, Hoof Guard, a gut supplement, and a very powerful joint supplement in an 8 oz dose. We feed it to all 15 of our horses, and the joint support really helps my 24-year-old broodmare out, and I still rope on my 19-year-old mare thanks to Trifecta.
GIVING MY OLDER HORSE MORE SUPPORT THAN JUST HIS DAILY TOTAL EQUINE
Customer: “I have a 23-year-old quarter horse who is currently on Total Equine. This product does work good but I feel I need to give this old guy an additional supplement. He has arthritis in his knees and has very loose, runny stools. We do put natural balanced aluminum shoes on his front, which helps a lot. I have heard good things about Trifecta. My concern is, would giving him both of these products be giving him too much of any one of the ingredients? Can a horse be given too much of any one of the ingredients listed for Trifecta?? Just want to take care of this old guy, since he takes such good care of the child riding him:))) Thank you in advance for any insight you can give me!!”    

Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Trifecta would be a great addition to your Total Equine. When fed at 4 pounds per day, Total Equine provides 0.5 mg of inorganic selenium to your horse, because it is a nationally-branded product. Oregon, Washington, Idaho, the Great Lakes area, and East Coast however are extremely selenium deficient, therefore supplements must provide particularly all the selenium in order for our horses’ selenium requirements to be met. Trifecta will ensure that your horse is receiving 3 mg of organic selenium. Too much selenium from both products would only really be a concern in the Midwest. The organic selenium in our product is more bioavailable as well as safer to your horse. So as he ages even more it will help to keep his immunity high and muscle functioning well, by helping to rid the body of free-radicals. The other added benefits that he receive from Trifecta will help him to stay feeling good are a gut, hoof, and joint supplement. We have fifteen head of horses from yearlings to 24-year-old broodmares and everything in between, and they all receive Trifecta. My good mare is 20 this year and has been on Trifecta most of her life, and I still compete heavily on her. Thanks to Trifecta I have to do very little maintenance and she hasn’t lost a step.
FEEDING A SENIOR HORSE
Customer: “I have been feeding Purina Sr. Active for about 2 years or so. Lately I have notice more and more whole corn showing up. I spoke with a friend she suggested that I switch him to timothy pellets and a good vitamin/mineral supplement. I live here in Washington and know that selenium is not good here. Plus being a sr. he needs joint, hoof and immune help. I have also noticed that he has lost most of his hair coat but a little still remains. I have wormed him and give him a coconut powder. What would your suggestion be in respects to feeding the hay pellets and your product?”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: I would highly recommend feeding him Trifecta. It will provide him with a vitamin-mineral supplement that provides 3 mg of organic selenium (crucial in selenium-deficient areas), a hoof supplement, and joint supplement all in one feeding. The biotin in this product will help his hair coat. In addition, the probiotics will help him to get more out of the feed he is consuming.
PUTTING WEIGHT ON MY SENIOR PONIES
Customer: “We have been feeding our horses this: 33 year old Welch Cobb pony (500) Super Gain (1 scoop) plus Senior Equine (9 oz..), 1 lb of Rice Bran, 1 scoop of Equizyme, 1 scoop of CW Continuous Wormer, Simplifly and 7 lbs of grass hay.(I don’t see any spit balls of hay). He does get his teeth looked at and filed regularly. The Super Gain worked at first, but, over the last year he has lost maybe 100 lbs. And our 23-year-old Miniature horse (220 lbs) 8oz. of Rice Bran, 1/2 scoop of Equizyme, 1/2 scoop of CW Continuous Wormer, Simplifly & 3 lbs of grass hay. He has had recurring bouts of Laminitis which started about 15 years ago from hanging with the big horses on pastures. Just found out our employee was giving Senior Equine to him without permission which most likely caused the last bout of Laminitis. He is no longer eating Sr. Equine. What can I do to help our Welch Cobb gain 100 lbs and our mini gain 30 lbs.?” 
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horses. As they age it can get harder and harder to keep weight on them. I would recommend keeping them on the super weight gain, and adding Glow to their program. Glow is extruded soybeans. It will provide them protein and fat to provide them more energy without any added carbohydrates. Glow will help to prevent laminitis. The energy-dense soybeans will be a safe energy source for them.
OLDER GELDING NEEDS A BOOST FOR HOOVES
Customer: “I have had my older gelding on Horse Guard, a joint supplement, and Sand Clear for years. Recently his hooves don’t seem to be in very good shape, so I think I should add a hoof supplement, but I want to keep it as simple as possible. What would you recommend?”   
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: Sorry to hear about your horse’s hooves. Sounds like you take great care of him. I think Trifecta would be a great change for him. It will be able to replace all of your current supplements and also provide him with a hoof supplement as well. You will want to do your monthly Sand Clear still however. Trifecta is absolutely amazing. It is what we feed all 15 of our horses, and really helps out my 25-year-old mare.
SWITCHING MY SENIOR HORSE TO YOUR PRODUCT
Customer: “I’m thinking about switching my senior horse feed regiment to your product. He’s a 22yr old appendix paint 17 hands tall. I’ve gotten him up to a healthy weight he was thin when I rescued him. My concern is I’m feeding a lot of senior grain and I’m worried about the amount of sugar. I’m feeding 6lbs 2x day senior grain and 3lbs 2x day rice bran, good quality hay and bottom ground pasture. I would like to be able to give him less grain and still be able to get him the high calorie intake he needs. He also has a lot of arthritis in his hips. Which of your products would work best for him? I am blanketing him when temperatures drop below 40 degrees.”   
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella: I would recommend Simplete Senior. It contains a full dose of Horse Guard, probiotics, and joint support in a 2-pound dose for a 1000 lb horse. So your guy weighs around 1,250 you would want to 2 1/2 pounds. You could also consider adding some alfalfa to increase his caloric intake.
Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

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