Alfalfa question


I understand that alfalfa is generally not recommended for laminitic horses since some are sensitive to it, and I have worked hard to eliminate it from Alley's diet.  However many supplements have small quantities of alfalfa as a carrier and I know Alley will eat meds if they are given with a handful of alfalfa pellets or even alfalfa hay.  Is there a quantity of alfalfa that is unlikely to cause harm or is it a matter of trying to eliminate all alfalfa in the diet? I don't think Alley has an allergy to it since she has been fed alfalfa hay and pellets all her life until she had laminitis last fall at the age of 17. Your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated. 
Annette and Alley 
October 2018, Moscow, Idaho
Case History:  .
Album:  .

nicola Weatherley

Nicky and Molly IR Canterbury NZ


Good question, I have the same problem. My horse doesn’t want to take her supplements without something more appetizing, like superfibra Classic from purina.

Renée and Camilla
Port Cartier, Québec


Rosie’s fav thing is alfalfa. I have found a few different ways to use it. I make a tea and syringe her pergolide with the alfalfa tea. She would not eat anything but alfalfa, but I have been able to extend it to other things. She would not eat beat pulp, but now with a hand full of alfalfa cubes soaked with beet pulp. It seems as long as the flavor of the alfalfa is there it will cover a lot of things........except the mineral supplement. 😕

Heather and Rosie
Ontario, Canada
Dec 2017
Rosie's Case History  
Hoof photos,,,20,1,0,0

Pat Gauvreau <pgauvreau@...>

I found same thing with my mare. She doesn’t like the balancing minerals (or her meds) so soaked Alfalfa cubes does the trick. 
Pat and Savannah
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
January 2018 

Case History:

Patti Shores

I know this is not a favorite on this group but my 26yo Cushings/IR mare only gets alfalfa.  She is doing fabulously on it, perfect weight, NO problems with feet, energetic and HAPPY.  So I am sure it is the individual and you have to decide how much a risk you are willing to take to find out how much your horse can tolerate.  My vet highly recommended my mare be put on alfalfa, he has had only good results with it for metabolic horses but of course doesn't handle the number that Dr Kellon does. 
Patti and Penny 
Washington, USA
May 2017 (this time)
Case History

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Definitely true some can tolerate alfalfa. Some can tolerate glucosamine too. Some can't. It's a precaution.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

Nancy C

I was struck last week in seeing how different "alfalfa" can be in different parts of the country. IMO blanket ok for recommended use of this for hay is unwise, especially if it is not tested.

Using alfalfa in small amounts as a taste tempter has always been ok'd here.

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
DDT+E = effective treatment for PPID and EMS/IR equines:


Cheryl Oickle

An absolute variable here regarding the alfalfa I agree!I had to scramble to get a supply of low sugar low starch hay this last year when my horse was diagnosed with IR and Cushings. Although the protein is higher, the starch and ESC/and WSC is actually lower in the alfalfa grass mix.  I have taken to cautiously giving approx a 1/3 of her feeds of this along with the analysed grass hay I have in order to have enough to get me through until this years supply....So far so good! And she loves it, and seeks it out before the rest of course.  Trial and error I suppose. 

Cheryl and Jewel
Oct 2018