Advice on diet

Mary Goldy <rmgoldy@...>

Hi, Being somewhat lacking in nutrition knowledge, I was hoping some
of you could help me on what best to feed my Cushingoid 25 yr. old
gelding. I have seen some mention of low carb diets being best, but am
not really sure what this includes or excludes.
Marvin is currently getting the following;

2lbs. Equine Senior grain twice a day (he will not eat more than that)
Focus Sr. vitamins
biotin supplement
magnesium, selinium and E supplement (our soils are very low in these)
grass hay in winter
good pasture 24/7
1 mg Permax

I am having trouble keeping weight on him right now and he has had
cushings induced founder as well.
Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Muchly!
Mary G. & Marvin


-read with interest your problems with diet, as we have been
struggling for many months to safely put weight on our guy without re-
foundering him (so far so good, knock on wood). I have had to alter
his rations at least 10 times due to his tastes changing, his
susceptibility to colicky episodes (due to dehydration from the
polyuria associated with the "diabetes", and possibly the
cyproheptadine's influence), and the changing quality/quantity of
- all the pelleted products are great if your horse will eat them-
mine got tired of the Strategy, so I found a KER recipe made by
Pennfield that is a high-fat, beet pulp based feed (for racers), that
has a lot of molasses that "masks" all the other supplements I hide
in the ration: rice bran (great if they'll eat it!),
Purina's "Athlete" (very high fat), vitamins, etc. I had to "tweak"
the amounts according to his tastes and how they all should be
proportioned for "safety", i.e. founder risk. What an ordeal this
spring has been. Sometimes I had to refuse to let him out until
he "cleaned up his dish"- like a kid at the dinner table!
- BUT the good news is that it has paid off in his picking up weight
(very gradually), cleaning up all his feed, and not having any more
tummy-aches. We just increased his permax from 1 to 1.25 mg and this
has had a great impact on how he feels,( getting his "zip" back!), so
I am gently lowering the volume he gets (3# four times a day!). This
is the first truly positive response we've had since his diagnosis
last October. This disease really requires a lot of patience to deal
with- (not my long suit!).
-Sounds like your horse gets a good diet, and maybe needs his
meds "tweaked". Do you have his glucose levels checked every so
often? I have been advised to use the "dip sticks" to test the urine,
(like diabetics use), to monitor changes, at home. Also am keeping a
of his weight changes using a tape. We really get good nursing-
training managing this disease, don't we?
- I have not had the nerve to use any supplements with yucca in them
due to fear of founder, although this may just be paranoia. Maybe you
or someone else out there has any info re research re this?
- let me know how you make out.