Topics

Audi's Diet


lindsaykrauland@...
 

My gelding Audi really struggles with his weight despite never having super high ACTH levels. I thought we had him on a really good diet, but Dr. Kellon commented on my previous thread that his diet is insufficient if he's a hard keeper. Now I'm confused!  I was trying to follow ECIR guidelines, offering Audi at least 2% of his ideal body weight in food each day. Additionally, I attempted to calculate his caloric & protein intakes and thought they looked sufficient. My calculations came out to about 24,000 calories per day and a bit over 1,100 gm of protein. (I'd welcome a correction if I got it wrong.) I offer him more food than this most days, by adding in an extra scoop of ODTBC or an additional pound of beet pulp, but he's never offered less than this base amount. Everything is carefully weighed, and he's separated from our other horse for meals. This diet seems to satisfy his hunger so that he has just a tiny amount of leftovers most mornings following being in for the night to eat. He receives 3 meals a day. I estimate his ideal weight at 1200 lb. He's been between 1065 and 1084 for months now.

Current diet is, at minimum:
15 lb hay
4 lb Safe Starch
1 lb Ground Flax
2 lb RSR Beet Pulp
2 lb ODTBC
Plus the assorted supplements listed in his CH.

Does he actually need more than this? And not only that, but could the diet alone be causing him to look sooo bad? I mean, I can understand if perhaps he could use a bit more to really boost him over the top, but could he possibly be looking as poorly as he does on 24+ lb of quality food a day, if nothing else were affecting his weight? 

Dr. Kellon had suggested adding in some wheat bran to bulk up his diet. She stated the S/S content was higher than ideal but that it wasn't really a concern because his last insulin was good. If I can be less concerned about S/S, would it be ok to give him some senior feed instead? My local TSC carries TC Senior. Could I give him that?

Additionally, what factors cause a horse to be a "hard keeper?" I'm quite new to horses but have generally assumed the very hard keepers often had a correctible reason for being such, like PPID or maybe ulcers. I assume some horses do, in fact, have higher base metabolic rates, but do these normal variations usually lead to the need for massive increases in daily intake?

In the 9 months that I've had him, he's had his teeth done twice and been wormed twice. He's had 2 unremarkable fecals (and been wormed regardless). He's had an EPM test, serum chemistry panel, and multiple ACTH/insulin/leptin tests. So far, the only thing that has ever really come back looking abnormal was the slightly elevated ACTH and one time that he tested as compensated IR. 

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


Allison
 

I'm no expert but... could he be given more hay? Or, when stalled, could he be given his hay in a slow feed net, so as to spread the feeding out longer? Just throwing some suggestions out there.

I'm very interested in hearing what others with more expertise have to say!
--
Allison in Ontario 2020

Sonseeahray Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Allison%20and%20Sonseeahray
Keegan Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Allison%20and%20Keegan
Keegan XRays and Hooves Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=255699&p=Name,,,20,1,0,0


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Hi Allison,

Hay is always in a hay net or slow feeder. Audi gets 5 lb in a 2” net (late morning) and at least 10 lb in a Savvy Feeder (overnight).

Generally, I try to give extra calories in the form of something other than hay, as the suggestion here was that he may not be able to utilize hay well. To be honest, I don’t think that is a problem for him, but I’m trying to keep all the bases covered .

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


 

Another thought, Lindsay.  Have you tried adding cocasoya oil?   Logo was 17.2h and needed a lot of calories.  He was diagnosed with shivers which, at the time, was thought to be helped by a high fat diet.  That’s no longer thought to be the case and I’m not sure Logo ever had shivers but he ate a lot of cocasoya oil over the years.  He was PPID but not IR.  A senior feed generally adds fat but isn’t all that high calorie and adds more roughage than Audi might find interesting.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


 
 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Hi Martha, 

Yes, we tried Cocosoya last spring when Audi began rapidly losing weight. I want to say we went through 2 of the big bottles, using 4 oz/day (if I recall correctly; it was the horse in work dose). He continued to lose weight/topline, and I discontinued the oil after someone on an equine nutrition group on Facebook suggested the soy was inflammatory. But again, it didn't seem to help. I would have discontinued the Cocosoya around early-mid May, I think.


--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Also, I was under the impression that high amounts of flax would take the place of an oil? He's currently on 1 lb flax, but I've given him up to 2 lb/day for a period of about 2 months. Again, no impressive gains.

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


 

How about Phyto Quench?  I think I threw that one your way last week.

The fact that he’s leaving a bit of feed in his dish regularly may mean that it’s difficult for him to pick it up.  I’m sure you must feel that I’m coming up with a lot of ridiculous suggestions but they’re all based on my experience with older horses.  
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


 
 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Hi Martha, I don't think your suggestions are ridiculous, and I appreciate your tossing them my way! 

That said, my experience with Audi just really seems to suggest that neither diet nor oral problems are to blame. I keep switching his diet up and feel like I've tried darn near everything, yet haven't seen much improvement with anything. On the matter of his mouth, the dentist feels he's really quite good. I joke that's the one thing he has going for him! I really think he's leaving food because he's just not feeling hungry. Last night, for example, I really stuffed his Savvy feeder full of hay. It was about 5 lb more than I usually give him overnight. I weighed it. This morning, I found at least 5 lb still in his feeder. (I did not weight the extra, but the feeder appeared at least 1/3 still full.)  On top of that, there were the usual few bites of beet pulp in one bowl and a bit of Safe Starch in another bowl. (I practically give him a full buffet overnight.) Yet, he can easily pick up every last bit of crumbled Stabul treats when I serve him those with his CP mixed in.

At this point, my main question is, is this diet-- mouth issues aside and assuming he doesn't have those problems-- sufficient? Dr. Kellon's comment that his current diet isn't sufficient for even an 1100 lb hard keeper is really weighing on me. I honestly and and truly don't understand what aspect of the diet is insufficient nor how to calculate the right amount of food to give a horse if the 2% rule doesn't apply.

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

*Phyto Quench- It's definitely on my radar. Dr. Kellon had also requested a video of Audi carrying a rider. I believe I can get that tomorrow. I was planning to post that in a new thread and to go from there regarding whether he might need more pain relief than he's currently getting.

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


Maxine McArthur
 

Lindsay, hope you don't mind a quick comment about my (very limited) experience of my horse losing weight. She is a very good doer and in the 13 years I have owned her (she is now 17), she's only lost weight once despite increasing her feed. This was last year when she was in a remedial shoeing package for 3 months. She was sound, otherwise looked normal, ACTH tested normal, eating well, but she started dropping weight. The shoes did not help her and after we pulled them, she returned to her normal weight (and I quickly revised her feed intake!). My theory is that she had some low-grade discomfort that caused the weight loss. 
I wonder if Audi may have something rumbling along in the background that is preventing him from keeping the weight on. I do remember that my old horse (now deceased) had quite bad hock arthritis, and in his later years he got great relief from devils claw then later previcox. I think Martha made the suggestion of trialing some pain relief just to see if it made a difference? Phyto Quench looks like a great product--wish we had it here. 
He really is a lucky horse to have you on his team. My horses would die happy if I gave them a buffet, haha. 

Re the 2% of bodyweight guideline, I think you also have to consider the energy value of the feed. So, 10kg of a hay that has 2mcal/kg will be more valuable to a hard keeper like Audi than 10kg of a hay that has 1.2mcal/kg. Same weight, different energy value. I do the opposite to you--I try to make sure my easy keepers have a nice full belly of the 1.2mgcal/kg hay, not the 2mcal/kg hay (such as lucerne). 
Sorry if this muddies the waters further! 

--
Maxine and Indy (PPID) and Dangles (PPID)

Canberra, Australia 2010
ECIR Primary Response

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Maxine%20and%20Indy%20and%20Dangles 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=933

 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Hi Maxine, 

Thanks for chiming in.  I find your experience with your mare to be very interesting, and indeed, we are considering discomfort as one possible cause of Audi’s woes.  I find the relationship between pain and weight loss to be very interesting!  Namely, I think it’s fascinating that a horse can appear sound and yet be in so much “quiet” distress that he drops weight.

We’ve picked apart Audi’s trim in my other recent thread, and my trimmer is going to go with the recommendations here the next time she’s out.  Hopefully that will help with any residual foot pain.  On the issue of arthritis, I do think that could be a significant factor.  He was previously shod and also on daily Previcox when I got him, and he dropped weight very quickly after we made big management changes compared to how he had been kept.  Specifically, we removed his shoes and discontinued the daily NSAID.

I was planning to video him moving tomorrow and post for thoughts regarding his level of soundness before making a final decision about Phyto Quench.  I’ll still post the video, but based on your experience with your mare, I think I’ll go ahead and give the Phyto Quench a try now.  He’s on MoveEase currently, but it’s effect on him isn’t clear to me. So again, thank you for sharing your experience!

And yes, I am aware of the need to watch the RFV of the different food sources.  That’s really the crux of my diet question— Can a horse Audi’s size receiving 24,000 calories per day, including more than 1,000 gm of protein, from the listed sources, fall into such poor condition due to an inadequacy in the diet alone?  Earlier when we were feeding a low quality hay, I had to watch calories and protein to ensure the horses got what they needed, and so I have experience with adding in various supplemental feeds and not going strictly by weight.  However, now that we have a good quality hay, as well as other quality sources of forage, I figured the 2% thing was the ticket.

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


gypsylassie
 

Hi Lindsay, have ulcers been discussed?   You could do a trial of ulcer meds, or aloe vera to see if they help.   Also, my vet once said that while the 2% is standard for feeding, some horses just need more.  fwiw.  
Laura K Chappie & Beau over the bridge
2011 N IL


Lorna Cane
 

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 02:28 AM, <lindsaykrauland@...> wrote:
I think I’ll go ahead and give the Phyto Quench a try now.
Good choice, Lindsay.
I totally agree with Maxine's experience with the effects of 'low grade' pain. Many others here can tell of the same experience.
 
--

Lorna  in Eastern  Ontario
2002
Check out FAQ : https://www.ecirhorse.org/FAQ.php


quatzie_baby@...
 

Hello Lindsay... 
I saw your posting and took a took a look at your hay Coastal Bermuda 10/20/2020

I didn’t see your work sheet for your base diet, but what I saw was the following:

DE Digestible Energy is .83 which is 17% less feed value than 100
ADF 34.7
NDF 64.8  (high) mean less digestible hay
Both of these values combined means less digestible to the horse from your hay. 

I would increase your hay by 17% to bring up the food value up to 100%. I would try providing some of the hay free choice. Your horse may find it difficult to eat thru a small hole net.  

This was just a quick look but those two values glared out to me.
My TB would not be able to keep his weight on with this hay with-out major increase in hay or higher quality hay.  

I hope this helps. 
Sorry this got posted to another topic late last night...  

--


Jeannie 
2010 Oregon
NRC +, CIR0813, NAT0413

Case History   https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannie%20and%20Zena
Photo  
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=57253&p=pcreated,,,20,2,0,0

 

 


lmittler@...
 

Hi, Jeannie,

I'm Audi's trimmer and I just want to add a quick note about our coastal Bermuda hay in south Texas since I work with Kathleen Gustafson on all my hay testing. Kathleen is building a database with all of my tests and a few others from the area. The hay grown in south and central Texas almost always comes back with a high NDF. She sent me a few detailed emails about this, which are mostly above my pay grade (LOL!!), but it's definitely a trend she's seeing. I don't know how that all works into what Audi needs but I thought I would mention it since I know it's a common occurrence in our hay. 
--
Lisa Mittler
Barefoot Hoof Practitioner
South and Central Texas
January 2019


quatzie_baby@...
 


If the hay is the issue? The horse just may not be able to digest it well enough (high NDF) it would give a high gut fill. Which could impact how much he could eat. Could be worth a try replacing a few pounds with something with a much higher DE and lower NDF. Sometimes you have to try a few different products to see what works and the horse likes. Kathleen Gustafson would be my go to for hay balancing, maybe best to contact her with diet details. She a wealth of knowledge, and it sounds like she knows this type of hay. Best Wishes 

--


Jeannie 
2010 Oregon
NRC +, CIR0813, NAT0413

Case History   https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jeannie%20and%20Zena
Photo  
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=57253&p=pcreated,,,20,2,0,0

 

 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Hi Laura, Ulcers haven’t generally been at the forefront of my mind, as he doesn’t seem to have belly pain, and he doesn’t mind having his barrel touched.  I suppose it is something to keep in mind.  I really don’t know much about ulcers in horses, to be honest.

Jeannie, Thanks for your thoughts.  The DE of the hay is 830 kcal/lb.  This seems pretty typical to me and in fact, is the same number of kcal/lb as the ODTBC.  Am I missing something there?  On the issue of NDF, I agree it’s high.  Lisa has shared some of Dr. Gustafson’s thoughts on this with me, and I know it’s something they’re putting some real brain power into.  All I can say about that is to echo Lisa’s comments that it’s pretty typical for our area.  Texas isn’t quite known for it’s excellent pastureland.  HA!  

I hope that some of Audi’s other feed stuffs help to make up for any potential issues with the hay, although I’m sure he was eating a similar hay in his former home, and he was looking fine there. 

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


lindsaykrauland@...
 

Sigh.  I’ve spent all morning pricing out different diet options for Audi.  This horse is way more than I bargained for.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t buy him again if I had a do-over. :(

How does this diet look:

10 lb hay
10 lb RSR beet pulp
3 lb ODTBC
1 lb ground flax
+minerals etc

I calculate it at 22,840 kcal/day and still over 1,000 gm protein.  It’s 2% of his estimated ideal weight in mostly easy to eat & digest form, just in case.

This eliminates 5 lb of hay and the Safe Starch and replaces it with a bunch more beet pulp.  Economics are at the forefront here; I want Audi to thrive, but I have to be realistic about my financial resources.  I can feed this diet for about $0.40 more per day than what he’s getting now.  My supplier for the ODTBC is spotty to say that least, but I figure I can substitute an equal amount of Safe Starch, which is readily available, for those times I can’t get the ODTBC.

I checked into wheat bran as per Dr. Kellon’s suggestion, but my local grocery chain doesn’t seem to carry it, nor does TSC (as far as I can tell).  The best I could do locally was site-to-store through WalMart, but that was $5/lb!

I know I will have to mineral balance the beet pulp.  Does anyone have a worksheet for that already done?  I use the Standlee Beet Pulp Pellets from TSC.

--
Lindsay in TX 2020

Audi Case History:  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lindsay%20and%20Audi

Audi Photo Album:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=248156 


 

On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 06:56 PM, <lindsaykrauland@...> wrote:
Jeannie, Thanks for your thoughts.  The DE of the hay is 830 kcal/lb.  This seems pretty typical to me and in fact, is the same number of kcal/lb as the ODTBC.  Am I missing something there?
Lindsay, you are missing something critical. 0.83 Mcal/pound of hay with NDF of 64.8% is not equivalent to 
 0.83 Mcal/pound of ODTBC with NDF of 54.8%. The digestibility of the feed (somewhat roughly shown as ADF and NDF on EA analyses) is an important factor in evaluating it's quality as a source of calories for an aged horse. We aim for hay with NDF below 60%.   Audi may not be able to extract critical nutrients, among them Crude Protein, from your hay, even though a younger horses may do it with relative ease. 

--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
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Eleanor Kellon, VMD