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Magnesium as a Supplement

azmulewhisperer@...
 

Hi,  I recently learned about magnesium for hooves when treating my horse who had foundered from undiagnosed Cushings.  I then started to feed it along with California Trace to my draft horse who although not lame, had always had badly chipping feet which I had incorrectly assumed was just a draft horse thing.  Shortly after introducing the magnesium and then later the Ca Trace, she started moving out LIKE A BOSS and I realized that it was her lack of proper minerals that had likely been an issue for her and she had actually been more foot sore than I had realized.  So now I have her on the Ca Trace and magnesium but just read that if you don’t have your hay analyzed you should not feed magnesium for more than 6 weeks.  I have not had my hay analyzed because I get a new batch of hay every 4-6 weeks and it is not assured that it will be the same batch from one load to the next.  So should I eliminate the magnesium after 6 weeks or reduce it or???  Thanks in advance for the advice! 

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Robyn and Forever
Sept 2018
AZ

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Robyn%20and%20Forrever

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=76158

 

The answer is, "it depends." 

The point of mineral supplementation is to correct absolute deficiencies (when the daily intake doesn't meet 100% of the recommended daily allowance) and to balance relative deficiencies (when excessive minerals compete for uptake with minerals that are in lower amounts). Mineral supplementation is brilliant when there are deficiencies but if there is no deficiency or imbalance, there will be no effect from supplementation. Some hays have 5-6 times more magnesium than required and some are deficient or have a relative deficiency due to high calcium in the hay. Are you thoroughly confused now?! This is why we recommend getting a hay analysis when possible, because nothing is more effective with respect to health or more cost effective than targeted mineral balancing.

When you cannot, as in your case, or if you can find out if you live in a region with low magnesium, then it may be prudent to supplement ~5 grams/day of magnesium. The chipping/flaking/poor hoof quality is more likely due to chronic copper/zinc deficiency and will take months before you see the effects of the new growth hoof with adequate copper/zinc. Supplemental magnesium, especially when there is a long-standing deficiency, can be insulin sensitizing, so the immediate improvement in her attitude/movement, could be the end result of magnesium supplementation. I'd stick with it.
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Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)

Director and Research Advisor, ECIR Group Inc.

Missouri, USA, 2005

https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=3-I7UI0AAAAJ 

 

azmulewhisperer@...
 

Thank you Kathleen.  Yes it is a bit overwhelming!  Can you explain what it means when you say "Supplemental magnesium, especially when there is a long-standing deficiency, can be insulin sensitizing"...?  I realize that any supplementation will time for the new improved hoof to grow out and you are addressing why she had such immediate improvement but I don't exactly understand why that was.  Thanks again! 
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Robyn and Forever
Sept 2018
AZ

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Robyn%20and%20Forrever

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=76158

 

You asked: Can you explain what it means when you say "Supplemental magnesium, especially when there is a long-standing deficiency, can be insulin sensitizing"...? 

Certainly! Let's assume your horse is insulin resistant (the cells are resistant to insulin signalling to allow glucose into the cell), the opposite of insulin sensitive (the cells respond, or are sensitive, to insulin signalling). Let's assume too, that you have low to deficient magnesium, perhaps a chronic magnesium deficiency. We know from research in humans that magnesium supplementation can increase insulin sensitivity, i.e., make the cells more sensitive to insulin signalling. If a horse has a long-standing deficiency, the addition of magnesium to the diet could result in an increase in insulin sensitivity and a decrease in symptoms related to insulin resistance. Keep in mind that a horse with IR getting 20-30 grams of magnesium in their hay, would not have a magnesium deficiency and may not respond to magnesium supplementation the same way as an IR horse with a deficiency. One person may say, "Wow! This product did wonders for my horse!" and another may say it did nothing. It's not the product, it's whether it's needed or not.
--

Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)

Director and Research Advisor, ECIR Group Inc.

Missouri, USA, 2005

https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=3-I7UI0AAAAJ 

 

Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Kathleen was saying if you have magnesium deficiency in an insulin resistant horse you could see rapid improvement when you supplement. Magnesium deficiency can also cause horses with a mild muscle disorder to be symptomatic and when you supplement they feel better and move much better within a very short time period.
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Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  Tis The Season 2 for 1 Sale
EC Owner 2001

azmulewhisperer@...
 

Thanks for the explanation.  I did not think that this horse was IR but because of the rapid improvement do you think that I should test her for IR?  I never want to go through what I went through with my sweet Forrever ever again!! 
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Robyn and Forever
Sept 2018
AZ

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Robyn%20and%20Forrever

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=76158

Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 
Edited

Pure drafts are rarely, if ever, IR unless they have PPID. If this horse is young I wouldn't worry about that.

Should mention too that laminar connections are often weak in horses not getting correct mineral levels. This can lead to sinking, flat soles and wide white lines, all of which make the horse foot sore. The heavier the horse, the more likely it is to happen.
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Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  Tis The Season 2 for 1 Sale
EC Owner 2001