What's a detox diet for a horse? I feel like I have my horse on too much stuff! Thinking of starting over from square one. Taking her off everything but hay maybe some alfalfa cubes and rice bran for fear of her loosing weight.
Anyone done this? For how long? I am thinking at least two weeks before I start introducing grain back in.
Thoughts, opinions, experiences?
Last edited by Beethoven; Apr. 7, 2011 at 07:46 PM.
What makes you think the horse is intoxicated? I'm serious--the word implies "full of toxins" and the term "detoxify" implies that this can be reversed or removed or eliminated by some sort of treatment.
The kidneys, liver, lungs and skin, as well as the GI tract, take care of eliminating things that don't belong. It is entirely unnecessary (unless you are selling "detox" products, of course) to add things to the diet to aid this process in a healthy animal.
This is one of the biggest myths going, and they do a gigantic business telling people that bodies need "cleansing" and "detoxifying" when, lo and behold, Mother Nature has given us the means to do this for ourselves.
An exception of course would be genuine intoxication with things like heavy metals, poisons, etc. which may require very invasive "detoxifying" regimens like chelation (the real kind, not the fake kind, only for heavy metals), dialysis, or antidotes to legitimate poisons.
Too many Smart Paks doesn't put a horse into that category.
I'm of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", school, myself. Change for the sake of change is rarely more than a means of expending mental energy.
This is the situation. Horse went from being on free choice grass hay and 1 lbs of low starch Triple crown a day and being at a nice weight to now being a hard keeper. She now gets 6 lbs of high fat low starch grain over 3 feedings plus 1 cup of ultra bloom a day and free choice T&A plus cool calories etc etc. She was in CO, but moved to FL. Ever since she got to FL we have been throwing grain at her. She has been treated for ulcers and scoped clean as in healed ulcer sights. I keep her on a maintenance dose of compounded omeprazole.
I just feel like everything I do fails her. I need to start over.
I think getting her back to a base of good forage diet and also give her a full dose of omeprazole for a month will help "reset" her so to speak.
She gets fed the best quality grain at the barn and looks the worst. I am ready to tear my hair out!
If its wasn't broke than I wouldn't be trying to fix it.
Have you had a vet run blood work on her? Fecal count? Etc, etc, etc There can be many, many reasons why she is not holding weight, NOT just ulcers. (Speaking from experience as we have just been through a serious amount of testing and hospital visits with a hard keeping horse who then turned very sickly...he has IBS!).
But, I do agree with dw. You moved from one region to another VASTLY different region. Western hay is notorious for being FANTASTIC, and unless you are feeding her trucked in western hay, the FL hay could be seriously lacking in comparison.
What ELSE has changed? Is she working harder than before? I stumble across a lot of people who continue to feed their horses like a pasture puff just to find out that they've started riding the snot out of them two months earlier.
Last thought. That BIG move can really make a difference for some horses. The climate could just not really agree with her, so she's struggling. You may just have a hard keeper in FL and have to figure out what's going to help her.
You might want to look into Lyme disease...an easy enough blood test. Id also be taking a hard look at the day, sure seems like that where she might be loosing the calories that she now needs from the grain. Also, what is the grain product? High or low quality? Something else to consider.
My easy keeper was very suddenly not an easy keeper anymore. This happened about 8 months ago. He wan't skinny, however I felt like I was throwing much more grain at him then I ever had before.
Turns out my hay was crap. I got a new shipment of hay and bam, my easy keeper was back again.
I think your problem is that FL grass and hay isn't exactly known for its nutrition. My advice would be to replace some of that hay with chopped bagged forage or alfalfa cubes. Some high calorie, high vit/min forage will help more than any "detox" diet.
If the horse is fed T&A hay, that is not local FL hay, we cannot grow or hay it here. All of it is shipped in (and pricey). It may be a different nutritional value than the former grass hay.
I live in FL, my horses eat T&A that is shipped in, and they get all the pasture grass they can eat 24x7, and they are easy keepers. The hay right now is about 2-3 small flakes per day (to keep them amused while they hang out in the barn under the fans, or when it rains). They each eat about 3 pounds of Blue Seal Sentinel per day, a vitamin supplement, and a hoof supplement.
Good luck getting to the root of the problem.
There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams