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Best Complete Feed for Cushings Horse?

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  • Best Complete Feed for Cushings Horse?

    He's been eating Ultium mixed with dissolved timothy cubes, but seems to be off feed again. Normally, sweet delicious Ultium makes up for having to eat the hay cubes, but now he won't touch any of it. Doesn't really eat hay - just chews it up, sucks out all the good taste, and spits it out. I think it's time to get the boy more roughage and calories - don't know if he's IR, but he is prone to diarrhea when he's eaten senior feed in the years before I had him. Any ideas?

  • #2
    both my horses are IR and I'm starting to suspect cushings in one of them, though I do not know for sure. Cushings and IR do not nec. go together, but I personally feed my horses a ration balancer by buckeye - Grow N Win. Its a high protein low sugar feed designed to supplement a foraged based diet.

    My 28yr old mustang is on a senior version of the rationbalancer, Safe n Easy, though its higher in nscs than GnW, and its fed in higher quantities. I will likely switch my senior to GnW though, his teeth are in great shape for his age and he really doesn't need the extra sugar.

    I don't know that either of these feeds would be considered "complete" though as they're not meant to be a significant source of calories... my horses are on practically free choice hay 24/7.

    You mention your horse is chewing up and spitting out hay, could he possibly be quidding? how are his teeth?

    If your horse is refusing sweet foods, perhaps check for ulcers? One of my horses developed runny manure and probable ulcers from having been fed a diet that was too high in sugar for him to handle (this was without my consent too ). I say probable with the ulcers as I haven't had him scoped, but he's been responding favorably to ulcer treatment.

    Finally, soaked beetpulp is a fabulous way to introduce roughage, calories and additional water in a diet. Quite a bit can be fed too. Soaked, its good for an older horse. I fed dry shreds for years, but recently switched to soaked for the additional water and 'chew time'. I buy unmolasses, but discovered that even that has molasses anyhow, so I rinse/soak/rinse mine. Takes about 40 min every morning. I find pellets to be extremely economical, but require quite a bit of soak time, and the binding agent is likely molasses and it takes me forever to rinse it out.

    For pure calories, I love cocosoya oil, but it doesn't help in the roughage department.

    Finally, search yahoo for the cushings group, extremely helpful people there!!!!
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      He's in his 30's and has practically no teeth. When the dentist is here, she just looks for sharp spots since there isn't enough left to float. He's been on Pergolide for Cushings for years - doesn't eat hay and now won't eat dissolved hay cubes, so I do need a complete feed instead of a ration balancer. I mention his well-controlled Cushings so that people know high-molasses senior feeds are out of the question... He needs the roughage as well as the calories - oil tends to increase diarrhea, so we don't generally go the cocosoya route. I do have an EPSM horse, so I tend to be in favor of an oil-based diet, if only he could tolerate it! He won't touch soaked beet pullp even mixed with grain - of course, I use the plain, rather than the molasses-coated.

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you tried adding a few alfalfa cubes to the timothy cubes? My mare will NOT touch timothy cubes, but sure does love her alfalfa cubes.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Vet has told me not to feed alfalfa since it can be hard on the kidnets - old horse and don't want to risk it. I think I'll go to the feed store...

          Comment


          • #6
            ah! had you mentioned the pergolide, age, and teeth in the initial post (perhaps I missed it too!) I would've responded differently.

            http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/EquineCushings/
            ^^^ These people are extraordinarily helpful.
            Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

            Comment


            • #7
              The people at Sergeantsville Grain & Feed are very helpful, and they carry the Pennfield feeds (which I have been using for 6 years now) - and highly recommend. I would also mention checking out Blue Seal Trotter which kept my 30+ y.o. horse fat and gorgeous even without being able to eat much hay due to missing 10 teeth in the back of her mouth.
              Last edited by Buffyblue; Jan. 16, 2009, 03:36 PM. Reason: Remembered Trotter
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

              Comment


              • #8
                I like Triple Crown Senior. It is a complete feed that is beet pulp based. Highly palatable and can be mixed with water. Here's an informative article--

                http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/newshealthproblems.php

                This is the feed

                http://triplecrownfeed.com/senior.php
                "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

                Comment


                • #9
                  TC Senior is also lower in NSC than Ultium. I believe the TC is about 12% which is pretty darned low. Mine find it very palatable. It is beet pulp based.

                  (btw, an EPSM type diet should be referred to as forage based and fat supplemented, not oil/fat based. The amount of fat in even an EPSM diet is still relatively low)
                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                  Spay and neuter. Please.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I believe the TC is about 12%....
                    `
                    Guess again! TC Senior is 15.7% NSC; TC Low Starch is 15% NSC.

                    The TC Safe Starch forage, which contains something akin to ration balancer pellets is a guaranteed 10%, I believe. Perhaps your pony would eat this if you didn't make it too wet. It's worth a try.

                    I think no matter what route you go this can get expensive.

                    Molasses acts like a laxative in the system, that could account for the diarrhea.
                    "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      monstrpony - the mare gets 28 oz. of oil per day divided among 2 feedings of hay stretcher and alfalfa pellets plus free choice hay. Can have oil, but limited forage - can't have forage and limited oil...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cherry View Post
                        `
                        Guess again! TC Senior is 15.7% NSC; TC Low Starch is 15% NSC.
                        I think they have changed the formula a bit. When Cindi was first diagnosed with Cushings, I remember TC Senior being 15-16% NSC, but now it is 11.7%, per the company. (Scroll down to the chart of feeds.)

                        For Cushings horses, I really like Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes (guaranteed below 10% NSC) and TC Senior.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          That's what we've been feeding him in his mush - tried reducing the amount of hay cubes relative to Ultium and he still wouldn't eat more than a mouthful. I'd worry that he's colicking, but he's otherwise bright.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Purina has been making Horse Chow 100 and 200 since at least the 1980s when I first used it to fatten up an old toothless horse. That horse went on to live well into his 40s. Something to consider.

                            http://horse.purinamills.com/product...e_Chow_100.asp

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JanWeber View Post
                              I do have an EPSM horse, so I tend to be in favor of an oil-based diet .
                              I was responding to the statement quoted above, not to the diet for this particular horse. Alas, referring to an EPSM diet as "oil-based" just sets off the anit-fat people. In fact, the standard EPSM diet is not high-fat, nor is it oil-based; it is a fat-supplemented, forage-based diet.

                              Just asking for come care in terminology, not criticizing what you are doing for this horse. Sorry if it came off otherwise.
                              "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                              Spay and neuter. Please.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Jan, what feed company brands are you able to get easily in your neck of the woods? It doesn't make any sense for someone to recommend something that takes an act of God for you to get--you need a feed, or feedstuffs, that you are able to get on a reliable basis.

                                That said, I would pick a company (I tend to really like Triple Crown products) and call them for a recommendation! You have to make sure that this pony gets more bang for the buck from its "feed". Triple Crown uses probiotics, rice bran and other things in their feed to help put and keep weight on a horse.

                                You might also not make the feed so mushy--use half the water and add some magnesium oxide in the feed so that the pony isn't turned off by the texture. The magnesium oxide should help to keep the pony drinking--or use Tractgard.

                                The pony's meds might also be taking away his appetite (if she's on meds). You might have the vet out to do bloodwork to determine if it's right on, or needs to be adjusted. It wouldn't hurt to check the thyroid or do some other tests to rule out physical problems.

                                I'm now officially out of ideas....
                                "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We kept our Cushings pony going for years, and years, and years on a diet of soaked beet pulp (non molasses), soaked alfalfa pellets (cubes were eventually too hard for her to chew), and about a quart of ReLeve (High fat, low starch KER feed, see links below). She was on Pergolide as well, not such an expense as she was a small.

                                  She lived WELL into her 30's, and went over the bridge from causes unrelated to Cushings after nearly a decade after being diagnosed with it.
                                  Inner Bay Equestrian
                                  Facebook
                                  KERx

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Buffyblue View Post
                                    The people at Sergeantsville Grain & Feed are very helpful, and they carry the Pennfield feeds (which I have been using for 6 years now) - and highly recommend. I would also mention checking out Blue Seal Trotter which kept my 30+ y.o. horse fat and gorgeous even without being able to eat much hay due to missing 10 teeth in the back of her mouth.
                                    Sergeantsville Feed also carries McCauley Bros. feeds and you should definately look into the Alam. You can read all of the info on the Alam at www.mccauleybros.com.
                                    Cindy

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by M. O'Connor View Post
                                      She lived WELL into her 30's, and went over the bridge from causes unrelated to Cushings after nearly a decade after being diagnosed with it.
                                      My hat's off to you! I hope very much (and work very hard) to have the same outcome for my Cindi.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Some of you who've lived in the area and done Pony Club or shown at DVHA may know the old man: St. Cloud, a 16.2 gray Arab/Trakehner cross, a retired showjumper who is "personality plus". We can get nearly anything we need from Sergeantsville, so suggest away. He doesn't drink in his stall, so we try to keep his food fairly wet - doesn't seem to be the sloppiness that bothers him. Tried something new last night - I have a trainer friend who told me to try Complete Advantage. The amount of molasses makes me shudder, but it's better than some. A handful of CA in with the hay cube mush and Ultium and HE ATE IT. Let's hope it lasts...
                                        http://s21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ncer/?start=20

                                        Mares are like neutrons. If there are too many in an area, you approach critical mass. And then there are explosions. Loud ones.

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