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Suggestions for dry feed additives to hide the taste of medicine?

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  • Suggestions for dry feed additives to hide the taste of medicine?

    After three days, my horse is already very over the taste of his new medication and he will be on it for a month. To streamline the feeding process, I am trying to avoid my usual standby additives, applesauce in the feed and apple cider in a syringe. I was thinking I might grind peppermint along with the pills, or perhaps a spoonful of brown sugar (to help the medicine go down, Mary Poppins!) Any other suggestions for a dry additive I could use to mask the taste?
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

    Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
    Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

  • #2
    I haven't had much luck with dry additives, although I have used sugar in desperation with limited success. But, since it's short-term, if you end up going with applesauce, I recently discovered that the individually packaged "snack size" applesauce containers are much more convenient. They're more expensive and less environmentally friendly, but for a few weeks, I think much easier.

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    • #3
      Can you insert the new medication in a treat, like a stud muffin, and have the barn staff throw in one treat per meal?
      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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      • #4
        I've used koolaid before (sugary kind) but applesauce always had done the trick too!

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        • #5
          Crushed peppermints work very well, as long as your horse likes peppermints that is. You can get the softer ones that are easier to crush (I crush mine still in their individiual wrappers with a nutcracker).

          My horses also love dry jello mix - raspberry is the favorite flavor, but it doesn't mask the really bitter medications.

          There are also Medi-Yums, I tried those, they do work, but are a bit labor intensive.
          http://www.gcoopersmith.com/EquineMediYums.asp
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
            Can you insert the new medication in a treat, like a stud muffin, and have the barn staff throw in one treat per meal?
            Unfortunately there's rather too much powder for that. This is a horse who will eat bute tabs straight out of my hand, but he very quickly gets offended by drugs spoiling the taste of his dinner. I think I will be trying the peppermint route for now. If he figures that one out too, nothing for it but the applesauce. He can't bring himself to turn that down!
            "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

            Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
            Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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            • #7
              If the peppermints dry don't work, you can also mix it with some hot water, and pour it on the feed, I do that all the time, works great.

              One other option, but even more labor intensive is the unbaked cookie route. I did this for months for one of my horses.

              Take some oatmeal (not instant) and grind it in a coffee bean grinder into flour, add shortening, brown sugar and molasses, to a cookie dough consistancy, then make one ball of dough with a single dose of the medicine mixed into it. Then roll the ball in some unground oatmeal, and wrap in waxed paper. You can mix up a bunch ahead of time.

              But, before you do that, make some unmedicated cookies to see if the horse will eat them first (so you are not wasting expensive medicine). Not all horses like the texture of the "cookies", but mine liked them for a long time. After several months though, he got wise to it, and I had to switch to the peppermint water mixture.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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              • #8
                I know you were looking for dry products... dark brown sugar might be your best bet. Sometimes mashing up a banana works, or a bit of peanut butter if your horse will eat that. My horse loves peppermints, I get the soft ones from Sam's Club and those are easy to smash up. But they don't seem as strong as the starlight mints. =)

                Good luck. Usually it doesn't matter what you put in with the medicine, they seem to know its there. My only advice is don't make a BIG mash with the medicine in it, they seem to finish it if the mash is on the smaller side.

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                • #9
                  Brown sugar works great with my horse, give it a try.

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                  • #10
                    I have had the most success with brown sugar and cinnamon. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and really hides bitter tastes.
                    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by FindersKeepers View Post
                      I have had the most success with brown sugar and cinnamon. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and really hides bitter tastes.
                      I hadn't thought of cinnamon, that's a great idea!

                      I may try those unbaked cookies too. I think he will get wise to them quickly, but he is feeling rather deprived of treats right now (no riding = no work = no cookies!) so I might get a week out of it.
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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                      • #12
                        I normally use Jello powder. My horses are gaga over Raspberry. I've used Sugar free and the the regular with great success. However, what I started doing recently is I got in a bucket of U-gard powder. Just a small sprinkle is enough to flavor their small amount of food. It smells like berry and the horses love it. And especially when you are giving medicine, U-gard just isn't a bad thing to give anyway. All of mine get 3 shakes of the cinnamon can which is probably less than an 1/8 of a teaspoon. My horses just get a small amount of soaked BP since they are easy keepers so I have to get creative to hide some of their supplements.

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                        • #13
                          To the people who use brown sugar, do you have to store your packets of supplements (if you pre-make) or just store the brown sugar in general differently for this? Over x-mas I won't be at the barn daily to give my mare her supps, so I'm hoping to get someone else to do it. I don't want to ask them to wet the feed for me, but adding brown sugar may do the trick if I can just pre-make a week's worth at a time and leave it ontop of my trunk for the person to feed to my mare.
                          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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                          • #14
                            I know this is not dry, but a little bit of corn oil will hide the taste and smell of the medication. It works wonders. Use just enough to lightly cover this grain.
                            Eventingismylife
                            http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

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                            • #15
                              it's probably just me, but it feels morally wrong to feed jello - ie GELATIN - to my horse...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAAAA Bossmom, that is so wrong.

                                Like throwing food out in front of a dog...

                                Wearing a leather coat in front of a cow...

                                Eating chicken in front of your pet bird...

                                Making your goldfish live next to the toilet...

                                Okay, that last one is a stretch but the jello comment had me laughing out loud...
                                ...don't sh** where you eat...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I feel like I might have even read this on here at some point, but what worked for my incredibly picky eater was to mix the pills with some grain and mix in a drop or two of peppermint extract (it's a very light oil, so not too wet at all). The smell was very strong and overpowering, and he loves peppermints so he gobbled it up!

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                                  • #18
                                    I've used dark caro syrup with mixed results but ALWAYS have good luck with veggie oil. The trick was taking a gallon tupperware tub, mix the pellets, oil (1/3 cup) and power in together, close and shake well. I make them up ahead of time so the oil/powder/feed had time to bind together so even her best bucket shakes/dumping of the bucket didn't seperate the medicine from the food.
                                    I've heard dried molasses works well too. I managed to get the only 3 horses in the world who don't like peppermint! Maybe they like cinnamon....That's a great one to try!
                                    Katherine
                                    Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey
                                    www.piattfarms.com

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by bossmom View Post
                                      it's probably just me, but it feels morally wrong to feed jello - ie GELATIN - to my horse...
                                      It's good for hooves too.

                                      You know, poultry and caged birds THRIVES off eating hard boiled eggs too. Tons of protein and makes them glossy as can be. Guess you'd have some major moral reservations with that one too

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                                      • #20
                                        I've had great luck with koolaid powder, though it looks like she is wearing red lipstick afterwards...

                                        [QUOTE=winfieldfarm;4488356]
                                        Eating chicken in front of your pet bird...

                                        /QUOTE]

                                        My parrots are absolutely nuts for KFC
                                        Reasons I'm crazy, #37: I went out shopping for a pony and came home with a 17hh OTTB
                                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~

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