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Anyone had recent experience with toxicity in Nutrena feeds?

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    Anyone had recent experience with toxicity in Nutrena feeds?

    I'm looking for information from anyone who's had toxicity problems with Nutrena Proforce Fuel feed this year. I took an apparently perfectly healthy 13-yr-old show jumper to the clinic yesterday with a pulse rate of 225. After a night of lidocaine, magnesium sulfate and steroids, today the vet told me his pulse rate is down to 60 (still not good), and he has a serious arrhythmia. I'm thinking it could be ionophore (monensin) contamination. I'm planning to send the suspect feed to an independent lab for analysis, but would appreciate hearing about anyone else's experience. I'm in Arizona -- don't know yet where this feed was manufactured.

    No help on the feed since my barn does not use that. But mega jingles for your horse, and for you! Please update when you can, that has to be completely frightening.
    "When I look back on my life, the times I have been stingy or unappreciative haunt me. I don't regret one instance of generosity." --PeteyPie


      Last year(?), there was a mill in Goshen, CA, that killed quite a number of horses with their in-house formulated feed. There was very little information on what they were using in their house brand, but the necropsies found monesin. This mill is still in business and does mix feed for a number of national brands that are sold coast to coast. They claim they have tightened up their procedures. . Don't know if Nutrena is included in their client list, or not. Personally, I will not feed Nutrena or Purina feeds.

      Jingles for your horse.

      ETA: If you call feed brands, you can ask where their products are milled.


        This is terrifying, jingles to you and your horse. My boy gets fed Nutrena senior, I guess I'll be on the lookout for problems


          If you get any more information on this feed, please let me know, thank you!


            Original Poster

            Update from today -- Keaton is receiving oral activated charcoal to reduce absorption of whatever it is that caused him to go into V-tach. Lidocaine has been reduced, but heart rate is back up to 90; however, the most troubling thing now is he has a grade 3 AV Block (I think I have that terminology right), which means the different parts of his heart aren't beating in the correct order. In humans, this would result in emplacing a pacemaker, but that doesn't happen in horses. The vet is mildly optimistic that Keaton will pull through, but expects to find some damage to his heart that will probably put an end to his competitive career.

            I spoke at length with a representative of Cargill (which makes Nutrena feeds) who asked me a long list of questions and told me the deaths of 2 horses in California in April had been "proven" not to be due to ionophore contamination of Nutrena Senior. However, that's not what I saw in the information on the Nutrena website (see this link: A friend who's a representative for Tribute feeds gave me a contact at a California lab that I plan to have do an independent analysis of the bag of feed.

            Thanks for your good wishes. And THANK GOODNESS for major medical insurance for horses.


              Please call the FDA consumer complaint Coordinator for AZ and file a complaint for the grain.


              An investigation should be initiated after your complaint is filed. The FDA investigator may also want a sample of the grain.


                We had a discussion about the possible contamination in Southern California--it's here and has some good info about all that. Was clear, though, that ionophores were not the cause of the deaths of those horses.

                I hope Keaton continues to improve! How scary!


                  How incredibly SCARY! Please keep us updated, as my horse is on that feed. I can't even imagine... All the good jingles for your guy. So so so sorry!
                  A blonde & her hunter:


                    Have other possible sources of poisoning been looked at as well? I'm in Arizona too, and aside from toxic bushes such as oleander we have toxic snakes and spiders too. I hope your boy recovers, what a horrible situation!


                      Subscribing to keep up with your Keaton. Fingers crossed and well wishes your way.


                        What feed company would say that only a small amount of poison in its feed is OK? Cargill is buying up a lot of the feed companies, according to what my vet told me today. I don't like nutrena and I don't use nutrena.


                          Originally posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods View Post
                          What feed company would say that only a small amount of poison in its feed is OK?
                          A lot :\
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            Originally posted by WildandWickedWarmbloods View Post
                            What feed company would say that only a small amount of poison in its feed is OK? Cargill is buying up a lot of the feed companies, according to what my vet told me today. I don't like nutrena and I don't use nutrena.
                            500 years ago the Swiss physician Paracelsus recognized "All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison."

                            Given the remarkable advances in our ability to detect ever decreasing amounts of varying compounds within a mixture, it isn't surprising that we are now able to detect minute traces which previously would have been undetected, but still present.

                            "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                              I think the issue less about how little is really there, and more about it being known and acceptable to regularly have even trace amounts of ionophores in horse feed. That then means the feed is made behind a product with it in it, which means the company is accepting the risk of having a mechanical or human failure and killing horses.
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                The unfortunate thing is that it's getting very difficult to tell which horse feeds are produced in a monesin free environment with certain large companies doing the milling for most of what we considered "safe foods".


                                  Yikes! I feed Nutrena ProForce Fuel, and I'm really hoping you update us when you know more!! Specifically, where your feed is being milled if it is the feed.

                                  I truly hope your horse is doing OK, and that you get to the bottom of what happened.
                                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                                    Still sending good thoughts your way. Hoping for a positive update.