Ask the Vet – HYPP, supplements for all horses, magnesium for horses, and more! – May 2018


SARAH: Hey, SmartPak fans. Welcome back to SmartPak’s
Ask the Vet video series. I’m SmartPaker Sarah, and
she is Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak’s Staff Veterinarian
and Medical Director. And we are both here
to ask and answer your questions that
were submitted by you and then voted on by
you guys, as well. And if a question just
popped into your mind, you don’t necessarily have
to wait until next month to get the answers. DR LYDIA GRAY: What? SARAH: We’ve done a lot of
these videos at this point. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh my gosh, yes. SARAH: We’ve answered
five questions per video. There’s a very good
likelihood that your question might have been among
those common questions that we answered in the first
12 or 15 episodes that we did. So you should check out
our Horse Health Library or of course our
YouTube channel. They are broken out
by topic, and you can answer– you can watch just
the question that you have, or you can watch all of
the older months’ episodes. Whichever you choose,
there are great dad jokes hidden in there like treasures. So enjoy looking for those. Without further ado,
I say we jump into it. DR LYDIA GRAY: Let’s jump in. SARAH: We’ve got our
first question, submitted by Indianola594 on YouTube. And this user has previously
asked about preventing warts. This time we have an
entirely different question. DR LYDIA GRAY: I
remember that one, yeah. SARAH: Yeah, it’s a good one. So, “You guys have mentioned”– I guess that’s us– “in
the past that it’s not healthy to feed more than five
pounds of grain per feeding.” You’re a very astute listener
and reader of our materials. “Is it safe to feed around
five pounds of say beet pulp or alfalfa pellets since they
are technically not a grain? I’m looking to put weight on
my OTTB,” which we love those around here, “and have been
soaking both alfalfa pellets and beet pulp– comes out to about five
or six pounds in weight. Is there an alternative
where I can feed less but maintain his weight?” So there’s a lot of
questions in here. And I also want to
touch on that she said it comes out to about
five or six pounds in weight. Is that before or
after the water? DR LYDIA GRAY: It sounds to
me like it’s after the water. SARAH: I think so, too. DR LYDIA GRAY: And that’s kind
of not how we would weigh. SARAH: Water doesn’t count. Otherwise, I’d be
in big trouble. DR LYDIA GRAY: Nope. So five or six pounds before
wetting it is more accurate. That said, there
are different rules when it comes to feeding
beet pulp and alfalfa. And if you watch
these, then you know that those two feed stuffs
are some of my favorite ones for adding weight to horses,
hard keepers or seniors or whatever. We use them also for
horses that can’t have a lot of
sugars and starches, because they both have
low starch sugar, low NSC. Horses that don’t
have good teeth, have lost their ability
to chew and grind. Horses that have
respiratory problems, so they can’t have
dusty hay or whatever. So beet pulp and alfalfa
are your friends, whether it’s pellets or
cubes or chopped or anything. So as far as
guidelines, amount-wise, beet pulp is like– it’s got the energy of grain,
but the digestibility of hay. It’s a very digestible soluble
fiber, fermentable fiber. So the bacteria in
the hindgut, which is what we’re really
concerned about, they love it. And that’s what makes it
much better than grain as a feed stuff for your horse. Because it is technically
forage that is fermented. So that’s a good thing. Why you can’t feed
it strictly is it doesn’t have a
ton of protein and it doesn’t have the full complement
of the essential amino acids. It has the correct ratio
of calcium to phosphorus, but it has way more calcium than
is necessary, like a 10 to 1, and you only need
1 to 1 or 2 to 1. It’s the right
direction of imbalance, but it’s still imbalanced. Low fat, good energy–
so it’s not something you can completely
replace hay with. In fact, the amount
is 25% of your hay is about all you
want to swap for. So moving to alfalfa, then,
that’s also something, while it’s got its purposes– like one thing we
like to use it for is horses with gastric ulcers. There’s lots of research that
says for whatever reason, we think we know alfalfa
has great buffering capacity for the acid in the stomach. And it’s a great tool to
manage horses with ulcers. But you can’t just feed alfalfa. It is way too rich, meaning
it’s high in calories and energy and also protein. It also has a lot of calcium
as related to phosphorus. Not quite as much
as the beet pulp. But neither of them are balanced
for the vitamins and minerals, either. So they’re not
complete feedstuffs, like what I would only use. But certainly in the
five to six pounds dry, excellent,
excellent choices. And she doesn’t have to
be worried about them thinking that they’re grain. Because they’re
not– they’re not made up of simple
sugars and starches, the simple carbohydrates,
which are broken down in the stomach and
small intestine. That is not at all a worry. They’re both considered
forages and super healthy for the horse. SARAH: And to help you out
with a little bit of that math, if you’re feeding forage
as the component, the basis of your horses diet, 1%
to 2% of his body weight is what you should
be aiming for. So for a 1,000-pound
horse, 10 to 20 pounds. And then you said you should
be replacing about 25% of the hay with the beet pulp. Is that true for alfalfa, too? Or would you say would
that be on the whole? If you’re going to
replace some of the hay, you would use to that 25% rule? DR LYDIA GRAY: I
don’t know that I’ve seen the 25% rule, a
hard figure for how much alfalfa hay to replace. It’s more like feed to effect. So we used alfalfa for
the young growing horses, for pregnant lactating mares,
for the really hard-working horses. And you give as much as makes
the horse’s body condition be in the ideal range. SARAH: Excellent. And so that’s where
if you’re at that 20 pounds of forage per day,
25% of that is 5 pounds. DR LYDIA GRAY: I’m
going with five. SARAH: Just like we said. So that’s five to six pounds. If that’s before the water,
you’re right on the money, as far as what you
should be giving. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, good job. SARAH: Her last part
of the question is– DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh,
well I’m not done. SARAH: Is there any alternative
where I can feed less but maintain his weight? So aside from beet
pulp and alfalfa, is there anything that you would
say is in your top favorites? Because you mentioned that those
are some of your favorite ways to help keep weight
on these easy keepers. Is there anything else you’d
recommend as like an– if she doesn’t want to feed that,
or she doesn’t want to feed as much of that– although
the amounts you’re feeding– DR LYDIA GRAY: Or soak
it, can be a pain. SARAH: –not a problem. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. SARAH: Anything else she
should consider in there? DR LYDIA GRAY: Fat works
tremendously for some horses, because it’s very dense,
very calorie dense, very energy dense. And then for some horses, if
you provide digestive support, then it helps them
extract nutrition out of the food they’re
eating more efficiently. Yeast is very good
at doing that. So I guess I would think about
what digestive support could I add? And use some probiotics, some
prebiotics, yeast, enzymes. And maybe get extra nutrition– not extra, but get the
right amount of nutrition. Get everything out of
it that I’m feeding, so there’s nothing wasted. SARAH: Get the most
from your groceries, as one of my old
vets used to say. DR LYDIA GRAY: I like it. SARAH: So with all
of that in mind, you could supplement with fats. You could supplement
with digestion. You didn’t tell us how old your
horse is, but you did mention– teeth is always a
good thing to check. If you have a horse
that’s having trouble maintaining his
weight, might not be able to eat very comfortably
or very effectively. So always check the teeth. Question number two submitted by
Gabby on the Ask the Vet form. We love when you
guys use that form at And Gabby’s wondering,
“What is HYPP?” And I also want to
give Gabby credit. This user has previously
asked a question about what fruits
and vegetables are OK to feed your horse, which
is one of your favorites. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh, no. No, it was not. That was a tough one. That was a tough one. SARAH: But you got
to talk about prunes. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh, I did. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY: All right. OK. SARAH: So there was some
upside in there for you. DR LYDIA GRAY: Pros and cons. HYPP. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY: So
what it stands for is hyperkalemic periodic paralysis. SARAH: Obviously. DR LYDIA GRAY: We can
break down each words. So hyperkalemic– kalemia
refers to potassium, obviously. SARAH: It’s the K from
the periodic table. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right. And so hyperkalemia
means excessive potassium in the blood. And then periodic just
means occasional, sometimes. And paralysis, that’s a
little bit of a scary word, but that’s what horses do
when they have this disease, this genetic disease,
is they occasionally have muscle tremors and
paralysis and fasciculations. Just trying to give
hard words to spell. SARAH: For Nels to
put on the screen. DR LYDIA GRAY:
Yeah, right, right. So it’s in Quarter Horses
and Quarter Horse crosses, like Appaloosa and Paints,
kind of the stock horse breeds. And it all comes from a gene
from a horse named Impressive that was born in the ’60s. And now the AQHA, the American
Quarter Horse Association, requires foals that have
Impressive in their pedigree to be tested, and
then they can only be registered if
they’re not double positive for this, which
would be called homozygous. If you have one copy of the
gene and you’re heterozygous, those foals can be registered. Two copies of the
gene, you can’t. And two copies means you’re
quite likely to develop this, and it’s going to be severe. This can actually
be a fatal disease, but they can– the
severe presentation of this is they don’t just
have the muscle tremors and the shakes and the
sweating, and their third eyelid prolapses, and you’ll see it. They can actually go down,
and they can stop breathing or their heart can stop. SARAH: Because those
are both muscles. DR LYDIA GRAY: Right. And what that also
means is these horses can be dangerous to be around. So you want to be careful
if you know you have one. If you don’t know if you
have one but you could, because you have a
quarter horse and there is Impressive in the pedigree,
the testing is super easy. It’s done at UC Davis, or
University of California – Davis. They have the lab. And all you have to do
is send in about 20 to 30 mane or tail hairs,
pulled out from the root. So you don’t cut them. You pull them out from the root. And the cool thing is– I just went there. They have videos that
show you how to do this. They also have the test kit that
has the forms and an envelope that you lay the hairs
in, mail it away. Takes about two weeks– done. So if there’s a chance
your horse could have this, you need to know,
for safety reasons. And also, there’s
medications that your horse can be on to sort of– they’re potassium-clearing,
so they get rid of extra potassium. Hay has a lot of potassium in
it, alfalfa hay in particular. Other things that
have potassium– because you want your horse’s
diet to be low in potassium. SARAH: For these horses. DR LYDIA GRAY: For HYPP horses. That’s sort of the
main prevention tool. So molasses, things
that have molasses should not be given HYPP horses. You have to be careful
with electrolytes. Horses need salt. And
so with these guys, I would give plain,
pure salt, and not a well-rounded or
balanced electrolyte. SARAH: Because potassium– DR LYDIA GRAY: It’s going to
have potassium in it, yeah. Kelp is not a good thing. Soybeans have a
lot of potassium, so you want to stay
away from those. Good things to
have– and this is surprising and sort
of contrary to what we’ve always said– grains. Oats, corn, barley– SARAH: Whole grains. DR LYDIA GRAY: Whole grains
are very low in potassium. So these horses can
have grain meals. And the thing that
experts recommend is feeding small
meals frequently. Because the whole diet should be
less than about 1%, 1 and 1/2% potassium, and your vet and
your nutritionist or FeedXL can help you with that. But each meal should have
no more than about 33 grams of potassium. So one of the ways
you do that is to feed small meals frequently. Pasture– again, not something–
it’s something we recommend, but often with a
muzzle, you know, because of sugar problems. But grass pasture for
these horses is excellent, because the water
content of the pasture and how slowly they meander
through a pasture and eat keeps the potassium
from climbing sky high. SARAH: As opposed to
hay, which is dry, and they can eat a
whole bunch at once. DR LYDIA GRAY: Almost
concentrated, yeah. Yeah, so. SARAH: OK. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. SARAH: It was a big question. I think we got a really
well-rounded answer. DR LYDIA GRAY: A huge question. SARAH: That’s awesome. DR LYDIA GRAY: If you want
to know more about it, go to UC Davis and read. And also, AQHA has some
wonderful reading materials and documents you can
download about it, because they are the group
that knows the most about it. SARAH: We’ll try to include
links to those that you referenced in the
video descriptions that you guys can get
right to them from there. And then of course I know you’ve
answered some HYPP questions, and we have some articles on
it in our Horse Health Library, too. So we’ll link that, as well. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yep,
we’ve got resources, too. Yep. SARAH: OK. Our third question
was also submitted by somebody who’s previously
submitted a question. So you guys are doing great. DR LYDIA GRAY: They’ve
figured it out. SARAH: That’s right. You guys got the voting down. Because you’re getting
those SmartPak gift cards by recruiting those votes. So Ruby Lynch from
YouTube had previously asked about how to cool down
your horse in the winter after a hard ride. DR LYDIA GRAY: Ahhh. SARAH: And I love this. Hers is also a seasonal
question again. “Now that summer is
coming up, my horse is completely irritated
by the flies.” You’re not alone. “I have a fly sheet,
boots, and a mask as well as loads of fly spray. It just doesn’t seem to work. My horse either gets too sweaty
with all the sheets, boots, and masks, or it just
doesn’t keep the bugs away. Are there any alternatives to
keep my horse healthy and happy or recommended products to keep
the flies away without getting her sweaty and uncomfortable? It’s extremely
difficult because she needs to be covered from head
to toe because of her melanomas. The sun could maybe cause more.” So we got kind of
a lot going on. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah,
you know, there’s a word in there–
“alternatives.” And I look at fly
prevention, avoidance– SARAH: Defense. DR LYDIA GRAY: Defense–
as not alternatives, but sort of a
well-rounded package. I mean, you’ve got to
group everything together. We’ve made different
zones, you know? So one of the first
zones– and she’s not specific about
which fly species. SARAH: She’s not. DR LYDIA GRAY: All of them. SARAH: Yeah. The flies. DR LYDIA GRAY: The flies. The first zone I think
about is– you know me– the manure. SARAH: Yeah, of course. DR LYDIA GRAY: OK, OK. SARAH: You love poop. We all know. DR LYDIA GRAY: And
there’s a couple of ways to affect that, because
filth flies are called– they lay– SARAH: That’s adorable. DR LYDIA GRAY: Adorable. They– their eggs and
their pupa and their larva, all that happens
in the manure pile. And so companies have figured
out, hey, let’s go right there. And so one thing you can do is
there are parasitic wasps that go into the manure
pile, and they know how deep they penetrate. They know a lot of things
about these insects. And they lay their own eggs
in the pupa of the flies that are bothering your horse,
and then that fly can’t mature. But then the
parasitic wasp does. And so that’s really cool. So you’re getting them
before they’re even born. SARAH: Yeah. And wasp sounds scary,
but they’re not the kind that bother you or your horse. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. SARAH: They’re just
getting the other bugs. DR LYDIA GRAY: And they’re tiny. You don’t even notice them. So that’s one way. And then they can
still outside– of course you have
to remove manure that’s not in the right place. You have to properly compost
it, just turning and storage and all that. Any standing water
should be removed, and that’s where
mosquitoes like to breed. Also, just plant debris,
like vegetative matter, these insects like to use as– this organic matter,
they like to breed. SARAH: Grass clippings,
that kind of stuff. DR LYDIA GRAY: Branches,
dead– just all that. You got to get rid of all that. You’ve got to clean
your place up. You can’t give them a place
to breed and multiply. You can also get like fly traps. But be careful with
those, because those– you don’t want– they
attract flies, right? So you don’t want to
attract flies to your area, so you kind of set them
away from your barn, away from the areas
horses congregate in, and you attract flies there. We sell, too, mosquito dunks,
which you can put in the water. And it can be drinking
water, and those don’t let the mosquito
breed in the water. So that’s the outside. She mentioned the fly
sheets and masks and boots. And every year,
companies are coming out with better and better coverage. Because these are
physical barriers, right? As far as repellent, I
forget how she explained it. Loads of– SARAH: Loads of fly spray. DR LYDIA GRAY:
Loads of fly spray. There’s kind of three
categories of fly spray. So repellents, which repel
flies– that’s great. Insecticides kill,
and you want to kill, but your job is not that. But also, the third
one is the confusing, the ones that confuse. And I think we
have a Ecovet here. This is made of fatty acid. Smells– new scent. It, you know,
smells interesting. But it confuses
the flying insects, and so the signals they
use from your horse to tell that your horse is
there and a tasty morsel, they’re not getting
those properly anymore. And so they fly around
and swirl around, and they don’t land
and bite and annoy. So try one of these categories
and see what you think. Oh, and we’re getting
a new product. You might not know this. It’s called Kool
Kurtains, with Ks. And it’s just a mesh screen. So if you can put your horse,
whether it’s in the stall, whether it’s a run-in– they
make them for run-ins, too– inside an enclosed area
where the air moves, the UV light cannot
penetrate, so it stays cool. And there’s no bugs. Because her horse being hot
and uncomfortable is something she mentioned. I think if you make
a run-in shelter or put these Kool Kurtains on
your horse’s stall and windows, she will thank you. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY:
They’re wonderful. And we don’t have
them quite yet, but they’re coming
very, very soon. SARAH: Awesome. DR LYDIA GRAY: So that’s
going to be super exciting. SARAH: It’s always
nice to be able to give your horses an option for
them to make the choice. Like if you build the run-in,
you put up the curtains, and then if she’s bothered,
she can go in there. If she finds that the
flies aren’t that bad and she wants to stay
out, she can stay out. DR LYDIA GRAY: She can stay out. Like if she wants to eat grass,
go out and eat grass or run back in. SARAH: You decide
what’s worth it. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. And then the last category
that I should mention is there’s a couple of
options for feed-through. And so one of them is the
insect growth regulators, and they’re the EPA
approved products, like the Solitude
and the Simplifly, and there’s a new
one on the market. I can’t think of the name of it. But those don’t let the
eggs of the flies hatch. So that’s nice. And it passes unchained
through the horses, and it’s passed in the manure
and then once in the manure, they can lay eggs, but
they don’t ever mature. And then the other
is– and that’s sort of a whole
barn, herd thinking. If you want to give your
horse its own personal no fly zone, whatever,
a lot of people feed ingredients like garlic
and apple cider vinegar and brewer’s yeast, I
think, is another one. And it’s things that
discourage flies from being around your
horse, deterrents. You used the word defense. So they just make your
horse sort of unattractive. And a lot of people
have success with those. But yet– you know,
feed my horse garlic? But the horses don’t
smell like garlic. But to thhe fly nose,
I guess, maybe they do. SARAH: Can you imagine
how cute their noses are? Probably very wee. DR LYDIA GRAY: Adorable. They’re adorable, yeah. SARAH: Very small. So you can see we have a lot
of our favorite fly products back here that you can see. There’s a wide variety
of the offering. But I also wanted
to throw out there, just like the companies
are coming out with new products every
year, the fly sheets are changing every year. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yes. Yes. SARAH: There’s a
lot of materials that aren’t as heavy as
old fly sheets used to be. There’s a lot that are marketed
for their breathability, that the fabric was chosen. So if she’s not
tough on a fly sheet, if she just doesn’t
destroy her fly sheets– DR LYDIA GRAY: Or like
live in a pasture with– SARAH: –with other
pasturemates who can be tough on the fly
sheet, a lighter-weight fabric might be a great option
for you to consider. DR LYDIA GRAY: Good idea. SARAH: And we have
our whole No Fly Zone, where we talk about
all the different zones that Dr. Gray talked about. So we’ll link to that in
the video description, as well, so that you
can get some tips for every zone in the barn. Because it is full,
all-fronts approach to really beating those bugs. DR LYDIA GRAY: They’re
not alternatives. SARAH: No. Question number four
was submitted by Audrey on the Ask the Vet form. And Audrey’s wondering,
“What supplements should every horse have?” What a question. DR LYDIA GRAY: I
did not write this and you did not
write this, right? SARAH: I did not write this. DR LYDIA GRAY: And I’m sure this
is the same place you went to, but when I get asked that– I get asked that a lot. And also, what is your horse on? I step back and think, well,
what is the horse getting? First, let’s–
well, forage first. So you said earlier, 1%
to 2% of the body weight in high quality forage. That’s got to be like the basis. And then you want to make sure
that, using the body condition scoring, that horse
is at an ideal weight, and that’s the calories and
the energy that you provide it. It might need to
be a grain or it might need to be alfalfa, beet
pulp, or fats, or something. Then you’ve got to
complete and balance the diet for the proteins or
the amino acids and the vitamins and minerals. And now you can begin
to think of, OK, next would be maybe
salt. Make sure– because there’s not a lot of
salt, unlike human feedstuffs– not a lot of salt
in horse feedstuffs. So you’ve got to provide that. And then I think
that, making sure that the omega-3 balance, amount
and balance is correct is next. And then and only
then do I begin to think about, now, so what
supplements should horses be on, in every horse? And also what problems does
my individual horse have, that there might be a
supplement that can support him? SARAH: But two that you just
mentioned, salt and omegas, there are a lot of supplements
that contain those. Because we know a lot of
horses’ diets are lacking. DR LYDIA GRAY: But
it’s interesting that they’re considered
sort of the base diet. SARAH: Yeah. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. SARAH: But still, it tends
to be a gap for some people, especially on the
salt one, where we think of it like people,
where it’s like, oh, you probably have too much. Not the same for horses. DR LYDIA GRAY: No, it’s
not the same at all. Yeah, I don’t know that they
have high blood pressure, so. So as far as what
every horse needs, I kind of think that
based on that wild horse, the mustang research, that
showed they have had joint distress even though they
were mustangs doing– they weren’t going to shows
and they weren’t jumping fences and doing canter pirouettes– so that tells me that every
horse needs some joint support. Because there’s just– just from
living, just from being alive. I mean, I’m not
an elite athlete. I know, shocking. But my joints hurt. So you know, I’m on
a joint supplement. So I kind of think I would reach
for a joint supplement first. I know my horse, when
I got him, he was four. He was not halter broken. And my friend– SARAH: I bet he was wild. DR LYDIA GRAY:
Yeah, a little bit. Actually knocked me
down a few times. But my friend who worked
for a supplement company gave me a new horse present. I don’t know what it’s called. But– SARAH: A horsewarming. DR LYDIA GRAY: A
horsewarming present. And it was a joint supplement. And so he is– He’s 17 now. And so he’s been on
one for 13 years. The other thing that
probably every horse, you should at least have
a conversation maybe with your veterinarian
about is vitamin E. Because unless your horse
is on fresh green pasture– so if your horse is
just eating hay– I’m almost positive that not
getting the amount of vitamin E that he needs per day. And then if you add
on work or exercise, that amount that’s
required goes up. So then, for sure. So I would probably
have a conversation or do some reading
about vitamin E and say, this is what my horse gets,
and this is what he needs, and what’s that gap? And so fill that in. And from there is when I
begin to look at the problems. There is a category that
I’m sort of torn between, which is the digestion. SARAH: That’s where I
thought you were going. DR LYDIA GRAY: Because
you’re like, well, every horse doesn’t
need digestion, except that horses in general
are pretty fragile creatures. Their microbiome,
or the bacteria that live in their
hindgut, they’re pretty fragile, as well. So any little change,
and they’re like, “Danger, Will Robinson.” So that, and the fact that
if there is some GI distress, it can be pretty serious. SARAH: Mhm, pretty quickly. DR LYDIA GRAY: Now I’ve talked
myself into, well, maybe every horse should be on a
digestive support supplement. SARAH: Especially
if you consider the risk factors for
digestive stress, which are things
like changes in hay, even if it’s a new cut
from the same field, can increase a horse’s risk
of digestive stress by, like, 10 times, research has said. DR LYDIA GRAY: And
grain, like, five times. SARAH: Yep. And then there’s things
like increased time spent in a stall, which whose
horses don’t encounter that? And so there’s so many things
that are really common risks. DR LYDIA GRAY: And that are
out of your control sometimes. SARAH: Yeah, absolutely,
that can increase the risk of digestive stress. DR LYDIA GRAY: So I think
we’ve talked ourselves around to adding digestive– SARAH: Yeah, it’s a good one. DR LYDIA GRAY:
–support to that. And now I come to the
individual problems. So you know, if your horse
has icky-looking hooves, or if the top line
needs developed. Or like this other
lady, the last question, her horse was like, I don’t want
an insect within a mile of me. You know, my horse doesn’t care. And so there’s supplements
for each of those issues. And that’s when
you begin to design your horse’s personal SmartPak
of supplements to address– find the solution to the
problem that you are having with your individual horse. SARAH: So I can give
a brief shout-out– because it is so hard to say a
blanket recommendation of this is what your horse
needs, that’s why we have a whole team
of stairs that you come every month to give
continuing education and training to. We have a team of Customer
Care supplement experts who are just a call or
click or even text away now, that you can reach out to. And they’ll walk through
all of those questions. They’re trained to help
you uncover problems that you may not have realized
that supplements could help with, or just really
understand your goals and help you with your horse. And if you are like me, a person
who would rather die than pick up the phone and
call someone with it, you can use the wizard
at, which walks you through the same
questions that can kind of help you uncover those areas of
support that your horse might benefit from. DR LYDIA GRAY:
They don’t need me. SARAH: I mean, well, you don’t
need a blanket recommendation, because you can get
a customized one. And it’s really easy. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah. Perfect. SARAH: So question five was
submitted by Sara– not me. She doesn’t have an H– on the Ask the Vet form. And Sara is
wondering, “What would be the reasons to
give a magnesium supplement to your horse? Will it really help a
horse be less spooky”– seems like she’s heard
of one of the reasons– “and how much magnesium
should a horse be getting on a daily basis?” That was a fun question. DR LYDIA GRAY: So magnesium
is one of the supplements that I give my horse. And the reason I give
it is for muscle. I think the ratio is– about 60%
of the body’s magnesium amount that you have is in bone
and 30% is in muscle. And we know that– I mean, magnesium has a
ton of uses in the body. One of them is excitable
tissue like muscle and nerves, it’s needed for them
to function and work, so to contract
and send impulses. So muscle would be one of them. Because he has PSSM
and shivers and so on, so like anything I can do to
help his muscles is great. And then yeah, I think calming. She’s figured out that a lot
of people, maybe the majority of people, give it for calming. SARAH: I mean you did
say excitable tissues. DR LYDIA GRAY: Yeah, yeah. And so in the NRC, which is the
Nutrient Requirement of Horses by the National
Research Council, they talk about when you
are deficient in magnesium, you can see irritability
and hypersensitivity, overreactivity. So some nervous system changes,
some behavioral changes. One reference actually said that
there are behavior and memory alterations when there is
a magnesium deficiency. So I hope that gets
explored more in depth. That’s really interesting. So I think it’s
important to understand that magnesium is not
an ingredient that calms your horse. It fills a gap, a deficiency,
and then restores your horse to normal what he should be. That’s how magnesium works. So you can’t give
more and more and more and get a sedating effect. That is not how it works. And that segues– I segued myself right
into the amount. And for the horse standing
in the pasture, like blinking and breathing and pooping,
they need about 7 and 1/2 grams of magnesium a day. And that can go all the
way up through the levels to the horses in heavy work,
it’s doubled to about 15 grams, with some increase
for pregnancy, lactation, and
young and growing. But really, it’s the
work that increases it. And it might be for the muscular
effort, but also the bone. The more you work, the more
your bone has to build and grow to sustain that effort. And 60% of magnesium is in
the bone, so there it goes. Oh, I didn’t say that
metabolism is the other one. SARAH: Oh, you did not. DR LYDIA GRAY: I did not. People give magnesium,
too, because it ensures that the proper insulin– it ensures the cells have the
correct level of sensitivity to insulin. And so the insulin and
glucose or blood sugar can interact properly. So it has a role there, too. And so people give it for
horses with metabolic problems and that. Yeah, I think that’s
probably the third one. SARAH: And so again, another
instance where it’s helping return to a normal state. DR LYDIA GRAY: Exactly. SARAH: A normal function. And not having some altering
effect on your horse. DR LYDIA GRAY: Not
making anything really better than it’s
supposed to be naturally. SARAH: Right. Yeah. All right, so that was all
of our questions for our May episode. Thank you guys so
much for submitting such great and
interesting questions. I learn something every time. DR LYDIA GRAY: Varied. SARAH: And so you can submit
your questions for our June episode on YouTube,
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You can use form. Oh, I’m sorry. That’s where the Ask
the Vet form lives. It was close. And you can ask a
question any time, but be sure to use
#AsktheVetVideo so that we can keep track
of those great questions and gather them
all in one place. Then questions will be
submitted until May 10 will be eligible for the June episode. And then be sure to vote on
YouTube, Twitter, and our blog, so that your question
can get answered and you can get your
SmartPak gift card. If your question was answered
in this or a previous video, you can reach out to us at
[email protected] or direct message us
right here on YouTube, and we’ll be happy to get
your gift card out to you. And as always, subscribe so
that you don’t miss the voting, you don’t miss the
next video, and you don’t see your
question get answered and then become a
smarter horse owner. Thanks for watching
and have a great ride.


5 Responses

  1. Sara M

    May 4, 2018 7:49 pm

    I just received my first ever smartpaks for my two horses! I got off from working at a dressage barn…..and walked to my porch and seen smartpak boxes! Christmas in may! I got so excited I opened the boxes in the house vs in the barn Haha I couldn't wait!

    This morning I fed them their smartpaks and I cant wait to see the changes in my boys 🐴❤❤❤

  2. Larry Culiver

    May 4, 2018 8:11 pm

    I'm up farrier for 40 years just started using your product absolutely love it for abscesses and so does my customers thank you so much

  3. Yasmin Basit

    May 4, 2018 9:21 pm

    I have a rescued shire horse who never developed properly as he was neglected in a field and bullied up to the age of 5. He is now age 12 and is still thin compared to other horses (you can see his ribs in the winter). The vet has been called to him several times but they say he is healthy and gets enough feed every time. Does anyone have any tips to help him build up some muscle and put on some weight?

  4. Kate Ghormley

    May 6, 2018 1:37 am

    I really want to thank you ladies for doing these videos!! In the age of technology, you’d think we could just google the answers to these questions, but in many of these videos you talk about conditions (like HYPP) that I’ve never heard of before, and therefore wouldn’t even know about them to be able to seek out more knowledge. Thank you for being so educational and growing my knowledge so I can keep an eye out for these things! ❤️


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