ADDRESSING ANEMIA IN MY HORSE
“I have a senior horse and just had his yearly done with blood drawn. The only thing found was he is a little anemic. Vet suggested using red cell but I am using the trifecta and don’t want to over do with vits. and minerals etc. My vet checked both for their ingredients and found your product better. But she would like a little more iron. I am checking to see if anyone has just iron that I can supplement to help him out. Any suggestions with this problem. Don’t want to stop using your product. Thank you.”
Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella:
Zoetis sells Lixotinic, which is an iron supplement, very little copper, and B vitamins. I think this would be a good pair with Trifecta, as the B vitamins can’t reach toxic levels because they are water-soluble. The copper in the product is extremely low so it will not cause any issues as well.
I was talking to a veterinarian last night about your situation, and we were talking about how rare it is for anemia in horses. Typically horses only become anemia if they have lost a lot of blood, or have another underlying issue. She was wondering if there was a possibility of ulcers that could be causing the anemia. There is a test called the Succeed Test that tests for GI.
The test needs to be done by a veterinarian. I think that it is possible that he could have ulcers (80% of performance horses have some type of ulcers). Your veterinarian will have recommendations on treating ulcers. Here are my recommendations that I have found work good for my horses in preventing and managing ulcers:
1) Giving him access to hay at all times (so he can have something in his stomach to buffer the acid all the time, because horses continuously secrete acid into their stomach because they are designed to eat small amounts all throughout the day).
2) Offer him some alfalfa at every feeding (the high levels of calcium in alfalfa acts like a Tums for your horse).
3) Add aloe vera juice to any grain or supplement you give him (I add a cup to 2 lb of concentrate and supplement that my horses get). It is really inexpensive (you can get a gallon jug from wal-mart for around $6.50).
4) Reduce the amount of grain that he gets if possible. If he needs more energy feed high fat concentrates.
4) Consider switching from Horse Guard to either Mega-Dose or Trifecta, or feed Gut Guard and Horse Guard. (Mega-Dose and Trifecta have a full dose of Horse Guard but also have higher levels of probiotics and live yeast cultures to help with gut function.
Hope this helps. Let me know if I can answer any more questions. If you do the Succeed fecal test I would be very interested in the results if you wouldn’t mind sharing them with me.