“I have a 2 yr old colt that was overdosed on bute when he was castrated which damaged his kidneys so he now needs to have limited protein and calcium in his diet so I have him on Horse Guard to ensure he gets all the vitamins and mineral he needs and I love it. But he is dropping weight and so I was thinking of switching him over to Super Weight Gain but I was wondering if it is super high in protein and calcium? He is on straight grass hay and that is all he can have.  I’m just worried because Super Weight Gain is high in protein that it may be too much for him. The vet recommended Purina Amplify as a good source of fat – do you know how that product compares to Super Weight Gain in regards to protein and calcium levels?”

Answer by Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Kelsey Johnson Nonella:

Sorry to hear that his kidneys were damaged. Switching your 2 year old to Super Weight Gain should really help him regain a good body condition. Although Super Weight Gain is high in protein it is only fed at 8 ounces per 1000 pounds, which is a small amount considering they typically eat between 15-20 pounds of hay per day. Super Weight Gain has double the protein and half the calcium of Amplify. However, it is fed a lower dose. Amplify is to be fed at 1-4 pounds a day, whereas Super Weight Gain is to be fed at 0.5 pounds a day. So if you are feeding 1 pound of Amplify compared to 0.5 pound of Super Weight Gain you colt is getting the same amount of protein and half the amount of Calcium with Super Weight Gain. In addition Super Weight Gain is meeting all his vitamin and mineral needs. So if you are feeding a lower protein and calcium hay such as timothy, orchard, or Bermuda Super Weight Gain would be a good combination.

You may also consider pouring a cup of flaxseed oil on his hay. The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil can help reduce renal inflammation, and provide him with more calories without adding protein.

Hope this helps. Let me know if I can answer any more questions.


About Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

Kelsey J. Nonella, Ph.D. is an equine nutritionist who was riding horses before she could walk. Her love for horses drives her to help educate people on what their horses’ needs in order to have happy, healthy horses. Kelsey went to Cal Poly receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science and then onto West Texas A&M, where she got her Masters and eventually her Doctorates in Equine Science. At A&M, Dr. Nonella did extensive research on Selenium within horses. Click here to view her research. Kelsey’s colleagues have mentioned her as one of the United States equine Selenium experts.
View all posts by Dr. Kelsey J. Nonella Ph.D., P.A.S.

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