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Re: [RC] Nutritional deficiencies? - Heidi Smith

of these horses either broke legs after beginning light work or have had
intermittent lameness when the work load has been increased. When x-rayed
they show sidebone and chips in fetlock(on sesamoid) . this is becoming a
very worrying "trend" to me and I am thinking twice about buying
without x-raying all legs and feet first. But , could this be a
deficiency as babies? They do not come from the same breeder , or same
or even same bloodlines so can't find anything common in that. They do not
come from "Show" breeders as such so are not stable bound , all have had
turnout and what we considered a good natural young life. Is this calcium
deficiency, or too much protein or the wrong balance of rations ?

While there are many nutritional factors that can be detrimental to bone
development, I have a paper somewhere here on my desk on the subject that
suggests that the single most implicated factor is too much carbohydrate.
It also quoted controlled studies, and I can't lay hands on it at the moment
and can't remember off the top of my head the percentage of affected horses,
but given 120% the optimal amount of carbohydrates during growth, a rather
staggering number of youngsters developed DJD (degenerative joint disease)
of one form or another.  No other nutritional parameter that they tweaked
(protein and calcium among them) had such a devastating effect on as high a

Bottom line--cut out the grain fed to the babies, or use only a minimal
amount to deliver a vitamin-mineral supplement that contains whatever their
forage doesn't.


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[RC] Nutritional deficiencies?, Budler,Cindy - Afrox