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RE: [RC] Flax Seed - Susan E. Garlinghouse, D.V.M.



From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Nancy Sturm
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 11:00 AM
To: Ridecamp
Subject: [RC] Flax Seed


I think I'm going to try flax seed on my miserably itchy pony.  The feed store says to soak it, a UK vet on-line says that's not necessary.


The pony is 14.1 hands,  probably weighs about 700 lbs - how much should he get?   He doesn't usually get anything except grass hay because (like his owner) he's a typically easy keeper, but he does love beet pulp.  Could I soak  1/2 cup of flax seed and add it to a small amount of soaked beet pulp?


Nancy Sturm


The deal with flax seed is that you can still get to the omega 3 fatty acids without soaking or grinding, but you’ll have to feed about twice as much, IME.


Soaking it for a good hour will release most of the oils and/or soften the seed coat so it’s easier to digest.  If it’s feasible for you, grinding for about ten seconds in an electric coffee grinder gives you the most bang for your buck.  I do it during commercials watching TV and can get about twelve pounds ground up during an hour program.


I would start with about a ¼ for a pony, as the oil is a powerful cathartic and can cause some soft, runny poop.  Start slowly and add an additional tablespoon once a week until you’re up to maybe a cup a day.  For full size horses, double the amounts you start with and increase by.


I have some horses I work with that are getting a couple pounds a day for assorted reasons (including itchiness).


Good luck,

Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, MS

[RC] Flax Seed, Nancy Sturm