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RE: [RC] Calcium issues at a ride - heidi

Angie is on the right track here.  To expand on what she said, calcium problems at rides usually are not due to calcium deficiencies--they are due to an inability to mobilize calcium.  There is a fairly narrow "normal" range for blood calcium, and the horse regulates this with hormones that either help to excrete calcium (when there is too much) or that help to mobilize calcium from the bones (when there is not quite enough).  Since calcium needs rise with work, if you have a lot of excess calcium in the daily diet, the horse has plenty of the hormone available to excrete calcium, but not enough of the one to mobilize it--so the horse ends up with problems.  Most endurance horses don't need more dietary calcium (do check your forage source, as several posters have mentioned)--but if they have trouble mobilizing it when stressed, then they need added calcium just at those times--ie at rides. 
For those who don't otherwise need e-lyte supplements, living daily on a grass hay diet and adding a wedge of alfalfa at vet checks at a ride will usually provide sufficient calcium supplementation.  For those who do use e-lyte supplements, aim for a supplement with good levels of available calcium.  (And for that, you need to ask someone other than me, since I don't use e-lyte supplements as a general rule, so don't keep up on them.)
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [RC] Calcium issues at a ride
From: Chrystal Woodhouse <Chrystal@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, January 20, 2009 8:33 am
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Home from Gator Run ( what an awesome week end, Connie and Mike run a fun, relaxed ride with lots of food!!!:-))))) we did a 1 day 50 Sunday fairly moderate, I kept Miss T ( my horse) behaving as well as I could as we are going to a 100 mile ride in 3 weeks so did not want to blow it at Gator Run anyway at the end of the ride her HR would not come down, actually it was irregular , all over the place,( 60-80)  however the rest of her appeared to be fine! She was not tired, trotted out with lots of energy ,A's on gut sounds, dehydration cap refill etc...,was perky, ears up, eating like a pig, the vets were worried but puzzled as my horse did not look like she was in trouble but obviously something not good was  going on,. Anyway long story short eventually the vet decided it was a calcium problem and tubed a whole bunch of water,calcium and magnesium oxide into her. Within 40 min's Miss T's HR was down to 40 and she has been perfect ever since.

SOOOO anyone had calcium issues?? I bought a jug of calcium/magnesium oxide from Teddy ( Running Bear) and plan to use it at the next ride but then started thinking about the calcium phosphorous ratio, can I screw things up more ( or differently ) by giving her calcium???? The jug says to give 1/3 a cup 3x a day and another 1/4 c just before a race so I assume that it cannot be that bad , am having a foggy morning as  I cannot seem to find anything on the internet that is helpful so thought I would ask here!! The vet suggested I switch elytes as perform n win does not have calcium, any suggestions for other elytes?????

THANKS for any and all advice

Chrystal :-)
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