Ask the Vet – Sugary treat alternatives for horses
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Ask the Vet – Sugary treat alternatives for horses

August 15, 2019

SARAH: “As you may know,
there are these treats with sugary foods on them
that have been in high demand lately. These treats have things on
them like cereal, jelly beans, sprinkles, and et cetera. I know–” she’s watched
our videos before. “I know you will answer these
questions with ‘it all depends on the horse.’ So I’m wondering if
these treats are actually healthy for horses. If people do buy them,
should there be a limit? Also, should there be things to
look out for, like red flags, if people do buy them? Lastly, what are the
treat alternatives?” So I’m wondering, secretly,
if Emily’s question was submitted under a
pseudonym by SmartPaker Jno. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh, maybe. SARAH: She feels very strongly– DR LYDIA GRAY: She does. SARAH: –about some
of the sugary treats. But I’m excited to
hear how you feel. DR LYDIA GRAY: I feel
a bit less strongly, because I’m more of an
everything in moderation type of person. I rarely say no to– like never say never — I’m not that kind of person. So I looked at all of
our treat offerings and found some good to
say about everything. I think there are some
better than others. And I think if your horse
has a specific need, like the horse that jumps out at
me is not the one so much that has a sugar limit, like has
PSSM or his equine metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance. But like a HYPP, the
Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis, where you can’t
have a lot of potassium. That is one where
they’ve set aside– they’ve set strict numbers for
how much grams of potassium they can have, a horse can
have, per meal, 33 grams. So that’s the kind of
horse that I definitely would ask us exactly
how much is in the treat and find treats that are safe. I like the Hilton Herballs. I don’t think we have those. SARAH: We don’t. DR LYDIA GRAY: I
love our SmartCookies because they were designed with
the easy keeper, the horse that had to have low sugar in mind. They come in two
really great flavors. SARAH: Maybe a new
one coming soon. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh, really. OK. And so I like those. There’s functional treats. Like way in the back, there’s
HoofSnax that has biotin in it. It’s quite heavy. And then maybe the ones
she was talking about were these Paddock Cakes. SARAH: So we got some of these. These ones have little
banana chips on them. But you’ll see them sometimes,
they have the little peppermint patties. DR LYDIA GRAY: And they have
another one called s’mores. SARAH: Yeah, they
do have a s’mores. DR LYDIA GRAY: So
maybe that’s where she is getting to her
candy type, sugary treats. And it’s not that they’re– they’re not bad. I mean, if your horse has no
issues, then they’re fine, and he likes them, and
that’s what he wants after a workout, then great. I would encourage you to
read all of the ingredients on any treat that you
wanted to feed your horse. Because it might not– don’t be sidetracked by sugar. Because sugar is not
necessarily a bad thing. SARAH: There’s sugar in grass. DR LYDIA GRAY: There’s sugar
in grass, there’s sugar in hay. And think about how much
the horse is taking in on its entire diet. So if you’re eating 20
pounds of hay at 10%, lets say nonstructural
carbohydrate, you’re taking in
pounds of sugar. So the little bit
of sugar that you’re getting from a or treat or two–
now, that said, I know people, I was approached by people at
an Equine Affaire or something, and they wanted to know was
it OK to feed their horse peppermints. And I was like sure,
you know, peppermints, are a couple of grams
of sugar per mint. Except they were feeding
the bag of peppermints. So that’s what I
mean by moderation. SARAH: That’s kind of a lot. DR LYDIA GRAY: Your horse
does not need a bag. So my new treat for Newman
is very, very high in sugar, but he gets one. SARAH: What is it? DR LYDIA GRAY: It’s a prune. SARAH: Oh. DR LYDIA GRAY: He thinks
prunes are unbelievably good. I’m surprised because
they’re sticky and chewy in consistency. And I gave it to him
sort of as a joke. And now, if I come
out without a prune, it does not go well for me. SARAH: Do you get those
individually wrapped ones, so that you don’t have to
get too much on your hands? DR LYDIA GRAY: There are
individually wrapped prunes? SARAH: I’m going to
change your life. DR LYDIA GRAY: Oh, man. SARAH: We’re going
to finish this video, and we’re going to
hit the grocery store. I’m going to change your life. DR LYDIA GRAY: I
would love that. It’s really a sticky
mess right now. So that would be great. So the point is I don’t
say no to any treat, just read the label,
read what’s in it, give the serving or less. You don’t have to give
the bag of treats. You can give one. So that’s fine.

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  1. #askthevet I am going to be buying a 10month old colt and he is going to be transporting from Oregon to Florida. I am wanting to start him on the Colicare supplements because of the risk of colic with the changing hay grain is it too young to start him on that? Would he also be too young for a supplement since he will be in paddocks with no fresh grass?

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