Best Possible Supplements - Anemia? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Best Possible Supplements - Anemia?

Ok, so my horses have had the sniffles for a a few days when my Lexington started getting white nasal discharge. I called the vet. Turns out that Lita (my older mare) only has a cold, she was prescribed Bute to help her not feel as crappy and I was told she should be feeling better in about 3 days.
My poor little Lexington was suspected of having pneumonia. Turns out she may have a slight infection, however what is more worrying is that she is anemic. The vet prescribed Bute, uniprim and 2 scoops of nutriquinElite. The vet seems to think that she will improve in about 6 days and be recovered in about 3 weeks although the cough may linger.
So, my question is; going forward is there a supplement that I can give her that might better control her anemia? I was looking at Succeed. But I'm not sure if this is the best supplement for her. As well, the vet mentioned that low red blood cell count is common in younger horses. Not sure how to best take care if this set of issues...?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 04:21 PM
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I actually use Succeed myself for my gelding with ulcers- he is also a cribber so between the two we felt it was safest to go with a digestive health supplement...I love it BUT I have not heard of it as something specifically for anemia. I use it as an overall digestive health type thing- it does work wonders btw, he has a happy tummy now, and before he was a very hard keeper, I think it is helping him maintain his weight better also.

For anemia, I have always been reccomended Red Cell as a top dressing, or I think it even comes in pellets now. It has always made a big/ fast difference with horses I have seen on it.

Best of luck!

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 04:33 PM
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The bigger question is how did she become anemic? Is there some gastric bleeding going on?
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 04:45 PM
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Saddlebag is correct - the first question is how did she become anemic - I would suggest calling your Vet - there are different types of anemia, each calling for a different treatment. Best of you and your horse!
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 04:57 PM
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Yes Saddlebag is right. It isnt normal for a horse to be anaemic and its usually associated with blood loss - most commonly from ulcers or encysted worms - and as encysted worms can cause ulceration could be both
You could get her blood tested for the worms (they dont show up in a fecal count)
I would be tempted to put her on a course of omeprazole based ulcer treatment as well as an iron tonic
I know that the Sentinel senior feed I use contains ferrous sulphate but not sure of any others
The problem with Red Cell is that it contains other vitamins and minerals as well and you could find that you are overdosing your horse if you already feed something that contains all of them
It is possible to get straight iron or iron + vit B - ask your vet, they do use them for other livestock and fam supplies stores might stock them so he should be able to advise on dosage
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-17-2012, 06:42 PM
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When a vet sees that an animal is anemic, we have a very specific set of steps we go through to decide why.

1. If the total protein in the blood is also low, it means it is from blood loss. This can be due to a wound (internal or external), a bleeding ulcer, a very high blood sucking parasite load, etc.

2. If the total protein is normal then we have to decide if it is due to the body destroying it's own cells too quickly or due to the body not producing them fast enough (red blood cells only survive for a period of time in the body before they are recycled and replaced by new cells being released from the bone marrow).

If the body is destroying them we have to decide if it is due to a tumor, an auto-immune reaction, etc.

If they are not being replaced fast enough we have to decide if it is because there is something wrong with the bone marrow or if it is simply due to an on-going illness which is the most common cause of anemia.

In your case it sounds like your vet is thinking that it is due to the pneumonia and once that is resolved the body should be healthy enough to catch up and all will be well.

Supplements for anemia in most cases pretty much a waste of money once you understand how a horse becomes anemic. You have to get at the underlying cause. Giving a supplement to a horse who has a balanced hay ration but has an infection or other disease causing the illness will not make the body produce blood cells any faster. One such example is Red Cell. It is mostly an iron supplement and the only horse I have EVER seen with an iron deficiency was a horse who was box stalled, never turned out and had a poor quality diet. It takes very extreme circumstances like this to create iron deficiency and so you can see that giving a horse who gets a good diet and has access to dirt extra iron is a waste as they just poop it out.

Hope that helps!
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-18-2012, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies. She has seen the ve and he thinks the anemia is due to the pneumonia. Tealamutt; so, basically I'll just wait for the pneumonia to clear up (to clarify, she has seen a vet and is on anti inflammatories and antibiotics) and get her re tested? The vet says she should be fine in a few weeks (takes awhile for the cough to subside he said).
Before her antibiotics and Bute she was still eating, had gut sounds, good stool, she was just lackluster and coughing. After her antibiotics and Bute she perked up a bit and ate a little more. So I'm hopeful she'll make a complete recovery.
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Last edited by KJsDustyDash; 10-18-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-18-2012, 09:53 AM
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I had really good results with Red Cell for an anemic mare i used to have.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-18-2012, 09:53 AM
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Tealamutt, my horse is on Red Cell perminately now. She was severely anemic due to a huge parasite load (not my fault, she was a rescue) to the point her gums were white. In 6 weeks she had surpassed the level the vet thought she might be at and all was healthy.

Because she cannot have grain or complete feeds I continue to use it as a vitamin/mineral supplement to go with her beet pulp and rice bran. No pasture for my girl only hay, medium range at that.

The only problem I see is if you are giving the recommended amount of complete feed you can give too much of a vitamin or mineral, most importantly Selenium as it is added in the red cell.

So for anemia I completely recommend Red Cell as long as you watch the selenium level.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-18-2012, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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The vet warned me not to supplement with anything other than what he prescribed to avoid over supplementing.
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