Products or Supplements Rich in Vitamin A?
I am on the search for a good supplement that is rich in vitamin A (to treat my gelding's rain rot). I've heard of using cattle a & d injections, given orally, but I am having a hard time getting my hands on it locally and with shipping online, it's very expensive (nearly the same cost to ship it as the product). I even tried ordering it in the amount that I needed but it's out of stock through the same distributor on various websites. With that being said, I wouldn't mind using a powder supplement.
What do you recommend that contains a decent level of vitamin A that is pretty common in tack shops?
Fish Oil has Vitamin A. You can get it at the drugstore and bust the gel pills over feed. Not sure how much to use.
SmartPak has a good chart showing vitamin A content (and more) of various supplements they carry: Multi-Vitamins at a Glance but they don't seem to have anything that is just vit A.
My guess would be that supplementing vitamin A wouldn't help unless the horse is deficient in it. If he's getting a ration balancer or recommended serving of complete grain, then additional vitamin A may or may not help.
If you've already tried medicated shampoo with no luck, it could be something else. I've heard of neck threadworms getting confused with rain rot, but have no first hand experience with them myself.
Neck threadworms sound icky. Do you know if regular wormers take care of those? He's gets wormed monthly.
Thanks for your input :)
I think ivermectin kills neck threadworms but you have to do a double dose I believe.
You might also want to consider putting him on a ration balancer, which is a grain-free nutritional supplement to fill in the holes from a hay/pasture only diet. I get Triple Crown 30% supplement for my horse, but there are a bunch of different brands out there. Ration Balancer
ah, thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't received that suggestion before so I'm definitely going to look into it!
Before you start dumping supplements into your horse, you should consult your vet regarding the affectiveness of Vitamin A and rain rot. The term ration balancer befuddles me; how can a horse's rations be balanced without bloodwork.
Good Vitamin A levels will absolutely prevent rain rot, lice, goopy or crusty eyes and a myrial of other maladies indicative of a Vitamin A / immune system deficiency.
A good loose mineral will have 150,000 to 250,000 units of Vitamin A per pound in it. You need to know what the Calcium and Phosphorus levels are in your pasture / hay. If you are grazing or feeding grass or grass hay, you will always be low on Calcium. We use a mineral that has 4X more Ca than P and either 150,000 or 200,000 units of A per # in it.
If you want to feed a pound or two of a grain or pellets every day or even every other day you can add "mare Plus' made by Farnam. It is cheap and very high in A and low in the B Vitamins and iron that makes horses high and silly like a race horse.
You can get the injectable Vitamin A from Tractor Supply or from one of the mail order ranch supply places like Jeffers or Valley Vet. It is cheap and very effective.
A ration balancer is meant to fill in the nutritional holes that arise from feeding a horse on forage alone (particularly on hay) without adding a bunch of extra calories. Many (most?) people rely on grain-based hard feed to fill in these nutritional holes, but grain is less than desirable for many reasons; my horse is both an easy keeper and ulcer-prone, so I avoid giving him any grain, but I still want him to get the added nutrients that he isn't getting from hay alone.
It's true that to get a perfect nutritional fit for each horse, you'd have to do a bunch of testing, not just of the horse, but also of the hay, pasture, and any feed you give. Not only that, but you'd have to repeat these tests many times throughout the year as seasons change, hay ages, etc. It's not impossible to create a highly customized diet for a horse, but it's generally impractical, which is why people rely on pre-mixed feeds (grain, ration balancer, or supplements) to provide nutrition. These pre-mixed feeds generally work well for the majority of horses, but it's up to the owner to ultimately identify any nutrition-based shortcomings and compensate for them, which may take some trial and error.
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