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corporate pride 05-27-2010 07:29 AM

protein intolerance??
My young horse has been having an issue with this from the day i got him in January.
If he gets too much protein in his feed his back legs swell with minimal heat and no lameness. as soon as the protein in taken out his legs stay normal. I've been adviced to light lunge him to work it out of his body.
Tonight i went out and he's been in with my other horse with a clover hay roll, and his legs have swelled again! i iced them and it's really cold tonight.
I'm wondering if anyone else has come across this and if there's any additive i could use in his feed to help his body cope with the protein.

I'm really worried because the property i agist has clover grass in spring :think::think:

in other words HELP!!!

just a bit of back ground.
he's thoroughbred, rising 6, in not so great health when i got him, he's still a little light on but getting there, i feed oaten chaff, cool max pellets, speedibeet and pollard = everynight. my other horse gets the same so there's no little extras i don't know about.

MN Tigerstripes 05-27-2010 07:53 AM

Is he swelling when he gets alfalfa and/or clover hay/pasture? Or does grain cause this too? Is he being acclimated slowly to the hay change?

This is just a guess as what you are describing is exactly (as far as I can tell) what Soda does unless I acclimate him extremely slowly to clover or alfalfa. I'm not 100% sure what causes it, but I know I can take care of it by slowly changing hay types or letting him out to pasture. My vet said to take him on walks/easy rides when he is stocked up (if no fever) to help move the fluid out.

corporate pride 05-27-2010 07:59 AM

well i actually put a hay roll in the paddock, my other horse is eating 90% of it on his own! hahahaha
he does it with grain feeds too. he did it with full fat soy and liberty pellets. it might also be from standing in one spot stuffing his face. it's only on his back legs and he's not lame. i've never seen this before. skinny horse that i'm trying to put weight on can't have the stuff that will put the weight on.....frustrated!

MN Tigerstripes 05-27-2010 11:27 AM

I would stick with a good grass hay for now for his main feed. I'm not sure what kind of feed you're feeding (US girl, don't recognize the names), but if you stick to rice bran, beet pulp, etc you should be fine. At least I've never seen Soda have a problem with the fiber based higher fat feeds.

If you really want to feed an alfalfa or a clover hay try adding it extremely slowly. Like 1/2 flake once a day for a couple days, then a full flake for a couple of days, until you reach the full ration. I know that once Soda is acclimated like that I no longer have problems with him stocking up.

Peggysue 05-27-2010 02:23 PM

protien doesn't cause SUGARS and STARCHES do :)

and of course lack of movement

corporate pride 05-27-2010 07:07 PM


Originally Posted by Peggysue (Post 645331)
protien doesn't cause SUGARS and STARCHES do :)

and of course lack of movement

could u please explain this ?? like what kind of food have this to watch out for...also he's on hay...meadow hay with clover. so it's rolled from cut grass

MN Tigerstripes....pollard in just a feed full of fat, speedibet is a beet that i soaked with high fibre, cool max pellets are pellets without the fizzy ingredients but nutritional.

MN Tigerstripes 05-27-2010 08:58 PM

Hmmm... Well then I think you need to do what I do. Acclimate them slowly. 15 mins the first day, 30 mins the second, and so on. If you can only get round bales try to get them without clover or at the very least with little clover at first.

Try to keep his diet consistent, which I know can be very difficult with hay, especially round bales or large squares. From my experience it's the change that really causes the problem, not the forage (alfalfa/clover). If you can't keep it consistent than do your best to make the changes slowly as I said above. That's what I've learned in school and from speaking with the vets in my area.
This may not work for your horse, but it works for mine and he is "sensitive" so I think it's a good try.

Just thought of this and I don't want to retype all of the above because I believe it is relevant. Are your bales consitently different? As in you get one bale that's mostly grass and the next that has more clover in it? I experienced this myself this last winter and it definitely caused me some problems.

Peggysue - I've heard and read that legumes have less sugar/starches than grasses. Is this true in your research? Do you think that this particular case is caused not giving the horse time to adjust to the new feed or is it something else?

corporate pride 05-28-2010 02:47 AM

hmmmmmmmm....he's usually great on meadow hay so this time i though clover would give both my horses a boost as there is no grass at all for another month. we're starting to get the green shots through.

the main question there anything that i can give my horse to help him cope with the protein because come spring the paddocks will be full of clover and there won't be a slow intro to it. spring grass comes quickly

corporate pride 05-28-2010 02:58 AM

great advice though. i will be keeping my young one is more work (out of work at the moment his saddle doesn't fit) so i will lunge him when i'm not riding him to keep him from getting fat legs....poor boy has kankles

MN Tigerstripes 05-28-2010 08:22 AM

Spring grass comes fast around here too. :D Personally I have a sacrafice paddock that has very little grass/clover in it. I feed the horses hay when they're in it and let them out into the pasture in increments.

I don't know if you can do that or not.... But you could try a grazing muzzle, take it off for increasing increments everyday, and feed a grass hay in a different area (stall/paddock, somewhere he can't get at the clover right away).

He's already shown sensitivity so you should be careful this spring. Do you know anything about his health/medical/nutritional past?

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