I have a 22-yr-old Morgan gelding with Cushing’s, being well managed with daily Pergolide. Slightly arthritic hips. He gets 1/2 and 1/2 Equine Senior and Buckeye Senior with Buckeye Ultimate Finish added, in a mash with H2O and corn oil, 10lbs/day split into 2 feedings. Also has access to hay, some alfalfa, but his teeth are going so doesn’t get much nutrition from that. He feels pretty good at 930lbs, we do light trail riding. Anything else I should be doing for him nutritionally? – SB
You don’t mention what body condition score your horse is, but I assume he must be near ideal or you would have told me he needed to either gain or lose weight. Although he’s getting close to the amount of complete feed recommended by one of the manufacturers (12.4lbs with no hay, decreased by 1lb for every 2-3lbs of hay fed), I’m not a big fan of mixing commercial feeds. I believe that each manufacturer develops a product and recommends a certain amount be fed because they assume you will only be feeding their product. So rather than getting the best of both worlds, you might be getting less than the best from each.
If your horse is having trouble chewing long-stem hay to the point of quidding (dropping food out of his mouth), be careful that he doesn’t choke. You may want to feed chopped hay, hay cubes (soaked) or hay pellets so he still has forage but it’s in a more available and safer form.
I see that you’re giving him two sources of fat. Although you don’t say which version of Ultimate Finish you’re using or how much, between it and the corn oil you may want to provide him with additional Vitamin E as an antioxidant to scavenge the free radicals created when the body metabolizes the fat for energy. Are you feeding the fat for additional calories and energy?
My only other advice is to watch him carefully for development of insulin resistance, which can occur in some horses that have Cushing’s. I recommend regular follow-up visits from your veterinarian that include bloodwork to monitor progress of his disease(s).