Frequently Asked Questions

We’ll do our best to answer your questions regarding Doctor’s Choice Supplements, Equi-Shine products, equine nutrition, and other equine related questions you may have. However, these may often be of a general nature, so we encourage you to always discuss specific questions you may have with your equine veterinarian regarding your horse’s health needs.

Have a question that we haven’t covered? Please feel free to send us your question and we’ll do our best to provide you with an answer. Please provide as much information and be as specific as you can so that we can best answer your question.
Equi-Shine Questions

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I have an older horse who seems to be having trouble keeping weight on even though she gets the same high quality hay and grain she always has. What is wrong?

Older horses begin to absorb less nutrients from their diet as their intestinal tract ages. It is also widely believed that the ability to synthesize some vitamins, such as B & C, decreases with age. It is important to supplement them with highly absorbable organic vitamins and minerals as well as a digestive aid such as yeast and/or probiotics to support feed efficiency. Many older horses also benefit from supplementation with Glucosamine and Chondroitin.  It is also critically important to maintain good dental health via annual exams by a qualified equine dental health professional. If your older horse is missing teeth, or having trouble chewing hay (as evidenced by clumps or wads of chewed hay), you may need to add an alternative forage source such as chopped hay, soaked beet pulp, or wet hay cubes. Continue to offer some hay to encourage the horse to chew, which produces saliva and protects the intestinal tract from ulcers.

What is the recommended dosage for Super E?

Supplemental Vitamin E is recommended in several disease treatment protocols. The suggested dose for treatment of EPM/Wobbler or other severe deficiencies is 10,000 IU per day. For healthy horses in stressful situations or in high training programs the suggested dose is 5,000-10,000 IU per day.

What is the difference between regular Equi-Shine and Equi-Shine Ultimate?

The Equi-Shine Ultimate has extra Calcium for horses on grassier forage diets. It also contains flax seed for omega fatty acids, which produce overall bloom. In addition, it contains high levels of Thiamin and Lysine, an essential amino acid in the Equine diet.

What is the difference between natural Vitamin E and synthetic? What are the benefits/costs associated with natural vs. synthetic?

DL Tocopherol synthetic vitamin E, D Tocopherol organic vitamin E. D Tocopherol is 1.78x more absorbable than DL Tocopherol, however when listing IU guarantees on labels for vitamin E, this is already taken into account when using synthetic and more product is added to make it equal to organic. Natural vitamin E is much more expensive than synthetic.

Does the feeding rate differ with breeds or size of horse?

The feeding rate differs according to work schedule and type or class of horse. (i.e. miniature vs. draft and idle vs. breeding animal)

Should supplements be split up or is it ok to feed them all at one feeding?

It is ideal to split the supplement into AM and PM feedings but it can be fed all at one feeding with no problems.

What is the shelf life of the Equi-shine products? Can I refrigerate or freeze them?

We suggest all products be fed within six months of purchase. Products can be refrigerated or frozen but a dry cool location is adequate for storage.

If I have a good quality feed why should I feed supplements? I'm feeding my horse a good grain mix, isn't this enough? I have good hay isn't this enough too?

Most commercial grain mixes are formulated to be fed at a 1 lb/100 lb of body weight. That means 10 lb of grain for the average 1,000 lb horse. Most horse owners don’t feed close to that amount of grain. Most horses cannot tolerate that amount of grain and it would be a disaster to feed such. By top dressing the vitamins and minerals on the feed you can ensure your horse is receiving the needed levels regardless of the amount of grain being fed.

Hay contains only certain vitamins and minerals and if you are not supplementing, they are not receiving them.

My horse has Cushing's (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or EPM) is there anything I can do for it nutritionally?

It is important that these animals be under the care of a licensed veterinarian. There are many approved medications that can treat these diseases.

Do National Research Council guidelines factor in bio availability?

When one considers today’s ration formulations and animal productivity, bio availability is not accounted for in the NRC tables. Neither is animal stress. So, mineral requirements must be adjusted appropriately.

What does chelated (organic) mean?

Chelated means that the mineral ion has been chemically altered and attached to an amino acid which will improve the absorbability of the mineral/minerals. This is often referred to as an organic mineral now.

What is the difference between metallic and chelated (organic)?

Chelated or organic minerals are a more absorbable form of mineral than metallic. Just because a product is sold as a chelated (organic) mineral does not mean that all of the minerals in the product are chelated. If one ingredient in a vitamin and mineral product is chelated the final product can be marketed and labeled as chelated. You need to be aware of exactly what ingredients are indeed chelated.

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