The Equine Practice Inc, Travels With Doc T

No Sweat!

I mean, no sweat as in your horse has stopped sweating. For anyone in the latitudes where it never gets above 85 degrees F or the humidity is moderate, you will never know what I’m talking about.

I wish I had a picture of the first horse I had actually known with anhydrosis (the medical term for non-sweating). Only his head and nostrils could be seen while his remaining body remained below the surface of the water. More common are the horses standing in front of fans, nostrils flared, rib cage heaving as they struggle to remain cool without the benefit of the cooling effect of evaporating moisture from their skin.

As a vet student at Cornell, not much was said about this condition of horses. Little was written about it. Treatments spread about the horse world with anecdotal evidence to their effectiveness. Guinness Extra Stout ale, other dark ales, any beer are all common remedies. Acupuncture, the Equi-Patch, 1AC, misting fans, Ventipulman (albuterol) and prostaglandin injections all have reports of working to some degree in some horses.

Some Degree – Some Horses

No one has determined why some horses in the same environment stop sweating while others do sweat but we know that every horse is different with different responses to triggers. And no one (to my knowledge) has determined the mechanism behind anhydrosis.

Accidentally we have found a cure that seems to work in every horse we try it with and we need your help to give us more examples of this treatment’s success. It is August and it is hot. Will you help us figure this out?

Most of you already know that we are not big fans of feeding grain to any horse. This includes corn, oats, wheat, and especially wheat middlings which are inconsistent in nutritive value and are very inflammatory in most horses. As we convinced horse owners that grains cause inflammation in the gut with unwanted behavioral events, we also heard that some non-sweating horses started to sweat. We need more numbers to confirm this so if your horse isn’t sweating (to any degree), please try this and tell us.

What To Do

Step one – stop feeding your horse all grain, carrots, sugar, treats and red trace mineral salt licks (sugar). Only feed pasture, hay (grass or legume), real salt and water. NOTHING ELSE. Adding a handful of hay pellets or hay cubes to a bucket at “feeding time” is allowed.

Step two – wait about 4 days while continuing on this simple diet of grass, hay, salt and water. If past experience is true, then your horse will start to sweat about day three and really sweat by day 4.

Step three – report back your results in the comment section of this blog.

I must assume that digestive tract inflammation, leaking gut and/or general malaise is behind anhydrosis, I would like to understand the physiological principles behind this but as a horseman, getting an effective treatment is what counts. If horses start to sweat after removing grain and other common simple sugars, then all the other benefits might also be worth considering.

Grain Intolerance

If your horse shows one or more of the following then there may be a degree of grain intolerance and gut inflammation.

  • Chronic poor body condition (thin) despite feeding large amounts of grain
  • Chronic spasmodic (non-surgical) colic
  • Squirts or dribbles fecal matter when defecating – stains the stall wall
  • Girthiness (shifts feet, swishes tail, puffs up)
  • Uncomfortable being brushed
  • Unwilling or difficult behavior on the ground or while ridden
  • Bucking or hopping when moving into the trot or canter
  • Unwilling to load into a trailer or difficult when trailering
  • Non-sweating to any degree

All of these have been resolved in client’s horses by taking the 2 week no-grain challenge. Learn more about grain problems at TheEquinePractice.com/grain. Take the 2 week no-grain challenge with your non-sweating horse and post the results. No harm in this and no cost either. You can’t lose though your horse might sweat a bit.

If your horse is a non-sweater on hot days...
Please leave a comment below AFTER you take the no-grain challenge. Let us all know if this is something that works. Be sure to say how long it took before sweating started and the average daily temperature.

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Look at the comments below!

There are over 100 comments now with LOADS of information. Please take the time to read them as they broaden the understanding and experience of this post. ~ Doc T

Comments 168

  1. Hey there. I’m sure you have heard in your travels about giving a stout beer, once a day, to a non-sweater. I had learned this while training thoroughbreds at the race tract. I’ve had a few others since those days, and have always had good luck. Why do you think???
    Not sure if you recognize my name, Michele Oren, but I taped a snip it for you at Equine Affaire regarding power floating.

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      Yes I remember you. I think the stout beer works well in TB’s maybe because the are young and working so hard. But we are trying to get at the cause rather than find a treatment. And beer is a treatment because it is added to the horse. If eliminating grain works then it can be considered as a possible cause. Thanks!

  2. Dr T, I have not fed commercial grain to my horses in 8 years. Westin my 16 year old gleding stops sweating intermittently throughout the summer starting last year. This year I cut out beet pulp and it has helped. He gets acupuncture when needed. I will cut out the handful of oats he gets and see if we have any change. Thanks Casey B.

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      Hi Casey – Sugar beets (in the form of the byproduct pulp) can be inflammatory as well as the oats (a grain). Melissa took her horses off grain with great results but then added 1 cup of oats twice a day and the squirts returned. One horse was so sensitive that the red mineral salt block (corn syrup plus molasses) needed to be removed before the squirts stopped.

      Try just grass, hay, pure salt and water for a week. And NO CARROTS, APPLES, PEPPERMINTS ETC!

      Thanks, Doc T

  3. Dr T. Melissa floated my horses teeth in March. He is 20 this year. I have had sweating issues with him for about 7 yrs. He had Acupucture and herbs and was sweating till it gets really hot and humid in Florida. Melissa told me to take him off all grain. I did it and even during this hot days in July and August he is sweating like never before. I am so grateful for this info. I put him on Pro-Add to build his top line. Thanks.

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      Thanks Max for this feedback and for trying the the no-grain way Melissa had suggested. We are so grateful but probably not as much as your horse. 🙂

  4. Goeff, Bravo has become a non-sweater in summer since last year. He only gets a cup of organic grain free feed New Country Organics Connemara Crunch. Since switching to the organic feed he has started to sweat some–Im going to take the two week grain free challenge even though his feed is grain free (i had begun adding a bag of crypto aero (has some oats) to the Connemara Grain free feed–but Im going to cut all grain and take the challenge. Very Interesting. You are the BEST!

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      That will be interesting Judy.

      What is “Grain free feed?” Some horses are sensitive to any simple sugars such as carrots, sugar beet pulp and some brans.

      Please come back and let everyone your results. Thanks!!

  5. I also do not feed grain but I recall one Cushing’s pony who would not sweat much at all. However, she was also not fed any grain and was on a tightly controlled low sugar diet and pergolide.She was most likely iron overloaded (from previous diet and water) , so I am wondering how much this may also play a role, as well as Round Up contamination of grain. PSSM could also cause some of the symptoms described. Not sure how many of these horses may be affected by sweating issues though.

    Thank you for your insights!

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      Oda – these diseases you mention are all suspects in a general malnutrition. When you put inflammation from simple sugars (grain, treats, carrots etc) and chronically deplete them of protein plus stress them with a restrictive diet (limited forage) you have a recipe for worsening and not improving the horse’s life.

      Step one is to remove the inflammatory causes. Then let’s see what we have as far as sweating goes.

  6. Before reading this article, I moved to Georgia recently where my horse is on pasture 12 hours a day and I switched him from 6 lbs of grain to Triple Crown 30% ration balancer. He gets 1 lb a day plus grass hay when he is in his stall. He has now started sweating readily. This article confirms it works.

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      Thanks Andrea for this observation. Be sure to read the ingredients of the ration balancer though. Often they have a grain like filler such as wheat middlings that in some horses will cause gut inflammation. These horses may not see the success you have had.

  7. My horse only gets pasture alfalfa pellets and salt. No grain for several years. But he also gets California Trace mineral. For the past 4 years I have to keep him on One AC in the summer or he stops sweating. So for my gelding his anhydrosis has nothing to do with grain.

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      Thanks Cathi – that’s one. But before you go, can you tell us if there are any fillers (wheat middlings) or sugars (molasses, corn syrup, distillers dried grains) in California Trace Mineral. Also is he getting anything else such as carrots? I have known one horse off everything yet still had squirts until the red trace mineral salt block was removed (molasses and corn syrup). Let us know.

      1. I believe it has rice bran as an ingredient but nothing else you listed. You feed a very small amount per day as it is a vitamin mineral supplement. I believe pasture is high sugar as well.

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          Sugar in pasture is grouped into 2 types: 1) Structural which is fiber that is fermented by the hind gut bacteria and 2) Non-structural or starch which is the sugar stored by the plant during photosynthesis for use after the sun goes down for growing and is converted into structural fiber. Sugar is required by all of us to live. What is different between forage and grains is not only the sugar content but the type of sugar and other things including grain proteins that cause an inflammatory allergic reaction in the gut of the horse. It is not the amount as you suggest in the rice bran vit/min supplement but the reaction by the horse to it. Remember how much gluten a person with gluten intolerance needs to be affected.

          Any inflammation will cause the tight junctions of the gut wall to leak to some degree. Think of it a swelling around an infection or the welts of hives. If your horse is still not sweating, consider removing the rice bran as it being a suspect. In addition, you could also consider turn out on pasture during the morning hours before the starch content rises in the grass. Let us know how your horse does. Thanks!

    2. Same here Cathi – my horses have never had grain – lupins, hay, chaff, copra, minerals and salts. One has anhidrosis in summer. Not grain related.

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        With non-sweaters I discovered improvement in horses eating only pasture, hay, salt and water. I dubbed this “no grain” but inadvertently I portrayed this as a grain related disease. In reality we have no evidence yet as to the cause. Adding a legume such as lupine May have a lectin that causes the non-sweating. I assume “copra” which is Latin for “body” is coconut meal. This is added when a horse needs a non-inflammatory fat source.

        Why not try a pasture and hay diet only in the non-sweating horse as an experiment for all of us. Results should take less than a week. Be sure the salt has nothing added such as fillers. Besides a non sweating horse won’t need salt until he sweats.

  8. My mare was treated with acupuncture by Dr Bobby Willard in Flower Mound Texas. He deals with this problem a lot in performance horses here in North Texas. One treatment and she was ” cured”! We were both shocked! This summer she’s still doing ok and we’ve had a hot humid summer. I still feel that she doesn’t sweat as much as other horses and her muzzle is dry and rough. He said that was a symptom of anhydrosis….loss of hair on the face. I keep a close eye on her and she only gets Safe Choice (2 gts) twice a day. She and my other horse free range graze and get a bit of alfalfa and hay twice a day. Treats are rare. If she starts showing symptoms again, I’m going to try your protocol.

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      Great – let us know what happens. It’s always better to remove the cause rather than treat the problem. But I also know that in some horses acupuncture has worked.

  9. Hi Dr. T, you’re on to something big, that sugars are a big problem. When the horse’s blood sugar spikes from meals it messes with the electrolyte balance. Why does that matter? Michigan State University published research in 2007 that they suspect defective electrolyte transport in non-sweating horses. They called it a short circuit. Electrolyte ions have positive and negative charges and are strictly controlled and work to keep the horse healthy and hydrated, but blood sugar spikes mess up that whole system. Since grain has a higher glycemic index than forage, it will drive blood sugar up more. So when you stop grain, some horses will begin sweating again because the electrolytes aren’t being disturbed and can do what they’re supposed to do. But some horses that aren’t being fed grain also stop sweating because other things can affect electrolyte balance too. For example, stress is hard on horse health. Lasix, used to treat EIPH bleeders, is hard on electrolyte balance. So when stopping grain doesn’t restart the sweating, or the horse isn’t on grain anyway, there is a solution. We are the distributors of Equiwinner patches, a 10-day treatment that makes electrolytes smart again, fixing that short circuit. Nothing goes in to the body of the horse. For the tough cases, the horses that still don’t sweat after the no-grain-challenge, please have them try Equiwinner. Their electrolytes have forgotten how to work properly and Equiwinner will reset the system and get the horse sweating again. There’s more information here https://signal-health.com/nonsweating/

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      Thanks Barbara for this explanation. Everybody, I have known Barbara for a long time and she has been an advocate for the horse and a passionate believer in the Equiwinner patch. I want everyone to know about this product because if the no grain challenge helps but your horse still isn’t right, this may be the thing to get them right all the way. If you have this experience, we ALL want to hear about it. Please don’t be shy. Let us know.

      Thanks again Barbara for working so hard to help horses everywhere. Doc T

  10. I sure would like more input from individuals that ACTUALLY tried this to let us know if it worked or not! I have a non-sweater, and I have used Bevs Sure to Sweat with good results. The sweat was of course ” non- sweater” sweat.. only on front half of the body, and a little more sticky and regular sweat , but at least it helped. I will definitely try this protocol and report back!

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      Thanks “N” – we all want to hear. Can you imagine that through a simple change we can improve so many horse’s lives? We all need to check back here to read the comments.

      After some time, I will probably post a quick chart of the results. I’ll update this post with exactly what I need for this.

  11. i have a horse i rescued nine years ago a race horse who does not sweat. i have used everything and i mean everything to get this horse to sweat. no sweat. i am g;oing to try what you say for two weeks and just give her some hay pellets for meals so she won’t feel left out. if it works you are a miracle worker she is a really severe non sweater three fans and a misting fan.thank you

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  12. I have two horses that I would like to try this no grain diet on. The first is a miniature mare who just gave birth 13 weeks ago. I have her on Mare and Foal feed right now as the baby is eating as well but she’s been a non sweater for the second year. She is currently on Albuterol. Would it be safe to put her on a no grain diet at this point and if so what kind of hay would you give and how much since she is lactating? The second horse in question is a thirteen-year-old appendix gelding who has a lot of the symptoms that you described above. He is somewhat of a hard keeper though so in addition to hay what else could I give him to help with his problems but also keep his weight up?

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      Kim – Thanks for your questions.

      It is safe to eliminate grain from the Mini mare for a few reasons. The most significant reason is that the grain fed is going straight to the milk. Adding this much energy to a foal that is also receiving grain will lead to developmental orthopedic diseases (osteochondrosis dissecans, epiphysitis, contracted tendons, club foot). The other problems with grain include inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and obesity.

      You will need to consult with your vet about removing the Albuterol. This is for breathing problems but also helps non-sweating horses.

      Horses that are hard keepers like your Appaloosa are often inflamed in the gut. Removing the inflammatory grain is the first step in the horse gaining weight. this is the best time of year because of the warm weather and grass availability. The question is for these hard keepers, with the warm weather and grass, why can’t he keep weight even when fed pounds of grain? The answer is that he is fighting a chronic gut inflammation. Let his intestines recover (2 to 6 weeks) and if he doesn’t start gaining weight, start first by adding a broad variety of protein (see TheEquinePractice.com/protein) and if after a month of this he still needs fat and winter is approaching, add CoolStance (coolstance.com) as a non-inflammatory fat source.

  13. Hi Doc T! You actually used to do my horse’s teeth years ago! A friend of mine emailed me this article and I found it very interesting. My mare, Zoey, has had anhydrosis ever since I got her 12 years ago. She is now 22 and still suffers from it year round. We have basically learned to live with it and manage it through fans, night time turnout, and lots of lots of hosing and scraping. In the beginning, we tried everything except for prescription drugs. We tried the One AC, beer, and acupuncture but to no avail. About a year ago I decided to take Zoey off of grain completely. She gets her pelleted supplements while the other horses in the barn eat their grain (she gets a joint/hoof/omega 3 combo supplement, plus a pelleted electrolyte and multi vitamin-mineral supp). She’s able to maintain her weight on pasture and timothy/alfalfa hay. Unfortunately, she never started sweating after we quit the grain. I am convinced that she has lived with this condition for so long that there is nothing that will help.

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      Thanks Amand – this is a common reply that the horse is “off grain” yet is still being fed things with simple sugars. Many horses are very sensitive to this. For instance many “supplements” have corn, wheat middlings, molasses, and other inflammatory ingredients. Add to this that every electrolyte requires glucose to work so every electrolyte supplement has sugar. Check out the joint/hoof/omega supplement and there is a probability of inflammatory substances including suspect vegetable oils. Finally the vitamin mineral supplements again can have unnecessary effects on the gut.

      Your horse can do without all of these things for a week. Feed only pasture, hay, raw salt (NOT the sugar loaded red trace mineral salt) and water for 10 to 14 days and then report back your findings.

      Keep in mind that EVERYTHING you place into your mouth and swallow is NOT in your body. Same with your horse. It is placed inside a tube running through the body. If I draw a blood sample from your vein or your horse’s vein I would not be able to tell what you or she ate today.

      All foods and supplements are broken down into molecules and then re-assembled on the other side of the gut wall. We do this through enzymatic digestion and your horse does this through bacterial fermentation (we are NOT the same!). Feeding all of the supplements you do or feeding good quality pasture and hay along with a broad variety of proteins will both give your mare everything she needs. But doing so with non-inflammatory things is better for her, just as effective when you look at it molecule for molecule and will cost you less.

      Are you willing to try it for 10 days? If so, write back and let us know what you find. But I do have to agree with you on one thing. Horses over 20 years who have been inflamed for a long time sometimes look worse before they get better. If your horse starts to sweat when off all inflammatory feeds and you want to continue, then contact me if she starts to look thin. There is a good reason for this and we can help her. But first, let’s see if she starts sweating.

      1. Thanks so much for that quick response! I didn’t think her supplements would make THAT much of a difference but it does make sense. I do want to try stopping all of her supplements but there are a few things that hold me back. Ever since I started her on an electrolyte supplement 3 ish years ago, she doesn’t sweat but she seems to handle the heat a lot of better. Less panting, no more colic episodes. I don’t remember why I started it, something I read during my research about managing horses with anhydrosis. I hesitate stopping this because I worry about her becoming overheated when she’s turned out in the afternoon (which is too early in my opinion, about 3-4 pm, but I have no control over that). There were days where she was so overheated, she collapsed to the ground when I was walking her to the wash rack. Also, all of the horses in the barn are on a feed-thru fly control (Simplifly). I would also have to stop this right? I’m assuming it contains ingredients like wheat middlings etc. I suppose we can live with the flies for 10 days. I will think it over and possibly give it a go, maybe I’ll wait another month when it starts to cool down. I will definitely report back!

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          Thanks for trying! Please remember this is a hands on experiment where you are constantly watching your horse. If you remove everything for only a week and you are observant, your horse won’t suffer. There is a possibility that she will actually find relief.

          Horses do NOT have the same digestive system that you, your dog, your bird or your cow has. We all need to learn the difference that a hind gut fermenting machine like the horse requires to make it work properly. As we all try to “help” we actually go against the way they are made.

          If you don’t remove everything you may not be removing the cause. You need to go to hay, grass, raw salt (your electrolytes) and water only and stop the gut inflammation. Only then, after your horse becomes comfortable and sweats again, can you start to add back what YOU think is necessary for the benefit of the horse – ONE AT A TIME! When the horse starts to develop trouble, then you will be able to identify the source. But you MUST go back to the basics of grass / hay, raw salt and water – or “square one.”

  14. My mare stopped sweating about 2 mos ago and she has a 3 month colt nursing at her side. She has been grain free for 5 days and started to sweat on her chest, shoulders and between 4 legs. I am very excited for her to sweat but I have noticed her appearing thinner. She was eating up to 8lbs of grain/day along with alfalfa and grass hays. Now I have her on O/T/A for breakfast/lunch/ dinner and Tifton for munching in between. What should I do to increase her calories? More alfalfa? Her foal is eating 2lb/day of Triple crown growth and also access to momma’s hays. Mom is a Welsh/TB cross @ 14hh.

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      Nursing mares often will give the fat off their back to their foals and this is what she is doing. I assume you will wean at about 4 months. Once you wean, she will gain her weight back. But there is more.

      Fat is a sign of inflammation as the horse sequesters off the unwanted sugars. When you stop the inflammation, the horse will immediately start to eliminate the fat and if there is a drain of energy (lactation or extreme exercise) the fat will go rapidly. Unfortunately, what you end up seeing is a horse whose muscle has been reduced through lack of protein ingestion.

      Think of it this way. If you take the clothes off of 2 men in front of you each with a body fat of 6% and one has slumping shoulders, distended belly and skinny legs and the other is Michael Phelps (the Olympic swimmer) – which do you think is in better condition? Both with the same body fat but one with better muscling. When our horses “lose weight,” what they have lost is the fat and you now see how chronically poor they are in the protein department. For more info on chronic protein deficiency in horse, read my article here: https://theequinepractice.com/protein

      One last thing – I do NOT recommend feeding any foal (colt or filly) any grain – EVER. This may cause developmental orthopedic disease such as osteochondrosis dissicans, epiphysitis, contracted tendons, club foot, and more. 2 pounds a day plus what you were feeding the mare is dangerous. Please consult your veterinarian on this.

  15. I have an ottb patchy sweater, what about using hay and Coolstance? No ingredients other than copra? He’s a hard keeper so do you advocate hay long term? Could alfalfa hay be used to put calories in? Assuming no grain diet works.

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      Hard keepers can be a sign of grain intolerance and gut inflammation. Try to do this in stages. 7 days of nothing but hay, grass, water and raw salt. If he is OK with this, sweating and not losing condition, then keep up with this plan. I am a fan of CoolStance because it is a non-inflammatory source of energy, but wait until you see a loss of condition.

      Remember, many people look at a horse as a hard keeper and only see the low body condition score (a measure of fat covering). In stead, look at the Top Line Score as a measure of muscling. As muscle is gained and inflammation is stopped, a much better (and calmer) horse appears. Read about chronic protein deficiency here: https://theequinepractice.com/protein

  16. OK … I am not following directions; but, this has been a great mystery to me. Once, about fifteen years ago, Choas had anhydrosis. It was not a very hot day – only about 70 – and fairly dry (not humid) in NC, in the fall. We didn’t work that hard, but he was puffing like crazy – and not sweating at all. No change in his feed in four months – but probably too much grain at that boarding barn. We ran cold water down his legs. He never, ever, did it again. I lived in fear for a while … and mostly forgot about it. Why???

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      Hello Judy – good to hear from you.

      Every horse is an individual and responds to grains differently. And some live on the edge of an issue when something throws them over temporarily. I have seen that it is NOT the quantity that affects them. Often it is just 1 little thing such as a weed or a bad spot of hay that does it.

      I just posted a new blog to start the discussion on lectins. These are the “bad proteins” in plants that cause the damage. Stay tuned.

  17. An update for anyone interested. On Monday I started a hay, water, and salt only diet for my 17 y/o gelding with anhidrosis. On Wednesday and Thursday we had very high temps and humidity and my horse was sweating while on turnout – something he doesn’t usually do. While the sweat was somewhat patchy, he did have sweat in places that I haven’t seen him sweat before – between his hind legs, on his flanks, around his ears, and on his chest and a bit on the forelegs. This is far more sweat than I’ve seen even when worked under saddle, so I’m thrilled with his progress.

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      Thanks for the update Susan. Remember to look at everything he eats for inflammatory causes including the sugar in red mineral salt blocks. No treats with grain or even carrots. We all look forward to another update. PS – I will have in the future what I think may be causing this and other issues in horses so stay tuned.

  18. Hey Goeff, Bravo is now in day 11 on the two week challenge and he started sweating on day two..stopped sweating on day seven and eight interestingly enough I had given him a Prevacox on the night of DAY 6. Starting sweating again on day nine he’s now sweating again so I am thrilled. Could one Prevacox have made the difference? We’ve started the two week challenge on our very old retired horse who is 28 and has not sweat in 20 years . Today is a Day 4. We are watching him like a hawk. Fingers crossed.

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      Judy – it is great that you observed this Prevacox relationship to overall gut inflammation. Other things affecting the gut are protein pump inhibitors which decrease the acid in the stomach. The effect of medications and grains is 1) decrease or removal of the protective mucus lining and 2) damage to the tight junctions between the cells that line the gut. Both of these allow substances in that really should be kept out. While I am not sure why this causes anhydrosis (among other things), but I know that it does.

      So yes, all non-steroidal antiinflammatories will affect the gut.

      Please keep us updated especially on the old horse. We need to address the gut inflammation and anhydrosis plus also add some muscle and fat to him. Looking forward to this so please keep in touch.

      1. OK Bravo, ’97 APHA gelding with Cushings is winding day DAY 13 on the 2 week challenge. Started sweating on Day 2, no sweat on Day 7&8 after one Previcox on Day 6, Sweating again Day 9. Interestingly enough it was only 84 today after the 1/2 day rain-into the evening-felt like FALL for a moment-but i know better. I felt my horses chest while he grazed out in the field and he was very wet-the most so far. YIPPEE. (interestingly Bravo does sweat when the hot humid summer is over and temps drop a bit). I rushed over to feel our old guy, ’89 OTTB hasn’t sweat in 20 years-dry as a bone-He’s on Day 5. He’s on Hay Hay Cubes, grass and salt, eating like a horse. I taped his weight Day 1. I’ll tape him tomorrow although he appears to be holding his own and eating non-stop-which is interesting to your theory. We so want this old guy to sweat.

        My organic feed we switched to before the Challenge is New COUNTRY ORGANICS http://www.newcountryorganics.com ConnemaraCrunch soy and grain free
        Analysis Crude protein, minimum – 16%. Crude fat, minimum – 3.00%. Crude fiber, maximum – 15.00%. Calcium, minimum – 0.60%. Calcium, maximum – 1.10%. Phosphorous, minimum – 0.20%. Copper (PPM), minimum – 120. Selenium (PPM), minimum – 1.0. Zinc (PPM), minimum – 300.

        Ingredients Organic Field Peas, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Sun ower Oil, Organic Rice Hulls, Brewers Dried Yeast, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Sulfur Powder, Yeast Cul- ture, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Methionine Complex, Manganese Methionine Complex, Copper Lysine Complex, Cobolt Glucoheptonate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Prod- uct, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bi do- bacterium Thermophilum Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dia- static Malt, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.

        NCO likes feeding with coolstance (which is 20 %protein) which i mix together-mine get one cup (8 oz) 2xs day. I was mixing in Crpto Aero also-but that has oats and have stopped. Everyone was getting this. Bravo and Givvy. Givvy’s feed was 3xs day: 5 c this mix, 2 1/2 c Essential K high protein feed from Tribute (28% soy based protein-with all essential amino acids)) soaked organic GMO free beet pulp, soaked alfalfa cubes, Western timothy hay and western alfalfa hay. He was getting tremendous feed amounts 3xs a day and still painfully thin, although he’s definitely the best since at my farm . I believe the organic feed and especially the beet pulp has added some weight on him. BUT i am sticking to the challenge for 2 weeks. We even cut his most favorite daily peppermints–and he is bewildered as to why-but we offer a hay cube and are going to try peanuts as a treat.

        Have you had a horse NOT begin to sweat on the trial?

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          Thanks for the thorough update. All horses that try the no grain approach to sweating have started to sweat. But a 28 year old who hasn’t sweated in 20 years may have been inflamed for a long time with some permanent gut damage. The fact that he is so lean (before your efforts) is evidence of this long standing inflammation. I have seen this in 2 horses just today.

          Last week I saw a 28 year old looking very similar to Givvy who was also a non-sweater. That horse started slowly sweating within 4 days. She uses just whey protein plus has worked hard on adding vitamins and minerals. This week, 1 year later, I did not recognize this horse. The hair coat shined and he had muscles everywhere he had not a year earlier.

          I appreciate your patience and courage to get both these horses back to zero inflammation. Bravo seems well with this and as long as Zivvy continues to eat all that hay and nothing else, he should be too. After 2 weeks you can reassess his feeding and if needed, introduce things back, one at a time, and waiting a week before adding another. Each individual horse has individual reactions to the same food so we need to remember this as we look at Zivvy’s return to a healthier state.

          Last thing – I think all need to know about the effects of the nonsteroidal antiinflammatories (Prevacox, bute, Banamine, etc) on the gut lining. Thanks for this observation.

  19. Hi again. Week 2 in progress here, I have started my mare on buckeye grow n win this week and hay/grass/salt/water. She is losing fat from nursing her colt. I appreciate reading about chronic protein deficiency. I usually wean around 5-6 months, gradually. I have started keeping them apart for some parts of the day to start the process (total of about 3 hours) She is sweating more than last week. Neck, chest between legs, more frequently, seems to be every other day she is sweating pretty good. The more I read and think on this, the more it can seem confusing. I did eliminate grain from the colt, he’s just on hay and grass, now. Thanks for opening my eyes to the world of equine nutrition

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      Great news Danielle. Thanks for learning and helping your horses. I know the mare will lose condition due to nursing but I want you to consider this as “normal.” So there is no need to add any grain that will continue to inflame the gut (the grow n win). She will gain back what she has lost after weaning. In fact there is something called “intermittent fasting” that actually is necessary for mitochondria health.

      Confused now??? I know. I will be getting into this but let me summarize. You and your horse are SUPPOSED to go through lean times. In fact it is being proved that, like the hibernating bear, we all need to not get food 24/7/365. So as long as the mare is getting grass and hay, she should be OK. Isn’t this the way God / nature made it?

      Remember, the grow n win is going to the foal through the milk.

  20. I rode this morning, and my horse sweated like a boss! He was as sweaty as my friend’s horse – something that has never happened before. He had normal sweat patterns – again, something that is new for him. He also felt great, perky and forward throughout the entire ride. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.

    This particular horse has also had chronic diarrhea since last Fall. I have tried multiple diet changes, supplements, vet work ups, and omeprazole and sucralfate. It looks like his diarrhea is improving at this point, we are on day 6 of the challenge. I’m excited to see what the second week of the challenge brings.

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      Thanks Susan for trying this challenge. Seeing is believing. In the near future as I get more information I will try to explain why grain is inflamming your horses (and you too!).

      It’s nice to find your TRUE horse now that he feels better. Doc T

  21. I just took my OTTB off grain 6 days ago and she just started sweating! She was on 2 scoops of ProForce Fuel . But Now im not sure if I should out her on a grain without beetpulp or what. shes lost a lot of weight and down here in south florida its hard to keep a horse especially a TB on just hay

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      I always ask, “What is weight?” If it is just weight, add a SCUBA diver’s weight belt to the top of the horse.

      What we are really noticing is a loss of fat which was placed there because of inflammation. Specifically the grain leptins (defensive plant proteins) that block the insulin sites on muscles. Insulin, unable to give their sugar to the muscle, stores it as fat while the muscle slowly starves. Over time, the top line “looks good” but as the fat is removed from the no grain diet, the “real” horse is seen. Like taking the clothes off a person to reveal their true body.

      The fact your horse looses fat on a no grain diet is confirmation of the underlying inflammation – along with the sight of sweating. Now is the time to continue removing the inflammation and heal the gut (up to 6 weeks) while at the 2 week mark, introducing a protein source. Then be patient. This takes several months to start to see the results and a year or more to get a “new body.” This is why it is so important to keep a journal. Add to it often. On a rainy day, read it and compare your start to where you are now. Then share it with all of us. Thanks for the update.

  22. Day 7 for Givvy…..Stephanie said he may have been ‘tacky’ in a few spots this AM!!! OMG I’m so excited I can’t contain myself. It’s premature, but ……..

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      1. Day 8
        G is loving the peanuts as a treat-shells and all. This morning’s observation from Susan Van Wagoner who brings G in in the AM with her horse-turnout buddies:

        Givvy was past “sticky” and all the way to wet in his armpits this morning! Not like girth-area armpits, but way inside like between his front legs in the crease next to his legs. Way in there, but still good! Kinda clammy between back legs, but wouldn’t say wet. But it was early morning and nobody was really sweaty. 😃🐴

        We taped him at 1033 last week when we began – yesterdays he’s just shy of 1033. More than 1017 the next smaller line on the weight tape. His skin is getting bad again–fungusy. We hope if he starts to sweat well that will help his skin.

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          Inch by inch…

          If he loses more weight, let me know but it’s ok now because the goal is sweating, then weight maintenance.

          1. day 10 for Givvy. It was relatively cooler yesterday and today with the cloud cover and rain (which actually can promote sweating i believe when its not too hot) . Not much difference in G. Bravo is Day 17 and sweating good on his chest, head, under mane. Just tacky between the hind legs. Do i start to add a protein for Bravo-the one cup of connemara Crunch (New Country Organics grain free feed)/coolstance as protein–or NOT . He hasn’t lost a pound as his meal is soaked alf cubes. G may have lost a few pound-not many, always eating, not as shiny ….not really sweating yet–but trying to I believe. At some point do we add a protein/minerals/aminos to these boys? Or w/G do we wait till the sweat starts appearing?

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            If your thorough observations show that the horse has improved now that all inflammatory feed is removed then you can start to add a protein source. Wait about 10 days and if no signs of inflammation return, you can add something else but I really doubt that you will need to add anything else. Vitamins and minerals are usually added to the protein sources for simplicity but if they are not added, then add some now. Only if your horse sweats a lot during exercise should you add electrolytes but otherwise stay away from them. All electrolytes require a sugar molecule to be absorbed so there is that sugar again.

            Remember that it is the chronic inflammation of the GI tract that has caused the chronic protein loss as well as the other adverse health signs. But it isn’t JUST the lack of feeding protein but the lack of absorbing the protein and the competition from the “bad” proteins from the grains that has caused the health problems of your horses. You must always continue to avoid the bad proteins as well as the added sugar of grains (corn, wheat middlings, vegetable oils, carrots, etc).

            After the no-grain challenge and the reduction in GI tract inflammation, you should start adding a variety of protein sources to get the horse back on track. Stay vigilant and observe the horse after the addition to determine if an individual horse is reactive to any ingredient in the protein supplement (fecal squirts, off feed, irritability, non-sweating, etc).

          3. So do we say maybe all horses can/should eat this way? Like a HORSE? I for one am against processed food and like whole food for myself and my horses.

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            An interesting thought Judy – did you know that the “bad” proteins called lectins are more prevalent in whole grains? They are concentrated in the skin of the grain so actually “whole” grains can be for most people MORE inflammatory. I am NOT promoting white Wonder bread but if you must eat grain based bread, eat sourdough bread where yeast is used in the fermentation which also digests any remaining lectins in the white flour.

            While all of this appears complicated, it is not. It is just different and therefore requires us to think differently. I am walking the walk now and will report back on my personal changes as I continue to remove inflammatory food from my diet. And with all of your help reading this, I will collect the testimony about horses lives improving once the inflammatory food has been removed from their diets.

            You say it best!! Horses should eat like a horse (and humans should eat like a human). Once you learn how grains are so new to both of our diets you will soon figure out that grains are NOT food for horses or humans.

  23. I have not fed my 17yr old Warmblood “grain” in about 10 years. Since he was about 3 or 4 tho he’s been on a forage first program of good quality forage 24/7 with any and all hay fed through a slow feeding hay net the last 2 years. The only “feed” he gets is from ADM. The majority of the years it’s been their Stay Strong Metabolic mineral pellet and only 2lbs a day. Depending on how he was looking I would throw in some of their HealthyGlo or MoorGlo (stabilized rice bean pellets). I also tend to stay away from alfalfa too sometimes his hay will be a T/A or O/A mix which is light on the alfalfa, but I prefer regular Timothy or orchard as I also have a mini. His “non sweating” was noticed when he was 6 1/2 shortly after we moved to florida from up north. He was never a complete non sweater as he will sweat under tack when ridden and in the pasture from his ear to armpit but will not sweat past that and will be whole body breathing with flaring notstirls. The chinese vet med place said he had a spleen chi deficiency once upon a time. He’s figured out he gets hot and will stand in the shade or in front of his fan. This past January I started feeding him coolstance Copra a coconut “meal” (it’s thicker than powder but not yet granular either) and I think that’s helped some with his non sweating. I was also using Photonic red light therapy as well for different reasons and I think that had help because occasionally he’ll have sweat around his flanks and under his butt. What I love about ADM is their feed is truly low starch and sugar and packed with amazing vitamins minerals and great probiotics. 🙂 the stay strong is all my mini has gotten for the last 10 years and he has never had laminitis. 🙂 so you can say I feed my horses as they should with forage first and vitamins minerals salt and probiotics. I was once told that anhidrosis can linked to an emotional trauma, and once that was dealt with horses were “cured” of their non sweating issues. Wish I could insert s picture of him here :-/ he looks amazing for 17 and not getting any grain because he’s fed as a horse should be.

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      Thanks Eryn for your comment. Stay tuned for my discussion on lectins causing inflammatory reactions in the GI tract.

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      For horses that are not sweating or are heat intolerant, the hypothesis is that there is a metabolic dysfunction. What is being suggested here is that there are “bad” proteins called lectins in many of the ingredients being fed horses. By feeding only forages horses normally find in their environment, many of these lectins can be avoided and many of the health problems we see today including non-sweating can be resolved.

      I will be writing more about this in September.

  24. Day 13 for Givensong, our 28 yr old OTTB who hasn’t sweat in 20 years. He started at 1033 now hes 1025 13 days later. So hes lost maybe 8 lbs.

    I could start to add some protein, and some vitamins—is that detrimental to the 2 week challenge of hay only? Or wait? His weight is maintaining, so i am not alarmed at weight loss. As you know this horse is very thin to start although he was getting 15-20 lbs of feed (the organic w/ CS W/ speed-beet 95% sugar free) a day in addition to hay cubes and all the hay he could eat. , with no muscle–SO losing some fat makes it very noticeable. But the tape doesn’t lie. He’s maintaining weight. He’s hungry, he’s eating, he’s bright and happy. Loves his peanuts, his new treat (shell and all) instead of his favorite peppermints.

    Connermara Crunch (organic grain free feed ingredients below) is 16% protein and Cool Stance is 20% protein. Do the ingredients of the CC look suitable for gut inflamation? It is soy free and grain free. It contains pro and prebiotics for digestion.

    Steph—what are the ingredients of the Platinum Performance suppliment? I have suspended this suppliment on the 2 week challenge. He’s on Western Timothy hay, Western Alfalfa, alf cubes , grass, real salt and water.

    We dont have sweat YET. Since his weight is maintaining—should be continue the challenge with or without a protein? With or with out vitamins. Im feeding him the best quality hay and feed i find–and all of it he desires to eat.
    Please advise
    Judy

    Organic Connemara Crunch Horse Feed

    Crude protein, minimum………………………………………….16%

    Crude fat, minimum………………………………………………..3%

    Crude ber, maximum ……………………………………………. 15%

    Calcium, minimum …………………………………………………0.60%

    Calcium, maximum…………………………………………………1.10%

    Phosphorous, minimum …………………………………………..0.20%

    Copper (PPM), minimum………………………………………… 120

    Selenium (PPM), minimum …………………………………….. 1.0

    Zinc (PPM), minimum……………………………………………300.

    INGREDIENTS

    Organic Field Peas, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Sun ower Oil, Organic Rice Hulls, Brewers Dried Yeast, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Sulfur Powder, Yeast Cul- ture, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Methionine Complex, Manganese Methionine Complex, Copper Lysine Complex, Cobolt Glucoheptonate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Prod- uct, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bi do- bacterium Thermophilum Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dia- static Malt, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast

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      It is amazing that with the removal of the Connemera Crunch and the Cool Stance he has relatively maintained his weight. But it is common for the older horses to start to lose some of the fat. While it may take some more time for the gut to heal from the chronic inflammation, it wouldn’t hurt to add a protein source. This said, I still don’t want to cause inflammation so if it were up to me, I would either hang in for another week OR add some Cool Stance. Cool Stance will add non-inflammatory fat as well as another source of protein which should help him, but don’t be surprised if his appetite diminishes slightly (a side effect of ketone digestion).

      Inflammation is not caused by the sugars as much as the bad proteins called lectins found in everything including grain and things like rice bran, brewer’s dried yeast and sunflower oil (all in the ingredient list you posted). I want to write about these lectins in the next 30 days when I get a chance.

      The one rule is this: It is not what they need to eat (hay, grass, water, raw salt) but what they DON’T eat that makes the difference. The other rule is this – all horses are different so we must find out what works for each horse individually.

      1. ok-im on board with the challenge. Ill keep you posted on our progress. G ate good today ( hay and hay cubes) and trotted out to the paddock at 7pm for all night turnout. I felt his foreleg creases–nothing—-yet. It was very warm today, but my barn is relatively cool and he has a personal port-a cooler in addition to my misting system. His demeanor is bright.

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  25. We have a 16yo BelgianPaintX w/Cushings that we started on the diet this morning. I have 3 questions:
    1- is Prascend ok during the two week period? (He suffered the veil but takes it well now)
    2 – we were giving Remission & Foundation Formula but withheld it this morning. Is it ok to add back in 2 weeks?
    3 – he has FRM Free Choice lose minerals available. It’s not a block so I wasn’t sure. Do we need to remove from the stalls?
    Thank you!

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      Thanks for trying this Amber.
      1) yes keep the Prescend. Any changes in medication shoud be discussed with your veterinarian.
      2) OK to add one thing at a time and wait for changes. As Judy Hill found out, one Prevacox stopped the sweating and it took 2 days to start up again. So let the horse tell you if there is a problem, but one at a time then wait.
      3) Every mineral supplement has ingredients that are hidden such as corn syrup and molasses so I would remove them during the trial then reintroduce them one at a time.

      Good luck and let us all know how it goes. Doc T

  26. Givvy is 14 days on the challenge today. I added one cup (8OZ) Coolstance today as per his owner. I did tape his weight yesterday and maybe he has lost only 8 lbs in 2 weeks on hay only and grass. I think he’s holding his own and eating hay and hay cubes well. Tonight he layed down and rolled in the dirt–something I have never seen him do. He may have been wet deep in the folds of the front legs and tacky between the hind legs. Fingers Crossed. Danielle Weis reported to me and to YOU that her mare was covered in sweat today-3 weeks into the challenge. Bravo, my 97 APHA gelding w/cushings, did sweat on day 2, not day on day 7,8 after a prevacox, sweating again day 9 on. Bravo is 22 days into the challenge. These next few weeks are going to be HOT. Fall can not come soon enough.

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      For those in the rest of the US, September is the hottest month in south FL, something people in New England can’t begin to understand. I’m in the truck today and it’s 95 degrees now.

  27. minnie is on day five of the challenge so far no sweat . she has not sweat in years. i do notice sheis drinking more and eating more. so i will keep it up she is probably more llike givvy just not as old.

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  28. Doc T, My gelding is on day 18 of the challenge. He started sweating on day 3 and continues to sweat. On day 15 I started him on ProAdd Ultimate as I feel he needs a protein source for his topline. He is 17 and his topline doesn’t look as good as it did this time last year. Currently my guy is on pasture and sweating while he is grazing. Close to a miracle.

    I am thrilled beyond belief at my results. In fact, I have a ride planned for tomorrow that I would not have been able to even contemplate 3 weeks ago for fear of overheating. I have my horse back! I am so appreciative of your help with this issue.

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  29. Dear Dr. Tucker,

    I have a 6yo heavy-set TB who is experiencing his first summer in TX. In June he stopped sweating. Each day he has self-managed the heat to some extent by submerging himself in our pond. He would repeat every hour or so but still became distressed in between, puffing like a train. I have been stabling him between 12 and 6pm each day under fans & misters to try to cool him but could rarely make him truly comfortable. In addition, I have tried various electrolytes and ‘sweating’ supplements. On August 13th a friend pointed me towards your YouTube vlog. I started the no-grain challenge about 5 days after, radically reducing his 14:8 pellets to a small handful and replacing with soaked Alfalfa & Timothy. On August 31st he started to sweat – and happily, continues to sweat profusely. I’m not sure whether a spell of cooler weather has allowed him to re-set, and/or whether supplements played a part but my other two TB’s – who also got the no-grain treatment – are also sweating more freely than ever and neither has had the sweating supplements, so a moderately nice control group!

    I’ll obviously keep monitoring as I’m concerned his sweat response may switch off again as/if the temperatures rise however, I thought you’d like to know. Any further advice is most welcome.

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      Please consider removing the “small handful” of grain pellets you are giving him now. The only reason you are doing this is for you, not the horse. He is sweating now because the inflammation caused by the grain has been removed – almost completely. So try it – for 10 more days. You will find that the “handful” is like the box of chocolates you have hidden in the back of the top shelf of the pantry, raided when no one is looking. But your evidence for no grain stands before you sweating “profusely.”

      Thanks for the comment. I think you will find that he will continue to sweat. Please feel free to update us all.

      1. Stopped ‘the small handful’ but seems I spoke too soon – my big lad stopped sweating and we’re back to square one. If anything he seems even more intolerant of the heat now. Temperature is lower than earlier in the summer but humidity is up so the apparent temperature remains in the high 90’s. He’s on soaked alfalfa & timothy & digestive supplement (SmartDigestUltra). He’s also lost weight and i’m thinking of starting him on a protein & fat weight gain supplement. Is there anything I’m missing?

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          Caroline – If you haven’t read yet my last blog then do so now. https://theequinepractice.com/symbiosis-and-the-horses-gut/ This will add to the discussion of why removing horses from grain works for so many horses. Remember that every horse is an individual and therefore will have different sensitivities to the lectins in the food he or she eats.

          When we remove all grains from a horse’s diet, we need to be diligent that ALL grain is removed. Here is the list of “inactive” ingredients in Smart Digest Ultra: Brewers Dried Yeast, Corn Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles, Magnesium Silicate, Natural Flavors, Salt, Stabilized Rice Bran, Vegetable Oil (cold pressed). Notice the inflammatory ingredients of yeast, grain, bran and vegetable oil. All of these will cause the leaking gut that your horse is demonstrating in the form of non-sweating and weight loss. Remember that it is NOT the amount of inflammatory ingredients but if ANY are present in sensitive horses.

          Often the owner sees “weight loss” and places the horse back on the inflammatory ingredients because they of know nothing else to do. In reality, the weight loss seen is actually the removal of fat revealing the chronic muscle loss that has been occurring. Removing the inflammatory ingredients such as lectins that are causing leaking gut, immune mimicry and insulin blocking will allow the horse to gain muscle without the abundance of fat that hides it as well as many other ailments such as non-sweating. Adding a broad variety of protein will help him recover. Please keep in mind though that the gut needs about 6 weeks to fully heal though results can be seen in less time. Record all your observations in a notebook so that as the 6 weeks pass you will be able to read about all the changes you have seen.

          The bottom line is that if your horse is only eating grass and hay then he doesn’t need any gut supplement. But isn’t it “funny” that a product intended for “Comprehensive hindgut support” conveniently ignores the fact that the inactive ingredients does just the opposite? Hmmm….. Please let us all know what you finally do (hopefully only feed grass, salt, water and pure salt) and how it turns out.

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            LOL – The Plant Paradox is his book and he does an incredible job explaining it. Please subscribe to my blog where I attempt to turn his information into uncomplicated information for horse owners. The next blog this Sunday is on lectins.

  30. Doc- have 23 yr old with injury needing pain control at this point. Using Previcox.
    1 tab / 57 mg per day. What can be fed to help gut inflammation from meds? What really works!! Vet said pre/pro biotics don’t work / help unless ” live” ?
    Please – any thoughts/ suggestions? I’m confused with so many products on market that claim to help. I’m a hay/ grass / water/ salt person. no grains fed. easy keeper. Laminitis prone appy. Tks

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      Does your horse show any signs of gut inflammation? Is he not sweating?

      All NSAI (Previcox, bute, etc) pain medication adversely affects the lining of the intestines in humans and can be seen in Judy Hill’s Bravo (see her comments). Removing all inflammatory grains helps but not in all horses. You state that your horse only eats grass and hay so if there are no signs and you are giving the smallest amount with the smallest frequency of a NSAI, then you are doing the best you can.

      However if your horse shows signs of gut inflammation, then try to find the lowest dose and least frequent administration of the NSAI to keep him comfortable while minimizing the inflammatory effects.

      Remember the role of protein in maintaining the health of horses. In a 23 year old prone to laminitis you will want to limit pasture and high sugar hay, yet grass and hay are the best defense againse the inflammation caused by NSAI medications. It is an observation from those with ponies that suck up all blades of grass and hay like a vacuum that when given an amount of a broad variety of protein aiming for 3/4 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight that they no longer vacuum the grass and hay. In other words, their vacuum eating behavior is because they are missing or are lacking something in their diet. Restricting their intake of grass and hay only makes things worse. But adding protein actually diminishes their desire to graze and their anxious behavior.

      I know it’s just an observation, but they also seem to lose body fat and eat less grass and hay. In turn this can only help a painful and laminitis prone horse. Check out my protein article.

  31. yep September is the HOTTEST month with 90++ degree temps with 95% humidity–you just can’t understand till you live it. And horses struggle with the heat more than humans.

    Today Givvy came in from night turnout with wet armpits, tacky flanks and tacky between the hind legs. This week i added one pound of Coolstance a DAY (that one cup a day) just for some extra protein. He gets all the western alfalfa hay, western timothy hay and soak alfalfa cubes he can eat. We have been taping his weight. He’s Day 19 on the challenge–hasn’t sweat in 20 years –remember–he’s a BIG 28 year old OTTB very hard keeper with a personal port a cooler and a barn misting system to try to keep him cool and all night turnout on grass with a pal. He started Day 1 at 1033, last week he taped 1025-so he lost about 8 lbs. Today he taped at 1098! I couldn’t believe it–i weighed him 3 times. The tape doesn’t lie–the hard keeper who got 15-20 pounds of grain a day before the challenge was rescue horse thin–and NOW gaining weight on Hay, Hay Cubes, Grass, Water and real salt. And trying to sweat. We are beyond thrilled. Looking for more sweat to follow–I am confident it can happen. And he will be healthier and happier if he can. He trots to the paddock, and grazes with his pal instead of just standing buy the water trough trying to cool off.

    Bravo my “97 APHA is sweating pretty good. He quit on day 7&8 after a Previcox but started again day 9. Unfortunately he has strained his check ligament and I did need to give him more Previcox this week-watching him like a hawk while doctoring the leg with arnica/sore no more poltice/wrap. Not sweating quite as much, but still sweating. The leg is cooling off and swelling going down, so I am starting to wean him off the Previcox as long as he stays comfy. I am medication resistant and use it sparingly– when necessary.

    Can Givvy get some Chia Seeds his owner asks? I feed mine 1/4c a day–Bravo included.

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      We are as thrilled as you are. Thank you so much for updating and helping the world understand the effects of gut inflammation caused by grain in horses. I have seen poor keepers on 15 to 20 pounds of grain per day become unrecognizably FAT in 12 to 18 months. Once the inflammation is removed and the gut heals, the horse can now utilize the calories consumed in the grass and hay for growth rather than defense. Additionally, the gut bacteria will change over from the “bad” ones to the “good” ones which will create efficiency in digestion, reduce aches in joints, and give an overall feeling of wellness. This is what you are seeing in his improved behavior in addition to him being cooler.

      I wouldn’t change a thing in his diet. NOTHING!! This is because it takes up to 6 weeks for the lining of the gut to heal completely. Stay on track with what you are doing and record weight, attitude, and sweat until 4 to 6 weeks have gone by. After this, if you feel it necessary to feed him something he would never find in the wild, then do so – but ONLY one thing at a time and then wait 2 weeks while recording your observations.

      Bravo and his Previcox – As his gut heals from the grain induced inflammation he will better handle the inflammatory effects of the medication. Keep his dose as low as possible and as infrequent as possible but give it to keep his pain under control. The 6 weeks of healing the gut applies to him as well so be patient and balance this against the pain relief from the Previcox. It might take a little longer, but he will get there.

      Keep the updates coming. So many are learning from your experience as well as the others commenting here. A vet in Tampa recommended a no-grain protocol for a non-sweating horse there after citing this article. You are helping to make a difference. Thanks, Doc T

  32. One more update – my gelding and I did an hour and a half trail ride yesterday and a Hunter Pace today. Both times my boy sweated like a champ and was perky and forward even at the end of both rides. He cooled out and recovered quickly, too. We both had a great time.

    Also, this same boy has had trouble with chronic diarrhea since last October. That is also greatly improved on his new regimen. I am one happy camper, for sure.

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      Rock or Himalayan salt. Avoid the red trace mineral salt that has corn syrup and molasses. If you only have a white salt block that’s OK though it has other material besides salt in it. Salt can be in block form (licks) or can be added as granular salt.

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      Yes and all outer casings of grain. We give bran mashes in winter to add water, but removing the gut inflammation and adding hay during the winter should be enough to keep the gut hydrated. Heating the water in stock tanks worked the best for me when I lived in upstate New York (propane stock tank heaters in the NASCO catalog).

      The lectins (plant proteins) that are doing the damage to the gut lining are concentrated in the outer layers of grains. Hence we should avoid whole grains. Whole graind were only fed to the poor in developing countries because the wealthy could afford the removal of these layers and benefit from better health. This is also the reason why Asians eat white rice (outer brown layer removed) and real Italians remove the skin and seeds of tomatoes (and all nightshades) because this is where the illnesses come from – the lectins.

  33. I’m one of the few people in the UK to have had a horse with sudden onset anhidrosis. Last summer on a very hot day she had a minor procedure under sedation. We’re not sure whether the sedation was too light but it caused her whole system to crash, she went off her food and her blood inflammation markers were so high she had emergency intravenous steroids. She has PSSM so her metabolism is already challenged (& obviously she’s not on grain), but recovery took a long time. She only started sweating when the farmer who owns our fields decided to fell 60 trees in one day. 60 odd spooks and bucks and the next day I saw sweat for the first time in months!

    So uncommon in the UK that one of the vets had never heard of it and the others had never actually seen it.

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      Short of falling a forest, the no-grain approach seems to work for most. I did chuckle with this comment. Thanks for finding me across the pond. Anhydrosis is certainly more common towards the equator but on occasion norther horses on warm days will reduce their sweat output. Be sure to tell your vet about this approach to anhydrosis. Thanks, Doc T

  34. Dear Doc T,

    I have rescue ottb (16hh thoroughbred) that stop sweating when boarded in my stable. Today is probably his 5 days without sweat in here, i want to try no-grain challenge to see if he will sweating again but with his body weight (skinny, probably score 1 in henneke body score), is it safe enough for him to take all his grain completely? One more thing, i have unlimited access to grass and forage,but here in Indonesia its hard to find hay, is it okey if i add more forage/grass to replace the hay?

    Thank you.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mif – Thanks for finding me here on the other side of the planet. My son lives in Indonesia! I also know a good equine dentist who goes there.

      It is important to know the age of the horse. If he is under 20 years then unlimited grass is perfect. If he is older and the low BCS is due to age / chronic inflammation then adding a non-inflammatory fat source may be helpful. Here in the USA I suggest Coolstance which is shredded coconut meal.

      It is common for owners to add grain to add body fat. However, this will add fat at the cost of cell fatigue, insulin resistance and gut inflammation (including non-sweating). In addition, a poor top line is evidence of protein loss which is usually secondary to starvation. Starvation can obviously be from human neglect but it can also be from the complete opposite. Adding excessive grain continually throughout the year actually can lead to protein loss too but is covered by body fat.

      Details about this can be found on my other blog posts here with the titles “Decomplexicating Equine Nutrition” where I describe 11 pillars of equine nutrition. I am also publishing a course at the end of this month.

      Thanks again and we all look forward to your results being posted as a reply here in about 2 weeks. Doc T

      1. Dear Doc T,

        Thank you for replying my question. Oh really? thats cool, where is your son live in Indonesia? I live in Jakarta, my stable is also in Jakarta. Can you tell me the name of the equine dentist that you talking about? i’m having a hard time to find equine in here.
        Anyway, My horse is about 5 years old. I decide to take his grain and only give him grass, salt and water. One thing that concern me right now is that he got diarrhea from it. he still eating well and drinking well, i decide to keep it short to just 4 days instead of 2 weeks. should i keep take off his grain or back to his old diet because of the diarrhea?

        Best regards,
        Mif

        1. Post
          Author

          Diarrhea can have many causes with inflammation and infection as the leading causes. This create a large list. Included in this can be any change to what they have been eating.

          I would assume 1) grass doesn’t cause inflammation (unless it is so different and / or high in sugar) and 2) all grain is inflammatory. I could also assume that if he is eating and acting normal in all other ways and has no fever, then it is not a bacterial infection. However, some ricketsia (Potomac horse fever here in the US) and viruses can cause a horse to continue to eat and have diarrhea.

          Also, if the water is different you can also get diarrhea. Be sure to look at a parasite infection and stress from shipping to your farm.

          Grain, on the other hand, will always cause inflammation which will lead to non-sweating among other things. So returning grain to the diet may not relieve the diarrhea and in fact, may worsen things.

          Having a vet look at your horse may be in order because diarrhea can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

          Neil Jolly is the dentist who I know goes to Bali. http://www.classicequinedentistry.com/ My son lives near Bali.

  35. My horse spent an entire summer without grain and he still didn’t sweat. I have had him for 9 years and have only had 1 bad case of gas colic. No other colic issues. He does have a sugar/starch sensitivity issue, but his is more like a kid with ADHD super charged. Always looking for something to eat him.

    The only thing I can say that I have observed with him is he suffers from a fly allergy. He was getting Triamcinolone shots. One summer he didn’t get any shots…We saw sweat. The next summer we waited as long as we could for the shot. 1 month later…….no sweat. Went all summer last year no shots….sweat. So far no shots and we have sweat.

    I’m chocking mine up to side effect from corticosteroid.

    I will say I watched your video and you never mentioned O3 Equine Mega Sweat. After watching your video and I can see why the stuff works. Their products are marketed to help with gut health. It did get my guy sweating with 3 days after starting it combined with electrolytes twice a day.

    1. Post
      Author

      The reason a horse stops sweating is still a mystery. It was an accidental finding in the no grain challenge to find horses sweating again. My hypothesis is because of gut inflammation and I want to add to this, mitochondrial exhaustion.

      It is interesting that you say your horse was not on grain but then you say he has a sugar sensitivity. Starch IS glucose IS sugar – all the same. Go to https://TheEquinePractice.com/feed for more on this.

      There is sugar everywhere including the starch of hay and in every supplement including a red mineral salt block. So it is not JUST a no grain challenge but for some horses, it is a no sugar challenge. This includes soaking hay to remove the starch. Soaking the hay leaves the structural carbohydrate (fiber, cellulose) and even though the plant made this with glucose, it is not digestible by ANY animal. It is the gut microbes that turn this into short chain fatty acids which is a much better fuel than glucose for the energy making mitochondria within the cell. This leads to the rejuvenation of the mitochondria and the cells. In other words, all horses (and humans) are becoming sick from eating high amounts of sugar every day. I call it carbohydrate dependency. Please take a day to read all the info at the link above.

      If my hypothesis is correct then reducing the sugar intake in your horse may help him sweat. And as far as giving him a glucocorticoid (triamcinolone), this steroid greatly affects the sugar in the body preserving glucose and raising the levels of sugar in the blood. This may explain why he did not sweat when given this shot.

      How much protein does he eat per day in terms of grams per pound of body weight. Also how many different varieties of protein do you feed? Aiming for 0.5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day from a variety of sources (pasture, grass hay, legume hay, soybean meal, whey protein for example) may really help his immune system and maybe even the sweating. But watch out for the added grains in some protein sources. https://TheEquinePractice.com/protein

      Finally, watch out for the electrolytes – most have sugar because the electrolytes are bound to sugar for absorption. The only reason a horse or human needs electrolytes is if they are excessively sweating. Otherwise the minerals they ingest should make enough electrolytes to satisfy the needs. An electrolyte is just a mineral with either less or more electrons than in the normal resting state. My goal is to stop adding things to the diet of the horse including any medications or supplements and correct the underlying situation. They have done well for 55 million years without our help. But in captivity, we add things that lead to mitochondrial exhaustion and gut inflammation yielding chronic protein deficiency and the list of diseases cascading from there.

  36. My mare is 5+ weeks into the no grain challenge. She started light sweating at rest under mane, around withers, with dried sweat traces on her chest, legs and rump. She is an easy keeper so I added her minerals back in first. She is still panting and flaring on the super humid days while still lightly sweating (3 days out of the past 35 days). One of her herd mates is a great sweater and he has panted/flares on the same days. They have 24/7 turnout with 24/7 stall access. We are in SC and it is very humid. Adding in equinity now to hopefully help with allergies and help with the flaring/panting.

    Are you finding that the flaring/panting is corrects itself with the ‘no grain challenge’? Or a supplement that is working for others?

    Many thanks for your time and sharing this collection of information.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Corrie – my associate is in Campobello, SC this weekend. She tells me how hot it gets there in the summer.

      Why are you adding minerals? What deficiency is she showing? Did you check the ingredients to be sure there was no sugar?

      I looked into Equinity. It is essentially amino acids but I am not sure if they are in the right amounts. The owner tells me that race track vets love it but there are other sources of proteins that work well for horses and have for decades. Adding a variety of proteins and aiming for 0.5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight will help with the immune system. For more help on this go to https://TheEquinePractice.com/protein.

      I would look at everything she is consuming. My hypothesis is that glucose has a role in non-sweating. All hay and pasture will have glucose in the form of starch. You may need to limit starch in the diet and I don’t mean feeding a bag of grain that says “low starch.” What happens is that the daily consumption of sugar throughout winter when there is no sugar available in the wild leads to carbohydrate dependency and mitochondrial exhaustion. For the explanation of this spend some time reading my blogs at https://TheEquinePractice.com/feed. It is very simple and VERY different from what horse owners have been told. Some say overwhelming but I promise you it isn’t.

      Be sure to hang some high velocity fans in the stalls. They may like standing in the breeze during the hot days.

      1. Thank you for the quick response. Feel like she is on good track, but if I can adjust to increase sweat and minimize the pant/flare- we would both be grateful.

        Regarding Minerals: (HorseTech’s High Point Minerals)- I double checked the label and I don’t see any sugars, but it does have yeast which I think you flagged in another response. I was feeding Cool Stance prior to challenge which I understood to not be a complete feed and needed to be paired with minerals. I re-read your supplements blog and she is not showing signs of any deficiencies mentioned. She was only off her minerals for 2 weeks. Would deficiencies have shown up? She lives off Johns Island which is sandy soil if that matters.

        During 2 weeks. 24/7 Pasture, 2-3 flakes a day coastal hay, 1+cup of soaked timothy during mealtime, salt and water.

        1) Would replacing or adding to her soaked timothy with ProAdd Ultimate be the next step in potentially addressing the panting/flaring? Her top line could use some love. Is Pro Add Ultimate ok for easy keepers?

        2) Are you finding the sweat that they have on the initial two weeks is how it stays or does it increase in some cases?

        Thanks again.

        1. Post
          Author

          1) Adding a protein supplement such as ProAdd at a pound a day for a horse weighing 1000 to 1400 pounds will always be beneficial especially to the top line improvement. Remember that this will take at least 2 months to see an improvement with the target of 12 months to see the most improvement. Easy keepers is a grain issue so the protein source should have little to no grain in it. Sometimes these protein supplements change their formulation so read the ingredient tag each time you purchase. Some owners are getting soy bean meal or soy bean meal pellets as an individual product and either feeding it alone or adding it to hay pellets, shredded hay, hay cubes, etc. You can even add whey protein isolate to the soy bean meal.

          2) Some horses only become damp after removing all grain. This is more true it seems in older horses who have been non-sweaters for longer periods (decades). Adding a high velocity fan with or without misting water seems to help all horses who become hot and pant / flare. You may need to do that this year but next year find in unnecessary. Time will tell.

          A note about CoolStance – This is a source of non-inflammatory medium chain triglycerides (fat) which is NOT glucose and IS converted to ketones. I add this to horses who need a bit more fuel to maintain themselves (severe winter or ancient horses). It is not needed to feed a normal horse, a pastured horse and certainly not an easy keeper.

          Minerals are the elements needed to live other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Notice all of these are either found in the air or in water. The rest are in the plants that we eat that are grown in the soil where these minerals exist. Adding minerals to a ration is needed only where the minerals are depleted in the soil. Farmers are constantly monitoring the minerals in their soil to maximize the yield of their hay crop. The increased yield will deplete their soil which they replenish with fertilizer (organic or non-organic). In my experience it is rare that a horse owner analyzes their own pastures and fertilizes them. Fertilizers are not evil and most contain the same chemicals owners add in their mineral supplements: calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, iron and others. If you want to be natural, add it to the pasture.

          I hope this helps all reading this comment and reply. I have been told that the nutrition course will be launched this coming week. Be sure you are signed up for my newsletter so you will be notified. https://theequinepractice.com/equine-practice-rounds/

  37. My Thoroughbred mare, age 25, is a chronic non-sweater. Per your directive I eliminated all grain and carrots from her diet commencing June 28th 20 2018. She has access to good pasture and I eed grass forage, grass hay, and hay cubes. This morning prior to coming into her stall for the day she was sweating. It has been averaging in the 90 degrees with high heat index all week. I am now seeking a suitable diet for her, and a second horse (age 8) I have who does not sweat either. I understand barley is a cool grain. any advice appreciated and thank you.

    1. Post
      Author

      While the mechanism is not understood, it is the results you see from feeding no grain that gives convincing evidence that grain – all grain including barley – may be the cause. I am suspicious that the mechanism is connected to carbohydrate dependency leading to mitochondrial exhaustion. Therefore I would not recommend any grain or grain byproducts or any other sources of sugar such as carrots or apples or cookies or treats. I would also be suspicious of most supplements and electrolytes. The only addition I recommend is a protein source with soy bean meal, alfalfa and maybe whey.

      More information can be found in my other blogs on nutrition or by enrolling in the nutrition course (the link is now on this page). Remember, there is no real reason for feeding horses something they cannot find in their environment other than for a limited time such as grains.

  38. I heard of this article through my barn manager and was desperate to find it. We now have THREE anhidrosis horses in the barn – including my own 🙁 she has NEVER had a problem in her life before this summer! I have not fed her grain in over a year – until a few weeks ago. We’ve been doing well with riding and performance, so I decided to start her on Triple Crown 30% ration balancer to help build muscle. The Wednesday before last, I took her to a cutting clinic and we worked hard for 3 hours – more than we should’ve. I thought that this is what ruined her and caused heat exhaustion. But now I’m thinking that maybe it could’ve been building up from the grain I started a few weeks ago? She was so healthy before. Now she has rain rot, hives, and doesn’t sweat on her back. When I bring her in in the mornings, her breathing rate is upwards of 80 bpm just standing in the shade. It’s terrifying. So I have a few questions before I start. My vet has her on One AC, Guinness beer, and I’ve been giving her electrolytes. Is it safe to take her off the one AC and beer? And should I continue putting her in during the day with fans to help her out? Could I give her the One AC and beer with hay cubes possibly or should I just cut it altogether? I’m so desperate to find an answer to this. I can’t stand to see her like this. And if this works, I want to tell the owners of the other two horses and see if it helps theirs. Theirs are BIG gelding draft crosses, whereas mine is a petite (800-900 lbs) solid paint mare.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Elizabeth for sharing your deep concerns and worry. Most horse owners are afraid to change things even when their horses are suffering mainly because of misinformation or a pure lack of good information. Please remember that I cannot tell you to change a treatment that another vet has counseled you on.

      I too recommended One AC as Guinness stout. It works for some but no one has determined the cause of anhydrous. Please consult with your vet before removing any of his or her treatments.

      ALL “ration balancers” are filled with grain byproducts. These are concentrated sources of lectins which are known to cause leaky gut syndrome in humans. This leads to gut inflammation and hormonal disruption. There is no need to feed any grain or grain byproduct. As you can read tin the comments here, many horse owners are finding a sweating horse in as little as 4 days after removing all food with the exception of pasture, hay, water and pure salt. Feeding anything else including sugar, candy, carrots, apples, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes – all will not allow the horse to start to sweat again.

      Once sweating resumes and you become convinced that feeding sugar (all sources) every day of the year to horses leads to carbohydrate dependency you may want to then add a protein source. All this information is in my other blogs here or can be found in the nutrition course I offer (link on this page). Understanding how to feed a horse correctly without the misinformation the marketers give you will free you from your worry you so clearly state here in your comment.

      You can start the no grain challenge while your horse receives the One AC and the beer. Stopping the ration balancers in my opinion is more important. And if you want to build muscle (top line) then read my 2 blogs here: https://theequinepractice.com/protein/ https://theequinepractice.com/decomplexicating-equine-nutrition-08-the-importance-of-protein/

  39. Thank you for your help, I look forward to the upcoming days. I have high hopes this could work. I was up late thinking about all this, and thought I’d give you a little more background info that could be helpful to this study. She was on a large amount of grain with very poor pasture up until August of last year. Last summer, we struggled with hives all summer long and couldn’t figure out the source. Then I moved her to school with me in KY, and the pastures there were good so I cut all grain. Still gave treats, but no grain. She looked so good this past year. She got dapples for the first time, the hair grew back on her face, no hives, good work ethic, etc. I thought it was because the KY bluegrass is so good, but now I’m thinking it could be because grass and hay became her main diet with no grain. Then as I said I started her on a ration balancer in May, and everything has gone downhill since…I just didn’t put the pieces together until recently. First it was hives again. Then rain rot (she’s never had rain rot before). Now she can hardly breathe if the temp is above 80. I’m cutting grain and sugars and what not TODAY, and will let you know how it goes. I’m excited for this.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for this clarification. Hives and rain rot are all a sign of an immune dysfunction. 1) the gut inflammation is overwhelming the immune system and 2) these may also be signs of protein deficiency as almost all of the immune system are proteins.

      Stepping back from a situation and looking at the pieces and putting together the puzzle is good detective work. Rather than feeling helpless or being spoon fed poor information, you decided to get to work and figure it out. Kudos to you and all others reading this and becoming an advocate for your horse. PLEASE remember to come back here and tell us all of your results. Thanks, Doc T

  40. Today was day 3 of no grain. Her BPM is still high when I bring her up in the mornings and she’s still not sweating as much as I’d like, but she does have a little bit of sweat on her chest, neck, and girth area. It’s more of a partial anhidrosis though; it’s her back that won’t sweat. She didn’t have hives the past two days until tonight; I’m not really sure why but tonight her breathing rate was a bit higher than it normally is when she’s in under the fans and she had hives on her neck on one side. But since it’s only day 3 I’m still thinking there’s probably still grain in her system, so I’m still hoping things start to change in the next few days. I’ve been giving her Timothy/alfalfa cubes with Guinness extra stout and one AC. Her pasture does have a red mineral block, but there’s not much I can do to change that.

  41. Today was day 6 no grain. She’s been getting one AC and guinness extra stout beer mixed into alfalfa/Timothy hay cubes. Today she had some sweat on her chest, face, girth area, and one shoulder. Much better than the past couple days with no sweat whatsoever. Today’s temp was a little cooler when I brought her up (about 84) with a good breeze, but the humidity was still 76%. Her breathing rate was still high at around 62 breaths per minute, but the past couple days every time she’s in the sun for any time at all it’s more like 80s and 90s. I’ve been tracking her respiration, sweat patterns, weather, and sometimes temp daily. Another lady at the barn with an anhidrosis draft horse of 7 years started the grain free diet too recently, and he had some sweat around his ears today! I won’t say much more about him though, as I’m hoping she will join in giving updates on here. Will come back and let you know my mare’s progress in the coming days.

    1. Post
      Author

      I’m glad you are seeing improvements. At some point you will try removing the beer which is all carbohydrates. It’s not really the “grain free” that is helping but the removal of daily carbohydrates (carrots, treats, grain, red salt licks, and beer) and lectins (causes of gut inflammation). Removal of gut inflammation and the conversion of mitochondrial fuel from glucose to ketones is the key. No mystery.

      Looking forward to the future updates of your mare and your friends horses.

  42. Pingback: My Horse Stopped Sweating. Now What? – Heels Down Magazine

  43. I’m not sure how much fat he was getting. What ever is in Purina Ultium. I will say he did have a mineral block, pasture and Bermuda hay.

    He did start showing early signs this summer that he has shown in the past prior to stopping sweating. Ex: loss of hair around the eyes, ease and nose and sudden excessive sweating when the other horse wasn’t, followed by little sweat.

    I have pulled grain from his diet and replaced the salt block as the clear salt block. I’m happy to report I was able to ride this weekend with lots of sweat! I have noticed his stool is back to normal as well.

    I’m avoiding the steroid shot for his fly allergy, but boy is it exhausting making sure he is sprayed down just before dawn and dusk.

    1. Post
      Author

      That’s great news Melinda. If you become convinced that no grain is the way to go consider adding protein to help with the immune system. Be careful to read the ingredient tag because many protein supplements have grain in them.

      Sources of good quality protein include alfalfa, soybean meal and whey. You can read more about this here: https://theequinepractice.com/protein/ Even more can be learned here: https://theequinepractice.com/travels-with-doc-t/horse-nutrition/ and here: https://www.equinenutrition.thehorsesadvocate.com/horsemanship-nutrition-offer

  44. Hi Doc T. I am at the same barn as Elizabeth Strasko and I have a Friesian Holsteiner cross gelding (17.1 hands and about 1700 lbs) that stopped sweating about 7 years ago. He’s a very easy keeper and was on about a half a scoop of Triple Crown lite twice a day with 4 cups of soaked Standlee Alfalfa Timothy pellets. The free choice hay he gets in his stall is tifton bermuda. He’s also on thyro-l, laminasaver, and probios and has a Himalayan salt block in his stall. I had been giving him carrots as treats, and nicker makers and the standlee hay cubes with cranberry and apple juice (which he loves). Now, he’s only getting hay pellets as treats. I stopped the carrots about 2 months ago. I’ve been reading all your blogs and took the short dentistry course you offered, which I thoroughly have enjoyed. Then I got your email about the no grain challenge. I read it and watched the short video and thought about it. I’ve been toying with the no grain challenge since then, but I’m one of those people that thought my gelding would be “missing his vitamins and minerals”. I have literally tried everything from alcohol baths, cold hosing for 20 – 30 minutes, ice packs on his back and wrapped around his legs, OneAC, the Chinese herbal powder I got from my vet, Guinness very stout beer, the equicool blanket, bringing him in before it got extremely hot and keeping 3 fans on him, misting fans, just spraying him with a hose while he was in his stall, you name it and I think I’ve tried it and nothing seemed to help him start sweating. He would stand in his stall with his head against the wall and struggle to breathe with nostrils flaring to get cool and was very depressed. When Elizabeth’s mare started having problems and I told her about you and what you’ve found. So she decided to start the challenge and then I thought, what the heck I have nothing to lose, so I started Rembrandt on the challenge. He started sweating around the base of his ears on day 3 and he started back to eating his hay and not standing with his head against the wall. On day 4, he was sweating under his mane and a little on his withers. The flakiness at his elbows is going away and the flaky spot on his temple is becoming smooth. His breathing started becoming less labored. Yesterday, day 5, he was sweating between his back legs when I brought him in for breakfast and this is a first since the humidity kicked in back in June. When he came in around noon, he was sweating at his ears, under his mane and at his back legs. My mom hosed him off and put him in his stall. He hasn’t been struggling to breathe, which is so encouraging. Today is day 6, and it was already humid out when he came in for breakfast at 5:30. As a test, I felt back by his flank and he had more sweat than yesterday. I was amazed and I’m so excited. I need to read about adding the protein so I can make sure he’s getting what he needs. Thank you for sharing all you’ve discovered!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you Susan for this very clear description of your progression through your challenges of anhydrosis. I think this effort will help so many others facing the same problem and who discover this blog. Of course, the success here begs the question of what else can improve in the horse once grain is removed. Hmmm.

      I am extremely grateful for the time you and everyone here have taken so that others can learn from you. Doc T

  45. Hello again, I had a couple questions I was hoping you could help me with. One is about the salt blocks – right now she just has a white block in her stall, but she won’t even touch it, and I want to get a Himalayan salt lick instead. Is the Redmond Rock the same thing? It’s mined in Utah I believe. Which would you recommend? Additionally, I stopped the beer yesterday. Today I noticed less sweat than the past two days, and her breathing rate has been concerningly high the past two days when I brought her up (around 70 breaths per minute yesterday, and around 80 bpm today). It has been insanely hot and humid though. But she did still have some sweat, which was good. She had been increasingly sweating more and more until today. Should I give it another couple days without the beer or should I add it back to the hay cubes?

    Additional update: her rain rot is pretty much healed over and her hair is growing back in nicely, which is so good to see. Hives are almost nonexistent; when she does get them they’re minimal compared to what they were. However she does have what looks to be scratches on her legs now, which hasn’t happened before. They’re not too severe yet, and I’m spraying with a chlorahexadine/water mix. Usually I treat with banixx, but I’m currently out and every tack shop and tractor supply around seems to be out right now so that’s that. I’m hoping once she’s back on track soon, this will all go away. From what I understand, healthy horses tend not to get things like scratches and rain rot right? I figure this is a symptom of the immune difficulties she’s already having with the anhidrosis. So far she’s doing really well with healing and looking better by the day. No sweat on her back yet; I’m thinking maybe in a week I might pick a cool morning and put a saddle on and lunge her for a few minutes and see if she is able to sweat on her back at all yet. Again thanks for all your help, sorry I have so many questions!

    1. Post
      Author

      Salt – Any pure salt will be good and most salt books have a binding agent of some material. The red trace mineral salt blocks have corn syrup and molasses. Non-sweating horses have a reduced mineral loss hence they would not show a need for salt or electrolytes. Read my blog here for more information: https://theequinepractice.com/decomplexicating-equine-nutrition-10-supplements/

      Beer – I have been working outside all week in mid- 90’s temperatures and have felt the oppressive heat, abundant sweat and dry mouth so I can easily imagine what your horse and others are going through. I am yet not clear why removing grain allows a horse to sweat again but I believe it is linked to gut inflammation and hormone disruption. The cause of this may be a combination of carbohydrate dependency and lectins. If it is gut wall damage / inflammation then we all need to understand that it takes about 6 weeks for the gut wall to be fully repaired. Being in the middle of very hot weather, your horse is improving in many areas but not equally. Be patient for both cooler weather and gut healing.

      Scratches – I have associated poor skin health to an overall unhealthiness of the horse. For the longest time I recommended once a week for three weeks deworming with ivermectin dewormer. This almost always works as the stress on the immune system was reduced by the cleaning out of migrating parasites. Now, however, I see a chronic protein deficiency as a more root cause of poor skin health and the opportunistic bad bacteria and parasites more a reflection of poor gut health. Getting the gut lining to heal is of the highest priority and once healed, addressing the addition of protein (which can be added anytime as the gut heals) and the possibility of a parasite infection requiring medication (may prolong the time needed for gut healing) becomes the follow up steps.

      Finally, the normal resting breathing rate is about 12 breathe per minute. I think lounging or riding any horse with a resting breath rate of 70 or even 35 can be dangerous. This rate changes the pH of the blood which can lead to some serious problems. Be happy with the improvements you have seen but don’t push it. Your horse needs time to heal and some sweat now only indicates that you are on the right path. You should see steady improvement but with this oppressive heat we all need to understand that it is affecting us all, some more than others. Cool weather will come and when it does and the breathing normalizes, then you can test it. I know you know this, but a lot of people are reading this so stating this is important.

      Thanks again for all your updates. All those following this appreciate it. Doc T

      1. Thanks for the quick reply and helpful information. I’m definitely not in a rush to push her past what she’s ready for and wouldn’t work her at all until her breathing rate is back under control. I’m hoping that with the improvements she’s had thus far, she’ll continue down that path. Would you recommend I add protein now – and if so, what kind of protein exactly? I’m about to go read some of your other articles on protein.

        Also, in a little over a month she will be moving back to school with me a few hours north. My vet and I are hoping that moving back a little farther north will help her. She’ll come back here next summer. It is still pretty hot there though, but not as bad as this area. In the event that at that time she is still struggling with keeping cool, do you have any suggestions for how to help keep her cool on the trailer? It’s a 6 hour trip, and there’s no way I could leave her at home because my family aren’t horse people (they do help where they can but I couldn’t do that to them or to my horse). I’m thinking I might have to leave at some terribly early hour in the morning…and if that’s what will help her then I’m all for it but was wondering if anyone here had any helpful suggestions.

        1. Post
          Author

          You can add protein at any time. Reading the blogs will help (from here just click on the nutrition blogs in the menu bar). It is the quality of the protein that is important (soybean meal, alfalfa, whey). Be sure the protein supplement doesn’t have grain (Calf Manna) and it is not necessary to have vitamins or minerals either. In Louisiana there is a feed dealer making “Doc T’s Mix” which is shredded alfalfa plus soybean meal pellets. He will ship anywhere 1500 pounds at a time via FedEx (he just told me this 2 days ago!).

          Shipping to arrive before 9 am is important with stops for offering water and monitoring breaths per minute. If he becomes stressed for the heat, have water and a sponge ready for sponge baths. The goal of moving to a cooler environment is worth the effort.

          Please keep us all informed over the next few weeks and after the move. I appreciate the time you take here to help others. Doc T

  46. Yesterday was 2 weeks since beginning. While she is sweating a good amount up front, there still has not been any improvement in sweating on her back, which is the area of concern as it has only been a partial anhidrosis diagnosis. Her breathing rate is still concerningly high during the day time, but at night goes back down to under 20. Last night I walked her around in the arena for 15 mins or so with no change in breathing rate, which was good. I have kept a daily journal on my phone of various details throughout the two weeks – if you would like me to post this, I can. I am hoping that winter will bring healing with it and that maybe a full year of no grain will bring her back around to full health next summer. It has been so hot and humid this summer that it really would be difficult to heal in this weather. Even the sweating horses are breathing harder than usual. I plan on keeping her on this diet and maybe adding protein. I read the articles, but have yet to decide what to actually give her for protein yet. Her rain rot has healed over and her hair is growing back in. Her coat looks shiny again. I am very thankful for that. Hopefully the scratches on her legs heal up soon. So far they seem ok – not better or worse.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Elizabeth for this update. Sounds good so far!

      I just heard a brilliant idea from another owner that I had forgotten about. She has fed oat straw to 2 obese donkeys and their weight has dramatically reduced – and more importantly – they are no longer ravenous vacuuming up scraps. Rather, they have become relaxed and happy. The oat straw is low in starch and high in cellulose. Maybe a change to this for a month or so this summer might help. Just a thought – Doc T

  47. I’ve been the care taker of my TB Chance for over seven years. I say care taker because his endless health issues have resulted in very little of the typical relationship I looked forward to having when I got my dream horse seven years ago. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get such a well trained 16.3 HH stunner for my new partner, they sky was the limit. That dream fell a part quickly and my horse thoughts became consumed with joint issues, back pains, general bad attitude, anxiety, bucking, ulcers, cushings and then non sweating. It seemed like once I got one thing under control another would come up. My husband called me “The Supplement Queen” it was true but not funny. I was on my way to vacation pondering the last episode of his non sweating and struggling with the SC heat, when my good friend sent me the link to Dr.T’s non sweating you tube video. Every single symptom he listed off Chance has. I was at my wits and bank accounts end and had just had “the conversation” with my vet who advised to see the rest of the summer through unless he went down. I was that close to giving up! As soon as we got back Chance was pulled off of all of the feed and supplements. He was on alfalfa pellets and O/A hay things were going great! Then about two weeks in he’s acting with worry and anxiety and not finishing his feed. I panic and send a PM to Dr. T fb page asking for help. Were these his ulcers again? Guilt was wracking me for taking him off of his supplements. Then the Dr. responded and offered to call me. He gave me so much information on how Chances battered system is recovering and guided me to changes in his diet , adding protein now. Chance is doing great, his sweating is increasing, his anxiety is back down, and he greats me for pets and kisses at the gate. His weight, despite always being a hard keeper, is normal and hasn’t changed at all. His body shape seems to be changing and his coat is shining. I know we have a ways to go on this but I’m actually hopeful that one day soon I’ll be able to saddle up and go for a quiet ride we both enjoy again. Thank you so much for the help and all of your research!!

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      Author

      My pleasure Julie. Please keep us posted with updates and if sure of the good results, then share with others so they too can have happy stories to tell.

  48. I have an older (28ish?) thouroughbred with anhydrosis for the last 5 years or so. He was in a boarding situation and moved to our house in south Florida almost two years ago. He has a very hard time in the summer with each summer getting worse. We have tried equiwinner patches, one AC, beer, bevs liquid, herbals with no success. He had labs and was tested for cushings and diabetes, both negative, because of a very heavy coat and a goiter that seems to go up and down. He is just miserable. He goes out at night, since it’s too hot in the day and he would spend all day in the pond which resulted in some hoof problems. We leave his stall door open in the day and hose him when we see him got to the wash mats. He has us well trained.

    Currently he is on Buckeye Eq8 gut health and groNwin with mega flex HA for joints. He seems to lose a small
    Amount of weight every summer so we upped his feed this summer with no weight gain. I have to get a tape but but he doesn’t look like he’s lost any this summer. Poor topline. He does ok one temp is down in 70s but that doesn’t last very long and we shave him
    Probably 4-5 times a year.

    I’ve been reading through all of your articles and started no grain this am. I did Give him a scoop of soaked Timothy/alfalfa pellets and changed his salt block from a Redmond rock to plain white salt. He gets Timothy/alfalfa or orchard alfalfa in a slow feed bag (always filled) while in stall. I did get some straight alfalfa to supplement protein as I’m sure he’s deficient also after reading your articles. I did him his mega flex this am but was concerned because the second ingredient after water is dextrose then Xanthum gum. I ordered coolstance, since it’s not available locally but it won’t be here until 9/4. I just don’t want him to lose anymore weight. Our pastures are green and there is plenty of grass right now. I have 5 horse on approximately 7 acres. I plan to switch them all over to no grain but was focusing on him and a 23 year old paint that is an easy keeper, so didn t have as many concerns with her as my really old guy. They both received the same feed and supplement this am.

    Sorry this is so long, but I guess my main concerns were is this ok until I get coolstance? Should I continue the mega flex ha? I saw that I shouldn’t add protein until the 14 days are done. At that time should I give the groNwin? It was in your list but had some
    Questionable ingredients. Should I add a bit of the straight alfalfa now?

    Thank you for all the information! I really want this to work since we were just discussing sending him away next summer to the mountains so he would be more comfortable but I hate to do that.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Stacey – Let’s keep this simple. Your primary goal is to get him sweating again. To do this you have tried a few things with poor results. Now you want to try the no-grain approach. This is how to do that:
      1) feed only pasture, hay as needed (grass and or legume), water and salt.
      2) feed nothing else for 2 weeks to let the gut repair itself from the inflammation from the other ingredients. THIS INCLUDES all supplements and treats (sugar, cookies, carrots, apples, etc.
      3) write down all your observations and date them so you can verify the orderly improvement in an otherwise chaotic life.
      4) read all the blogs I have on feeding horses here: https://theequinepractice.com/travels-with-doc-t/horse-nutrition/ Also consider enrolling in the Horsemanship Nutrition Course if you want to dig deeper.

      Specifically, don’t feed your joint supplement or coolstance. Do not feed grow and win or other protein products with questionable ingredients ( I really need to update this chart – a protein update blog coming next week). Use soy bean meal as the best source of a variety of amino acids.

      Let us all know how works out. Remember that very old horses with long standing inflammation may only become damp rather than sweating abundantly but this is still a win.

  49. Hello, we finally made the move north about 9 days ago. My mare was doing really well for a while before the move. She was even starting to sweat on her back, still patchy but it was there. She had been so much better that I was leaving her out full days at a time and her breathing rate was still fine. Then we moved. It’s definitely cooler here than where we were before, yet she stopped sweating completely. No grain, treats, etc. She is getting a different kind of grass hay than the Bermuda she was receiving before, I think it’s pronably some kind of KY bluegrass mix. The school provides it. Still just getting some hay cubes in the morning and evening with one AC, as she has been for the past couple months. Today I left her out for a while longer than I normally do just to test and see if she would sweat at all, since it was much hotter today. Absolutely nothing, even in the spots she had previously been sweating in normally (since it was only a partial anhidrosis diagnosis). Even when it’s in the 70s, she doesn’t sweat. I’m keeping her in under fans half the day right now, and she’s ok like that. But I just can’t figure out why moving back to cooler weather would somehow make things worse. Stress maybe. She got really attached to the herd she’s with right now, and gets panicky every time she comes inside, which is also not like her. I have not tried the protein. No grain, treats, etc (nothing but hay, grass, and one AC) since I began this back in June…? Anyways, that’s my update for now. Hoping she settles in and improves. :/

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      Stress is an underrated cause of many things in life – both horse and human. We still don’t know the cause of anhydrosis.

      The grass in the north will have a higher sugar content because subtropic grass stores starch in the roots and KY bluegrass stores it in the shaft and leaf.

      Adding protein is essential to improving the health of horses. While the bluegrass will have a bit more protein, adding soy bean meal will be a good addition. Also, if the 1AC isn’t working, why still use it? All medications affect the gut microbes and if you are giving that and any other medicines (bute, pergolide, ulcer meds, etc) then this will have an effect.

      Stay in touch and know that cooler weather is around the corner.

  50. I ran across your website when I searched for “best diet for anhydrosis in horses”. My 26 year old American Saddlebred started showing signs of anhydrosis last summer & I immediately put her on 1AC which had helped my TWH when he suffered with it the last 5 years of his life. He was 31 when he died. She got thru last summer OK on the 1AC. She had been on it all this summer & until the last couple weeks had been OK. Then I noticed she was panting this past several days. She has been on Triple Crown senior for several years & has a good weight according to my vet. I give her Platinum Osteon twice daily for navicular syndrome. The first week of every month I add 1 cup Metamucil daily to her feed to ward off sand colic. I feed the best quality T & A I can find. I have limited grazing. She is not stalled but mostly on a dry lot with ample shade. Last week after reading your website I bought a bag of T & A cubes & gradually added them (soaked) to decreasing grain. Sunday was her first day completely off grain. I still give her the Osteon & 1AC. Today, Tues.. I didn’t have to hose her down & put her in a stall under a fan. I could feel the dampness on her neck, between her legs & see dried sweat streaks on her rump. I’m so hoping this continues. I have 2 other horses that I will be switching over as well as soon as I can get rid of the feed I have. One of them has had a skin condition (my vet says she’s allergic to insect bites but it doesn’t go away in winter) & the other one has a big gut but poor topline. I have always felt we did a disservice to our horse friends by sticking them in stalls & feeding them unnaturally. I am grateful for your guidance in feeding a more natural diet. I will continue to follow.

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      Author
      1. It is 2 weeks today since my 26 yr old saddlebred went grain free. All seemed to be going well until day 9 when I noticed a change in her demeanor, acted tired, depressed, (if that’s possible for a horse). She was eating hay & grazing when I allowed it ( I have limited grass) but she wasn’t finishing her soaked T/A cubes & wasn’t especially excited at feeding time as she normally was. On day 10 I noticed her panting around 4 PM but a short hosing down seemed to fix her. Yesterday it was time to buy more T/A cubes so I went to Tractor Supply & saw a minicube made by Global Forage called Essentials which is supposed to be nutritionally complete with all the micro nutrients, macro minerals, electrolytes, pre biotics, trace minerals & essential amino acids. Protein is 12%. She ate about half of what i gave her this morning. She may have lost a little weight across her topline. Given this has been the hottest Sept. on record I guess I can be happy she isn’t overheated & panting but I’m worried she’s missing something. Should I add a protein source like soybean meal & if so, how much? Also normally I would be starting a week of orange flavored metamucil added to their feed to clear sand. It’s loaded with sugar so I’m not going to use it. Do you have another recommendation to prevent sand colic? I haven’t ridden her since the middle of May but when the weather cools I hope to be able to do some trail riding again. Thanks for whatever advise you can give. Janet

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          Author

          Your comment here represents what every horse owner goes through when they change what they feed their horse. What people expect is instant or at least rapid results even against severe weather with no loss before the gain. Let me help to explain this.

          In south FL September is very hot and it has been warm everywhere. Add to this that starting on June 22nd the daylight has been decreasing. September 22nd we had equal time of day and night. The result of this is a lengthening and thickening hair coat in preparation of winter. The solution to this is a full body hair cut plus fans as this is the most challenging period for any horse.

          Older horses (such as your 26 year old) has had gut inflammation from grain for years. It may take 6 to 12 months of no added inflammatory feeds to heal this gut fully. In other words by next spring you will see the full effects of gut healing. Losing a “little weight across her top line” is clear evidence that her gut was inflamed as the new diet allows her to remove the fat (a sign of gut inflammation) and now you are seeing the lost muscle (another sign of gut inflammation, mitochondrial exhaustion, gluconeogenesis). Please read all the blogs at https://theequinepractice.com/travels-with-doc-t/horse-nutrition/. Consider taking the nutrition course I offer to dig deeper.

          Horses need protein but adding it in a “complete feed” as you describe here is fraught with danger. You must read the ingredients. For an example of this read my “Betrayal” blog unless you already know what lignin sulfates are https://theequinepractice.com/betrayal/

          Janet – as owners of horses we really need to know how to feed them correctly and I am very glad you are looking for good information on this. Horses are not like cars that have been engineered to run with little input other than clean gasoline. They have evolved in a specific way over 55 million years. Humans have “complicated” feeding them and you, like so many others, are trusting the feed companies and the feed dealers to help you give your horse the best for them. But their agenda is NOT feeding your horse as she has been developed as (a wonderful hind gut fermentor) but as a place to put their products. From my position of 45 years with horses I am privileged but horrified to see the adverse changes in the horses (and in the humans) over the years. Please read the blogs fully and you will be given good information that have come from human doctors who are also shocked at the health problems we are seeing today. I have extrapolated this new information for horse use as everything is the same between humans and horses after the raw materials ingested have been digested. Cell for cell, we are virtually the same.

          1. Hi Dr. Tucker. Thanks for your reply. I don’t think I was clear in my description of the minicube I bought from TS. On the bag it lists only sun cured T & A & “nutritional supplement formulation”. It promises no grain or grain by-products. I went to their website for more information on the nutritional supplement but found nothing so I called the company & left a message. Haven’t heard back yet. My mare has perked up a bit & as of 9/30 my rocky mountain gelding with the big gut & poor topline is now grain free. My mare was body clipped in June & again two weeks ago. Last night the weatherman said this has been the hottest month on record in this part of Florida, not just Sept. I can believe it. In a couple weeks I will try to get some soy bean meal. None of the feed stores around here carry it except by special order. I have been reading your other blogs & think you recommend it for at least a year until the gut inflammation is resolved. I still am uncertain what to do about sand elimination I have not had colic with any of my current horses but lost one years ago to it. I never want to go thru that again. Any suggestions? Thanks so much. Janet

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            Author

            There are several companies hiding their ingredients in words like “nutritional supplement formulation” because it is legal to do so. This allows the company to change the ingredients without printing new labels.

            To clarify what I am saying about SBM, it is used to replaced the lost amino acids due to gut inflammation. The inflammation is reduced as soon as the offending agents are removed and may take up to 6 weeks to resolve completely. However the lost amino acids in the hoof will take a year to be fully replaced while the top line will take from 6 to 12 months. The hair coat will improve in 1 to 2 weeks from the SBM. You are correct though in thinking that the SBM should be given for about a year and once the effects are achieved, you will be able to reduce the amount given by half.

            Sand colic is very interesting and brings fear to every owner who have horses on sand (any shore line and island). What most people are agreeing on now is that a healthy gut with a forage diet should prevent sand colic. It is the decreased gut motility from inflammation and a grain based diet that in some horses causes accumulation of sand. I am not aware of good scientific studies of this but it would appear to be logical. In addition it would be wise to keep all hay off the sandy surface (hay feeders, clean up spilled hay daily). If you find your horse pulling up the grass and sucking the roots then this could add to the sand intake. The reason a horse does this is because sub tropical and tropical grasses store their starch in the roots to protect against drought. When horses discover this they suck the roots for sugar.

          3. I was able to get the nutritional supplement information from ForageGlobal Essential. I have re-read your nutritional segments betrayal & electrolyte, mineral etc. & think I will purchase non supplemented T & A cubes or pellets when these are gone unless you think they are ok. The Essential alfalfa cubes have added to them soybean meal, canola meal, salt, yeast culture, monosodium phosphate, mold inhibitor, monocalcium phosphate,dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, DL-Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate, mangnesium oxide, zinc sulphate, iron sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, sulphur, copper sulfate, calcium iodate. When I buy more alfalfa/timothy compressed would pellets be ok to use unsoaked? I don’t think any of my horses have any issues with chewing. Just this one more question & i will quit bugging you until I give an update. With cooler weather coming I will have to wait till next summer for a true evaluation but I will stick with it. But as it stands now, I am ecstatic to see my horses comfortable in this heat. This comment will be out of order from the others since there was no “reply” button after the exchange of Oct. 2 & 3. Thank you so much.

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            Author
          5. OK Got it! The next horse to go grain free is my grade mare. She was a rescue so I know very little about her but a couple years ago she developed an itchy skin condition. The vet said it was an allergy to bug bites. I hope grain free helps her because nothing much else has. Thank you.

          6. Post
            Author

            Adding protein (soy bean meal) to a non-inflamed gut will replace the protein loss in the immune system which will help skin problems.

            Remember that the microbiome of the gut continues on the skin and in our lungs. Collectively it is known as the holobiome. Reduce daily washing with soap to maybe once a week with only water rinsing in between. This allows the normal skin flora to remain which will protect the skin.

  51. My 16.3h, 1,500 pound Canadian horse is currently fed each day: 1 pound of a field pea, alfalfa pellet, sunflower seed feed mix, 1 pound of senior feed, 3 ounces garlic powder, 2 tablespoons Celtic sea salt, and 8 ounces Arizona Copper Complete supplement. He has trouble sweating even in the heat and humidity of central Virginaand even resting in the cool stall I measured his breathing rate is over 50bpm this morning. I would like to try your protocol with him. Is it okay to pull him off what he has been taking immediately or do you recommend doing so gradually?

    1. Post
      Author

      You need to do it in a way you feel comfortable. But if something is causing inflammation then it should be removed as soon as possible. All the horse owners who have removed everything all at once have not indicated to me that they had a problem. Rather, they say that in 3 to 4 days their horse starts sweating. But then again, I was in VA yesterday and it was turning into a cooler autumn like temperature. Remember also that September 21st is the fall equinox and hair coats are developing for winter – even in the hot south FL area. The extra hair adds to the heat stress. Let us all know in a week what you did and how he responded. Thanks.

      1. Yesterday was day 12 of no grain / sugar, though day 9 if one started counting after access to a red mineral block was removed. Last week it was hard to evaluate sweating progress as we experienced some cooler weather here in Virginia. I thought there was an increase in sweating, but it was pretty slight: wetness in the girth area (he’s always had that), dampness on the neck and chest, and more moisture between the hind legs. Yesterday we went on a trail ride with temperatures in the high 70s and a fair amount of humidity, and lo and behold, sweat happened! Tivoly’s neck, chest and back were covered with sweat, even after just walking on a very easy one hour trail ride. Yay! His bowel movements are well-formed but he still has small squirts of liquid with them. We are continuing with the protocol.

        One thing on my mind is trace mineral, particularly copper and magnesium, supplementation. Our area has soils with high levels of iron and we have acid rain, which is thought to deplete the soil of trace minerals. Also, our soils are known to be selenium deficient. The high iron content is thought to make trace minerals more difficult to assimilate. This year Tivoly showed several signs of copper deficiency: bleached coat and high degree of occurrences of rain rot, scratches, and thrush that he had not had in the past year that I’ve had him. All of it cleared up pretty quickly (not sure about the coat bleaching yet, will have to see what the winter brings) when I started him on Arizona Copper Complete. I have started reading your information about equine nutrition and I understand that a supplement like this one would be an issue because of the flax seed base that it uses. The mineral salt block (I am using the Redmond one) seems problematic: it limits mineral intake because of the salt, the zinc/copper proportion is not correct, it adds iron, which we don’t need, and it seems very low in magnesium and selenium. What would your recommend in this situation?

        1. Post
          Author

          Great news about the sweating.

          Minerals seem to be a topic all horse owners worry about yet have little good information about. For instance iron is highly regulated and not absorbed if not needed. Another consideration is that water is a great source of minerals.

          The rain rot and scratches is a sign of an immune compromise. Why does one have these and others in the same field not? Deworming once a week for 3 weeks in a row with ivermectin has been my standard treatment for these for decades. Now it is in addition to adding protein to resupply the needed amino acids.

          You will see the haricot maintain its normal color next summer once the protein levels are normalized.

          Thanks for reading about nutrition in horses and consider taking the course to really dig in deeper.

      2. Having just finished reading your twelve part series about equine nutrition, I see that Tivoly’s symptoms could result from a protein deficiency rather than (or in addition to) a copper deficiency. While he has a gorgeous coat and strong barefoot hooves, his topline needs help and he has three melanoma tumors on his neck and face, in addition to the rain rot, scratches, and thrush described previously. Perhaps address protein needs first?

        Also, how do you feel about wormers? I’ve been using an herbal wormer (Fennel, Fenugreek, Cayenne, Garlic, Hyssop, Olive Leaf, Oregano, Pau De Arco, Rosemary, Sage, Stevia, Thyme, Peppermint, Wormwood, and Pumpkin Seed blended with Diatiamatious Earth and Yeast Cultures) and his fecal counts have been zero to low while using it, though of course they cannot disclose whether he has bot or tape worms. I suspended using it for the duration of the grain-free protocol. Is it okay to back to it?

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          Author
          1. Thank you very much for all of your information. I am very grateful for your website: it has opened up a whole new world regarding equine nutrition for me!

            I’d wondered why it took my horse so long to start sweating and why he continues to have some squirting with his bowel movements. Could it be the alfalfa flake that he gets each day? Or the 2 -3 handfuls of alfalfa pellets? Then yesterday I turned him out and noticed that the horse who is fed in that field dribbles his senior feed on the ground and Tivoly made a beeline for it (and obviously has been doing this for the last two weeks). I anticipate getting pushback from the barn owner that it is a small amount. Is it worth pressing the issue in your opinion?

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            Author

            How much gluten can a person with celiac disease or gluten intolerance eat? For a sensitive horse it really is not the amount but if any is entering the system. For example in one horse I know it was the red trace mineral salt lick that caused the squirts. After 3 phone calls to the manufacturer the finally told us there was corn syrup and molasses in it. Removed the salt lick and the squirts finally stopped.

          3. It has gotten colder now so it is hard to know about the current status of sweating, but during the warmer days we had at the beginning of October Tivoly seemed to sweat normally. I’ve also noticed that his stools no longer have any squirts. We are going to continue forward with the protein protocol. Thank you very much for your help and your site!

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            Author
  52. It’s been 4 weeks now with no grain. I am giving them soaked Timothy and alfalfa pellets. My guy that doesn’t sweat has just now started to feel damp between his back legs but his runny stool stopped at day 6. That’s a plus. I did start them back on joint supplementation at the two week mark as both he and the paint were stiff and I could hear creaking when they were coming out of the stall in the afternoon. I will add the soybean meal when I get it, but all in all I think there has been improvement.
    Thank you for all the info!

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      Author

      Once the SBM has a chance to work it should be enough to reduce or eliminate the joint supplements. Let us know your experience with this.

      The damp versus full sweating may be due to either long standing gut inflammation or it may be due to how hot it is at the end of the summer in your area. By next summer you should see the benefits of gut healing with good sweating. Let us all know.

  53. Hi doc t. I have switched my heaves/anhidrosis nightmare gelding to forage only. He gets peanut hay,pasture,plain salt,and only a handful of alfalfa pellets at night togive him his dex pills. I am amazed at how much weight he’s put on! He’s a hard keeper and was previously eating up to 2.5 scoops of commercial feed per day! So for him to be down to two flakes of peanut hay and pasture is amazing. And he’s shiny and muscley! His top line looks great! But he is not overweight either! Unfortunately he is not sweating still. And I understand that dex and ventipulmin May be inhibiting his ability to sweat but unfortunately his cough is so bad right now I feel like he needs it. Anyway even though he’s not sweating I feel like he’s a healthier horse!

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  54. I have an 11 yo OTTB “Sky” Gelding who was a MASSIVE sweater until last year 6/2017. We live in South Fl. His sweating just turned off like a switch. I read your article and started his “grain free” quest 8/2017. It did 100% help with his “nervous and nuts” attitude while jumping. He is now very calm, which is totally opposite his personality previously. No more diarrhea, even during stressful situations like shows. Still does not sweat though.

    However, I did NOT realize that he could not have supplements AT ALL. My mistake. He has continued to not sweat this year, little tiny areas here and there, but that’s all. He recently started with higher temps and increased nasal flairing and even recently had a nose bleed in his stall. The vet was called and he was given IV electrolytes and fluids x 2 days & I Put a fan in his stall, gets pretty much daily hose offs to be sure his temp is reasonable. Only turned out during eves and throughout night.

    I returned to my search on the internet and again came across your article. This time IT HIT ME – SO TOMORROW 10/13/18, we are stopping ALL of his additives. (Which I actually only started when I took him off the grain last year) They are smart combo senior Pellets, Barn Bag Hay Blanacer, SmartLytes Powder and One AC. He also gets a bit of rice bran oil. No treats, I use Alfalfa Cubes as a treat.

    His feed WAS as follows:
    AM and PM
    3 Quarts Timothy pellet
    1 quart Alfafa Cubes

    LUNCH
    2 quarts Timothy pellets

    Now as of 10/13/18

    AM and PM
    2 quart Timothy Pellets
    2 quart alfalfa cubes

    Lunch
    2 quarts Timothy Pellets
    1 quart alfalfa cubes

    Loose hay remains the same:
    6 pads Timothy/day.
    2 pads Orchard/day

    I have increased his Alfalfa because his top line needs some weight on it, also despite the vitamins his coat is dull and he gets hives and always has a battle with fungus.

    I will record his temps/vitals and his sweating progress.

    Since he has gotten progressively worse this summer to the point he can’t really even be ridden anymore I’m hoping that the removal of all things grain and to be “truly” grain free is our answer. Fingers crossed 🤞 Any further recommendations are welcome.

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      Author

      Thanks Rebekah for this detailed report. Even the little bit of sugar in red salt licks is enough to cause gut inflammation. Also remove carrots, candies, cookies – EVERYTHING!.

      Some horses with severe anhidrosis may take until next summer of feeding no sugar before they fully recover.

      To improve the top line you need to add a broad variety of amino acids to form the proteins needed to restore it. I recommend soy bean meal (see my nutrition blogs about this at TheEquinePractice.com/feed). Increasing protein intake and restoring the amino acid reserves will improve the hair coat, make the vitamins (these are proteins) and restore the immune system (proteins) to fight skin conditions and fungus infections. In other words, proteins are everything and it sounds like your horse has the signs of chronic protein deficiency.

      1. My 26 yr. old saddlebred mare has been grain free for about 6 weeks now. I added Cool Stance 2 days ago to her alfalfa pellets. At first she turned her nose up, literally, to it but this morning she cleaned it all up. She is still doing well temperature wise. I wanted to get soy bean meal but no one carries it in my area. I have someone close by who is a distributer for Cool Stance. I am hoping to see some weight gain & improvement in her topline as she has lost some. My grade mare with a skin condition & an attitude went grain free 10 days ago. I am seeing some improvement in both areas. My 18 yr. old Rocky Mountain gelding started showing anhydrosis symptoms & continued several days after going grain free about 3 weeks ago but seems to be better now. I don’t see any change in his physical condition. If anything he has put on weight. He has always been an easy keeper. My saddlebred is the only one I have given the Cool Stance. They all get alfalfa pellets & T/A hay. With the weather cooling off a little I plan to do some riding. Do you have any thing to add that I might be doing? Thanks so much for your information. I know it has improved the lives of my horses & hopefully lots of others.

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          Author

          Thanks for this update and for trying the no-grain challenge. Adding Coolstance will help to add fat in a non-inflammatory way. The only thing to add would be some soy bean meal so look harder. Any grain mill should have it and any grain dealer should be able to order it. Last I heard it is about $20 for a 50 pound bag. It is the SBM that will improve the top line after about 4 to 6 months.

          1. OK, I will keep trying to find the SBM. I thought the Cool Stance would be instead of the SBM & would be enough protein as the analysis says it’s 20%. I think it will take a while to go thru 50 lbs of SBM but with cooler weather I won’t worry about it going rancid. Thanks so much.

          2. Post
            Author

            20% is not the same as the bioavailability. All hay is half while SBM is 80% available. If you feed 1 pound of cool stance = 454 grams. 20% of 454 = 91 grams. If bioavailability is 50% then the net protein is 45 grams.

            SBM is about 45% protein so 1 pound or 454g of SBM = 204g. If bioavailability is 80% then the net protein is 163g or 3.6 x greater than coconut meal.

            While Coolstance has oil that is non-inflammatory to the human gut, it is still oil which will add calories and body fat. But as a protein source it will not be as efficient as SBM.

            Remember your aim is 0.5 to 1.0 grams protein per pound of body weight per day. You must determine how much protein is in your pasture and hay. A good rule of thumb is about 450 to 500 grams per day in average farms. With horses at a deficit due to chronic protein deficiency, the addition of 1 pound SBM adds 163 grams putting most horses back into the positive. More on this in my nutrition blogs and the Horsemanship Nutrition course.

  55. Have reached day 3 in Sky’s grain free + no additives challenge. No changes noted yet. Hoping some will come soon. He gets pasture at night (no nutrients there). He is only on Timothy pellets/alfalfa cubes/ Timothy and Orchard hay – that is all… I decided on no salt because he’s not sweating at all and didn’t want to add anything else that may have some additive hiding in it . Any suggestions are welcome. We have tried one AC in past – nothing. Trying to give this some time to work. Keeping up hope.

    10/14/18 1300
    Day 1 Vitals
    In stall
    HR 45
    RR 85
    Temp 101.38
    Weather:
    88 degrees
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    Observations:
    No sweat
    Mild nasal flare
    Multiple well formed stools

    10/15/18 1630
    *938 weight* (tape)
    Day 2 Vitals
    In stall
    Fan on
    Temp 102.1 !! 🔥
    HR 46
    RR 89!!
    Weather:
    87 degrees
    69 % humidity 💦
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    Observations:
    No sweat
    Significant nasal flare
    Multiple well formed stools
    *repeatedly dunking nose and face into water bucket**

    10/16 1751
    Day 3 Vitals
    Temp 102.1 🔥
    RR 95 !!
    HR 53
    Standing in stall
    Fan on
    Temp 86
    69 % humidity 💦
    Partly cloudy ⛅️
    Observations:
    No sweat
    Significant nasal flare
    **repeatedly dunking nose and face into water bucket**

  56. Started Rusty on your program 3 months ago. Temps in Florida high 80’s low 90’s. The humidity is always high. Over 50% in the afternoons after 98% in the mornings. He started sweating a little bit at day 3, then stopped. I continued Cool Stance feed, salt , grass and orchard hay for the next few months. FInally he has started to sweat! Mostly around the breast collar, between the front legs, the back legs and under the saddle. I have also seen sweat on the mane area. I slowly added garlic granules, timothy hay pellets, a feed thru fly control and minerals to his diet. For treats I give him an apple-berry cube treat. It took him quite a while, but I am so grateful for your “diet”. The main thing I quit feeding was beet pulp pellets. May try and add them back later, just to see what happens. I fed beet pulp to help keep the sand down in the gut. So far , so good. Thanks again.

    1. Post
      Author

      No need to add the sugar beet pulp back as it really doesn’t help sand colic. What DOES help gut motility is removing all sources of gut inflammation so keep his diet simple. No treats. Only pasture, hay, salt, water and a protein like soy bean meal.

      Thanks for giving this a try and helping your horse sweat again.

  57. Hi Doc. I finally got my hands on SBM & started all three on 1/2 cup with each feeding of alfalfa pellets & CoolStance. I will miss seeing your comments but totally understand the time constraints. I don’t know how you managed it thus far but am grateful that you did. My horses & I thank you. Janet Lucht

As of November 2018 I will no longer reply to comments. There is just not enough time in the day! I sincerely appreciate all of your interest and am grateful for the time you take to comment here. Doc T

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