Already have an account? Log in

FeedXL: How Does FeedXL Work?: Diseases

What you feed can cause disease. Good nutrition can also help manage diseases. FeedXL helps you to avoid feed related problems and manage nutrition based diseases.


Disease affects nutrient requirements

Some diseases like hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, developmental orthopedic diseases and various forms of tying up affect a horse's requirements for nutrients like potassium, energy and antioxidants.

In order to effectively manage these diseases, you must know what your horse's requirement for these specific nutrient are and ensure the diet either meets or doesn't exceed their specific requirement.

FeedXL calculates your horse's specific nutrient requirements according to any diseases you indicate the horse may have and warns you if any nutrient is being over or undersupplied in the diet.

Disease determines what is safe to feed

Other diseases like laminitis, Cushing's Disease, insulin resistance and the polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) form of tying up limit the feeds it is safe to feed. For example, horses with all of these diseases should not be fed feeds that contain grain or high levels of non-structural carbohydrates (starch and sugars).

But knowing which feeds are safe, and which aren't is tricky, especially with so many feeds available and so much confusion about which feeds are truly low in sugar and starch content.

FeedXL will 'red list' any feed that is not suitable for a horse with a specific disease and warn you that the feed may not be suitable for your horse if you do add it to the diet. Here is what one of our members says about feeding a Cushing's horse using FeedXL:

"I'm going to renew my subscription to a yearly. I found it brilliant for working out a feeding plan for my old cushings horse. It's also fun as well, so I'm now a convert. I've never liked using pre-mixed feeds, but always worried that my horses were missing out. I now have the solution!!!!"

Update from Michelle: "My old cushings horse Ossie is going very well, he is bright and happy, and his coat is gleaming. Thanks to FeedXL It is so easy now to know what I can feed him, and I am happy in the knowledge that he is getting all his nutritional needs met. My feed bill is much cheaper as well."

Michelle Le Grew

Feeds and forages can cause disease

Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (also known as big head or bran disease) occurs when high oxalate pasture or hay is fed that contains very little available calcium or when large amounts of phosphorous are fed in the diet. Both situations cause a chronic calcium deficiency and the problems associated with this including shifting lameness and in younger horses, a swollen face.

FeedXL makes sure the calcium to phosphorous ratio in the diet is balanced and that the calcium to oxalate ratio is high enough to avoid calcium deficiency when a horse is eating a diet with large amounts of grain or bran or when grazing high oxalate pasture .

Which diseases does FeedXL cover?

FeedXL caters for horses prone to:

  • Colic
  • Cushing's Disease
  • Developmental Orthopedic Disease
  • Grain Intolerance
  • Hyperkalemic Periodic Paralysis
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Laminitis
  • Tying Up (Recurrent Exertional Rhabdomyolysis)
  • Tying Up (Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy)

FeedXL also allows you to manage obesity and avoid 'big head' disease.

Help with feeding horses with these diseases

Read our Newsletters on Feeding Horses with Laminitis and Managing Gastric Ulcers. Newsletters are available to our members online on Feeding Horses with Tying Up and Avoiding Bighead.

Help on feeding horses with all of these diseases is also available in the Help section of FeedXL and of course we are available to help you on the FeedXL Member Forums whenever you need it.



Please type the text below

We're sorry to have to do this but we just need to do a quick check to make sure you are human! This helps us prevent abuse of this form.


We would love to hear back from you, so just drop us a line if you have any questions or queries.

We also always appreciate any thoughts or suggestions on how you think we can improve.

Phone:: +61 2 6762 2020

© 2008–2016 — All rights reserved — FeedXL Pty Ltd — Terms of service