Skip to content

January 13, 2012


Ask Dr. Mark your horse questions

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

In March Dr. Mark is going to start an on line question & answer series where you can write in questions and he will pick a few each week and answer them by video.  The questions can be submitted via email to or be posted on the DEC Company Facebook page.  We get so many great questions from owners striving to improve their horse’s well-being and we thought this would be a great way to allow all proactive owners, trainers and agents to ask questions and gain knowledge.  Below are actual questions that were emailed to Dr. Mark this week along with his responding emails.


Hello Dr. DePaolo,

My trainer recommended that I contact you regarding an issue that my horse has been having. She has used your products with great success for her two horses, and I am hoping you may be able to help me with my horse.

He is a 4 year old thoroughbred off the track in October. He has recently broken out in hives which we believe to be caused by the pine shavings in his stall. After changing his shavings to a different variety I noticed some relief, but after bedding him deeply again his hives have gotten worse. We have also noticed that he has been very interested in his mineral salt lick lately, and has been spending a good part of the day licking and trying to eat it.

He currently eats 2 quarts of Sentinel LS and a scoop of Platinum Performance Equine both AM and PM along with free choice hay. He is turned out all day from 7 am to 5 pm on a large grass field.

Any help or advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

Thank you,

R.C., Massachusetts

Dear R.C.,

The first thing that I would have you do is to check the ingredients of the Sentinal. If it contains any grains or grain by products or molasses, I would have you take him off that first. All of these things are highly inflammatory and can hyper-stimulate the immune system. 

If that doesn’t get him back to normal, I would recommend that you do a Horse Hair Analysis. It is the best thing that I have ever found for diagnosing and treating weak or hypersensitive immune problems. You can purchase HHA or just read about it on our website.

Thank you,

Mark DePaolo, DVM


Dr. Mark;

Dr. Mike B. suggested asking you your opinion on zeolites.  I often run into horses that I feel have heavy metal issues, etc. and I’m wondering if you think this would be a good idea.  I can always suggest essential oils to assist in the process but I believe this might be a less expensive option for some horses. I appreciate your opinion…

Here is a new Animal Zeolite product that I’m wondering about. (Info attached).


Dear S.L.,

I like Zeolites for detoxification of heavy metals, matter of fact that is what we use. However, we have proven by using Horse Hair Analysis (HHA) studies that Zeolites will also strip out non-heavy metals. In other words not only does it get rid of bad metals but also good metals.

I always recommend running an HHA prior to detoxing so that we can add back any nutritional metals that the horse is deficient in.

As far as the “new” zeolite formula that you sent the write up on, I have great results with the inexpensive “old” unimproved version. So I think “if it isn’t broke why spend more money to fix it?”


Mark DePaolo, DVM


If you have a question for Dr. Mark please send it our way.  We try to answer all questions via email or phone call and if we think that your question is something that is frequently asked, we will most likely do a short video answer on it and post it to our Facebook page.  Please make sure to “LIKE” our company Facebook page so you can watch all the videos in the coming months.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jessica
    Jan 13 2012

    Dr. Mark,

    Are you aware of any long term side effects of using wood shavings for bedding? Particularly cedar shavings? Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Jessica,
      I don’t know of any long term side effects of using cedar savings for horse bedding. As you probably know, you never want to use black walnut shavings because it will cause your horse to founder.

      Thank you,
      Mark DePaolo, DVM

  2. Teri Davis
    Jan 18 2014

    Hi! My mare has been diagnosed with Aural Plaques by 2 vets. Her ears are very sensitive and the plaques seem to be spreading and getting worse. Do you have an internal supplement that might help with this issue as she will not let me get near her ears to apply a topical treatment.

  3. Jan 10 2015

    Dear Dr Mark,
    About three weeks ago I rescued an extremely emaciated neglected fifteen year old palamino mare. A boarder abandoned her at a neighbors rental home and as the landlord was not a horse person, she offered the horse to me. I went to a prestigious horse academy as a teenager but I’m now 43 and just stopped chemotherapy three months ago after three year battle with a rare blood cancer. I’m excited and committed to rehabilitating this beautiful animal. I feel a kinship with her as I lost over one hundred and fifty pounds and can understand her struggle and pain.
    Her primary and obvious issues were severe neglect and malnourishment. Every rib and vertebrae were pronounced, thick dull coat, cracked and splitting hooves, I could not pinch any skin on her. This mare could have easily been a poster example in one of those ASPCA commercials for abused and neglected animals. She also had a productive cough with thick yellow sputum. And a moderate to severe case of thrush.
    I began with four days of penicillin -g injections IM to fight off any bacterial infections that may be susceptible to penicillin. I have begun treating her thrush with over the counter non caustic thrush preparations and they improved the infection. I recently mixed Ramsey’s goo 50/50 athletes foot ointment and triple antibiotic ointment into a syringe and will hope for better results. I’ve been grooming her daily and conditioning her hooves to prevent further chips and add moisture.
    My real questions involve her diet. I have been giving her a flake of “three oat hay” in the morning and A flake of alfalfa at night. I also have been giving her 4-5 pounds of neutrena safe choice senior( she loves it)! I add two teaspoons of yeast for horse digestion. I also add selenium and vitamin E to her feed for one week per month according to the instructions. I also had been adding a pound of oats,Cobb,cracked corn, molasses to the pellets for fat and weight gain but she sweats even mixing a pound of the molasses with the neutrena. So I eliminated the molasses because it’s “hot food” for this mare.
    The neutrena safe choice is good and she loves it but it’s pretty expensive. I was considering slowly changing her neutrena safe choice senior feed to the Walmart brand of horse manna senior pelleted feed, or mixing them because of the cost of neutrena($23.00/ 40 lb bag) versus Walmart brand ($13.95/ bag). If she tolerates and continues to thrive with the Walmart senior should I switch or perhaps mix them?
    Also, once she has adjusted to the new senior pellets, I would like to add fat. I’ve read olive oil is very good as it’s easily digested and has the types of essential fatty acids that are safe and beneficial. If I could get advice, feedback, or any suggestions that may assist us, please email. Any input as to nutrition, safe weight gain, thrush treatment, etc…We would appreciate any insight and so would my baby, Fortunada. Thank you!

    • Hi Loretta,
      I will forward your email on to Dr. DePaolo but I encourage you to read his articles on nutrition in the health library on his website. ( He recommends feeding a combination of alfalfa pellets and unstabilized rice bran or Beet pulp is a good choice for those who don’t mind soaking. If you are feeding straight grass hay then alfalfa pellets are great because they have a low GI.

      Many horses that are being fed high carbohydrate diets could be fed much more hay during the day if we would substitute concentrate feeds that were a lower glycemic index. Providing your horse with more fibrous feed throughout the day is a terrific way to help prevent ulcers, cribbing, and colic. Feeding of a low glycemic index feed will also prevent diseases such as Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (EPSM), Monday Morning Disease and other diseases that cause tying-up, and body soreness type syndromes.

      It is best to switch your horses’ diet gradually and include weekly to every other day dosing with a probiotic during the transition period. Once your horse is accustomed to the new feed, it is recommended to add olive oil as a fat source if you feel like your horse needs to increase weight.

      So in short…95% of all horses would be healthier if they were fed only grass hay and a good quality comprehensive, complete vitamin/mineral supplement. That should not only cut your cost down but help Fortunada get healthy. If you feel you still have questions for Dr. Mark, please email him directly at

      Thank you for your questions and good luck!
      (DEC Blog Admin)

  4. Jan 10 2015

    Thank you so much. I will read the recommended article. Also can you suggest safe and effective non- caustic to healthy tissue thrush treatment? I’m using Ramsey’s 50/50 athletes foot ointment. With triple antibiotic. I clean, scrub, dry, message it in, then use conditioner on the outer hoof to help heal/ prevent further chipping. Thank you for your committment to education and guidance. It’s a great benefit to have reliable information that is safe and effective. Im considering starting a non profit horse rescue and adoption center in Northern California, sacramento valley area. Any information or resources you could recommend would be appreciated. Thank you and may God bless your efforts.
    Loretta W.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: