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Magnesium/Donkey Crests 

I received this email from Gina who is having difficulty posting, so I am
forwarding her question to the list and including my reply.

At 01:57 PM 1/28/04 -0500, you wrote:
Feel free to post this to the list--I can't.

What is the difference between the MgOxide and the form of
magnesium in the Quiessence supplement?
According to the literature sent out with the Quiessence, you
can't overdose the magnesium because they claim it is water soluble
and will just be eliminated if not needed?
If you are getting no response from the donkeys with the magnesium
supplementation (Quiessence), how do you determine if you should decrease or
increase the dosage?
Do you continue to have a trace mineral block available, or do you remove
the block and then supplement the trace minerals in some other fashion?



I went to the Fox Den Equine website at to copy/paste the product
description of Quiessence.

Here is what it reads: Quiessence comes in 5 lb. bags Suggested retail cost
is $25.00/bag or 14 lb. pails for $75.00 plus shipping, but stock list
prices may vary. Cost is $.62/day.

Contents of Quiessence by weight per Oz(28g):

Elemental Magnesium 5g
Niacin 1.2 mg
Biotin .0168 mg
Thiamin .016mg
Choline 46. 25 mg
Riboflavin 0.042 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.23 mg
Folate 0.0056 mg
B6 0.02 mg
Sodium Chloride 2.8g
Chromium Piccolinate 1.25mg

Dosage Levels is 2-4 oz/day in feed or as needed.

Quiessence is a high Magnesium feed supplement in a safe, absorbable,
palatable pelleted form. As well as providing much needed Magnesium for the
body, this supplement also provides Chromium and B vitamins. Quiessence is
legal, safe, and natural with no side effects. Calms and relaxes nervous,
tense, muscle-tight or back-sore horses. Provides protective benefit for
cresty, insulin-resistant, founder-prone horses, increases peripheral
circulation and helps with recovery from founder. Quiessence provides 5g of
elemental and chelated Magnesium Oxide per 1 ounce (28g) serving in a base
of distillers grains.

So, to answer your question about what the difference is between magnesium
oxide purchased at the feed mill at 50 pounds for $8.90 and Quiessence at 5
pounds for $25.00, um, let's see, I think I start with the math question so
let me get my calculator.

Magnesium oxide in a plain brown paper bag at 50 pounds for $8.90 is .178
cents a pound or .011125 per ounce and fed at a rate of 1 ounce per day (1
ounce is approximately 1 tablespoon) for 30 days that' 33 cents a month.

Quiessence in a handy little plastic bag is magnesium oxide mixed with a bit
of alfalfa, wheat bran, and molasses and extruded into crumble pellets at 5
pounds for $25.00 is $5.00 per pound or .3125 cents per ounce fed at the
recommended rate of 2 ounces a day is $18.75 to $37.50 a month.

The Chromium and B vitamins contained in the Quiessence are from the
distilled grain ingredients used in the crumble base.

The actual difference is the plain brown bag of magnesium oxide is packaged
for bulk use and the Quiessence has packaging and advertising and the
production costs of mixing the magnesium oxide with distilled grain
ingredients. Because it is in base product to conceal the taste you do have
to feed more than if you are just feeding the undisguised magnesium oxide
(2-4 ounces a day compared 1 ounce a day). Otherwise they are both
magnesium oxide.

The problem with overdosing with magnesium oxide it that it will affect the
uptake of calcium and phosphorus causing a deficiency in those minerals.
Wait, I know, hold on a second. Okay, I'm going to copy/paste some
information from the NIH website.

From the National Institutes of Health website:
Magnesium: What is it?
Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell of your body. About half of your
body's magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs,
and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Only 1 percent of
the magnesium in your body is found in blood. Your body works very hard to
keep blood levels of magnesium constant.

Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It
helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady,
and bones strong. It is also involved in energy metabolism and protein

Signs of magnesium deficiency include confusion, disorientation, loss of
appetite, depression, muscle contractions and cramps, tingling, numbness,
abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasm, and seizures.

Okay, so that's the skivvy on magnesium and how it affects the functions of
the body. I noticed no where in the NIH summary of magnesium does it
mention fertility so I went digging through my bookshelf for references to
fertility and found an ag textbook from the last century when I was a young
student of ag science that mentions fertility and related vitamin and
mineral deficiencies affecting the estrus cycle and link to abortion and
stillbirths. The information is based on fertility studies of ewe flocks.
This book was written pre-internet so the only references in the back are
the kind where you have to write them an inquiry the old fashioned way. It
lists University of Illinois at Urbana, University of Minnesota at St. Paul,
South Dakota State Univerisity at Brookings, Michigan State University at
East Lansing, and North Dakota State University at Fargo.

It is known that vitamin A, D, and E influence conception and maintaining
pregnancy so I'm going to keep looking and see if I can find information
that spells it out in more detail.

And Gina, do answer your question about how to determine if you need to
increase or decrease, it takes 7 to 10 days to feel a difference in the
texture of a thick crest, so I recommend starting out with a minimum dose
and waiting at least 10 days and doing a thorough feel to see if there is a
difference or not before increasing or decreasing the amount. When
increasing do it by tiny 1/8 teaspoon amounts and then check again in
another 10 days. When you do notice a difference that is your "therapy"
dose so don't go any higher. Adding more beyond the therapy level does not
gives faster results and could result in complications if the cells release
too much accumlated fat into the bloodstream at once (hyperlipidemia). Once
you notice even a softening of the crest alerting you that it is beginning
to melt, maintain that therapy level until the crest has decreased to half
the size and then slowly begin reducing the amount until you reach the point
where the reduction slows, and then that is the maintenance level. Some
donkeys only need to the magnesium supplement during the winter months, and
others need it year around. You won't know which your donkey is until you
monitor him/her for an entire year watching for slight increases and
decreases, then plan your regiment accordingly.


© Vicki Knotts Abbott 2004

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