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forestergirl99
Nov. 30, 2009, 11:31 AM
My gelding has recently stopped finishing his grain. Sometimes he eats half of it, sometimes most, and sometimes hardly any at all. My trainer told me to put him on a supplement that will help prevent and buffer ulcers incase that is the cause. He hasn't been showing an signs of ulcers other than not finishing his grain, but he is a nervous horse that is in pretty heavy training so it is a possibility. I have no experience with ulcer or appetite increasing supplements though. What do you suggest?

Also, I can't afford to spend more than about $30.

Thanks guys!!

BeastieSlave
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:51 PM
$30 a day? That would be UlcerGard!

tBHj
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:42 PM
$30 a day? a month? a year?

If you have a tiny budget what happens when you have to take your horse to the vet hospital because of ulcers?

Has your horse been scoped for ulcers? Too many people start treatment without even knowing if their horse has ulcers.

alteringwego
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:15 PM
Ulcergard and Gastrogard are by far the best but very cost prohibitive. My only other recommendation is a prescription dose of U-Gard. Can purchase from A to Z Vet Supply. I lay it to them and it definitely works. Any of my traveling horses get this when the owners can't afford Ulcergard/Gastrogard. Also, supplement with alfalfa and allow free choice hay.

lizajane09
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:21 PM
$30 a day? a month? a year?

If you have a tiny budget what happens when you have to take your horse to the vet hospital because of ulcers?

Has your horse been scoped for ulcers? Too many people start treatment without even knowing if their horse has ulcers.

Agree with the first part.

As far as scoping goes, in some cases it may be more expensive than the treatment. Since Gastrogard won't hurt them, many people opt to try "diagnosis by treatment" instead - treating them with Gastrogard and seeing if the problem goes away. Generally, the standard course of treatment is a dose (one tube) of Gastrogard once per day for 28 days, followed by regular treatment with Ulcergard (1/4 tube once per day). As a side note, Gastrogard and Ulcergard are exactly the same thing, just given at different dosages. It is expensive though, especially those first 28 days. Unfortunately, if you DON'T do those first 28 days, it seems that the Ulcergard will still be enough to keep the ulcers from getting worse, but not to allow them to actually heal.

If you get the ulcers to heal, your horse may remain comfortable on Ranitidine instead of Ulcergard, but that's something to discuss with your vet (they have different mechanisms of action and Ranitidine may not be as effective, but it is certainly cheaper).

hollyhorse2000
Nov. 30, 2009, 03:23 PM
I hate to tell you this, but a nervous horse in heavy training and not finishing his grain IS showing signs of ulcers . . . I personally don't scope. I diagnose using Ulcergard. It's $30 a tube online. It does not need an presciption. It's the same as Gastrogard, just marketed differently. You need to give him one full tube every day for about seven/eight days. If you see a difference in horse, especially if he's resumed eating, then you know you have ulcers. Unfortunately, the only thing that really TREATS them is the Ulcergard. You might be able to scrimp a bit by not giving the whole tube after say an initial two weeks of it daily. You might be able to do to half a tube and then a quarter tube for economic reasons only. (The usual dose is one tube a day for 30 days). You can also do a few other things:

Add alfalfa to his diet
Add pre-/probiotics to his feed
Use a digestive/ulcer supplement (I use Smart Gut)
Add aloe vera juice to his feed
Add papaya to his feed.

If you go this route and he's still not finishing his grain and you see no improvement, you really must call the vet . . .

Good luck!

forestergirl99
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:05 PM
$30 a day? a month? a year?

If you have a tiny budget what happens when you have to take your horse to the vet hospital because of ulcers?

Has your horse been scoped for ulcers? Too many people start treatment without even knowing if their horse has ulcers.

Sorry. A month. or about a month.

forestergirl99
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:06 PM
I hate to tell you this, but a nervous horse in heavy training and not finishing his grain IS showing signs of ulcers . . . I personally don't scope. I diagnose using Ulcergard. It's $30 a tube online. It does not need an presciption. It's the same as Gastrogard, just marketed differently. You need to give him one full tube every day for about seven/eight days. If you see a difference in horse, especially if he's resumed eating, then you know you have ulcers. Unfortunately, the only thing that really TREATS them is the Ulcergard. You might be able to scrimp a bit by not giving the whole tube after say an initial two weeks of it daily. You might be able to do to half a tube and then a quarter tube for economic reasons only. (The usual dose is one tube a day for 30 days). You can also do a few other things:

Add alfalfa to his diet
Add pre-/probiotics to his feed
Use a digestive/ulcer supplement (I use Smart Gut)
Add aloe vera juice to his feed
Add papaya to his feed.

If you go this route and he's still not finishing his grain and you see no improvement, you really must call the vet . . .

Good luck!

He has always been a nervous horse. He used to be a lot more nervous than nervous than he is now. The only change in him is that he hasn't been finishing his feed.

Riley0522
Nov. 30, 2009, 06:33 PM
He has always been a nervous horse. He used to be a lot more nervous than nervous than he is now. The only change in him is that he hasn't been finishing his feed.

I strongly recommend Gastrogard or Ulcergard, I, too tried to fix my horse's ulcers the cheap way, but the only thing that REALLY worked was the Gastrogard. The price sucks, but it comes with owning a horse I guess.

Good luck!

Foxdale Farm
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:42 PM
This is what we did and it worked like a charm. We put the horse on generic omeprazole for a month (got it from our vet at a FRACTION of Gastrogard's or Ulcer-gard's cost) and then put him on Finish Line's U-7. This program made a huge difference. We are still using the U-7 with great results. Once you get through the month of omeprazole and then the first month of U-7 where you have to double dose, you can then back off to half the amount. One big bottle of the liquid costs around $50 and after you're done with that first month, it should last approx. 2 months. We also use a grain with pre/probiotics as well as digestive enzymes.

www.foxdalefarm.us

majanick
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:57 PM
Hi, I normally do not write in on these sites, but I have had extensive experience with ulcers in horses. I definately agree with ulcergard/gastrogard, but something else that I feel has really helped my horses is Suceed. Suceed helps more with digestive functioning as a whole and hind gut ulcers. I have had such luck with it in the past that now all my horses live on Suceed no matter what. It has definately helped my young hunter gain weight. We also have an old been there done that jumper who always used to poop a lot when you rode him. Since the Suceed he no longer does. I also give a 1/4 to 1/2 tube of ulcergard to them too, but only when they are shipping or showing. Good luck!

toomanyponies
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:27 PM
To those of you suggesting alfalfa, is it to purely put on weight, or is there some digestive/ulcer related reason as well? And what about feeding alfalfa to ponies or hot horses? This is coming from an east coast person - I know horses 'live' on alfalfa on the west coast.

Groro
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:38 PM
I've gone to a beet pulp based feed. I dose the hard keepers with a probiotic from the health food store and feed an ounce of aloe juice a day to soothe the stomach. Now all of my guys are fat as ticks. I also feed a good timothy/orchard grass hay and the whole herd is on good pasture at least 12 hours/day.

As for Succeed, I've had vets look at the ingredients. There isn't anything really special in it that you can't get a lot cheaper from Whole Foods.

BeastieSlave
Dec. 1, 2009, 09:01 AM
I have one who had ulcers. In addition to giving him UlcerGard, i made some changes. I put him on a beet pulp based feed (Triple Crown Complete). I had to cut back the amount of feed he was getting and up his hay. That was really hard for me, but it was the right thing to do. He wouldn't eat alfalfa with his feed, but we always gave him as much as he'd eat before he went to work. He likes the cubes as treats. When he finished up his month of UlcerGard I put him on SmartGut (it will test, but if you're not doing big shows, it won't matter). He's been great for almost a year now and I like the SmartGut a lot. Check it out :yes: http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=6320

Monarch
Dec. 1, 2009, 09:39 AM
Ulcers are a real possibility. Personally I would also have his teeth checked to make sure nothing has changed there.
M

SOTB
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:16 AM
I've had success using gastroguard to get rid of the ulcers initially and then feeding Neighlox as a supplement to help keep them away. It also helps to feed them some alfalfa before giving grain.

scribbles
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:25 AM
APF helps too, but only after you have healed the ulcers... it is really necessary to do the gastrogard or opremazole, if you can get it compounded...

toomanyponies
Dec. 1, 2009, 11:18 AM
I have one who had ulcers. In addition to giving him UlcerGard, i made some changes. I put him on a beet pulp based feed (Triple Crown Complete). I had to cut back the amount of feed he was getting and up his hay. That was really hard for me, but it was the right thing to do. He wouldn't eat alfalfa with his feed, but we always gave him as much as he'd eat before he went to work. He likes the cubes as treats. When he finished up his month of UlcerGard I put him on SmartGut (it will test, but if you're not doing big shows, it won't matter). He's been great for almost a year now and I like the SmartGut a lot. Check it out :yes: http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=6320

What is in SmartGut that would make it a banned substance for USEF shows? Am I missing something?

TRNasty
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:15 PM
My guy got a couple of rounds of Gastroguard when we figured out ulcers were his problem with not putting on weight. He is on Fibergized that contains beet pulp and also receives a 1/4 cup of Natural Plan Stomach Soother at his am/pm feeding. He then receives Ulcerguard the day before, of, and after when he is hauled. He responded very well to the daily treatment of Gastroguard and that is why I also started to use the Stomach Soother on a daily basis as well.

Skip's Rider
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:40 PM
Run a fecal. My TB will back off on his feed intake when he has parasites. His fecal egg counts rise faster after deworming than the other horses in the herd, so he gets dewormed more often. Your horse may very well have ulcers, but you might rule out other common (and inexpensive to treat) things first.

hollyhorse2000
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:54 PM
My recollection is that alfalfa is recommended because it neutralizes the acid in the stomach or something like that (don't quote me). It's not suggested to put back on weight but has some chemical property that makes it helpful.

Yes, Smart Gut does have something in it. I don't show, so it doesn't matter to me. there are other options. Smartpak has a good comparison chart that is very helpful.

vahunter
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:43 PM
I have the same question as toomanyponies....I don't see any USEF banned substance in the SmartGut ingredients list.

TheOrangeOne
Dec. 1, 2009, 06:19 PM
The licorice in it tests as something else on the list, though I forget which chemical it is. So, anything with licorice in it is a no go.

Riley0522
Dec. 1, 2009, 08:30 PM
Alfalfa acts as a natural stomach buffer for horses because it's high in calcium, calcium = stomach buffer. And I have your typical "hot" TB...eats 7lbs of it a day, and he's calmer than he's ever been, to dispell the common thought that alfalfa makes horses hot.

MDHorseGirl
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:16 PM
I really couldn't afford to scope when my mare stopped eating well, leaving a lot of grain, not gaining weight, etc. My vet took the approach that if you treat for it and it goes away, you had ulcers... often too, scopes can miss hindgut ulcers, etc. So here's what most people don't know you can get ranitidine... it;s the actuve ingredient in most drugs esp those used for humans and you can get a generic! Ulcer-gard and those use omeprazole, this is just about the same thing, it's like the difference between prevacid and prilosec and it's a whole lot cheaper! Noticed a difference within a few days of starting she started eating again. Whole lot cheaper, and after treating for initial course (4-6 wks I think?) she seemed fine. I put her on U7 as a preventative and it semmed to work well, but I'm a big fan of Neigh-lox, she started having some small issues again this summer after several years since first diagnosis (and a subsequesnt pregnancy foaling and weaning) so I tried Neigh-lox and it it awesome!!! She is finally picking weight back up, eating better, etc. I also find it helps if I avoid a lot of other supplement or if I have to, I try to get them in pelleted form because she's pretty picky.

As far as weight gain goes, the most econoomical is to either feed oil Purina's Amplify or Buckeye's Ultimate Finish or something like that.
Good luck!

forestergirl99
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:49 AM
I really couldn't afford to scope when my mare stopped eating well, leaving a lot of grain, not gaining weight, etc. My vet took the approach that if you treat for it and it goes away, you had ulcers... often too, scopes can miss hindgut ulcers, etc. So here's what most people don't know you can get ranitidine... it;s the actuve ingredient in most drugs esp those used for humans and you can get a generic! Ulcer-gard and those use omeprazole, this is just about the same thing, it's like the difference between prevacid and prilosec and it's a whole lot cheaper! Noticed a difference within a few days of starting she started eating again. Whole lot cheaper, and after treating for initial course (4-6 wks I think?) she seemed fine. I put her on U7 as a preventative and it semmed to work well, but I'm a big fan of Neigh-lox, she started having some small issues again this summer after several years since first diagnosis (and a subsequesnt pregnancy foaling and weaning) so I tried Neigh-lox and it it awesome!!! She is finally picking weight back up, eating better, etc. I also find it helps if I avoid a lot of other supplement or if I have to, I try to get them in pelleted form because she's pretty picky.

As far as weight gain goes, the most econoomical is to either feed oil Purina's Amplify or Buckeye's Ultimate Finish or something like that.
Good luck!

That's the same thought I had. Either spend $200 to find out he doesn't have ulcers, or to find out he does and have to spend another $200.

I'll ask my trainer about the omeprazole! :)

Riley0522
Dec. 3, 2009, 11:43 AM
That's the same thought I had. Either spend $200 to find out he doesn't have ulcers, or to find out he does and have to spend another $200.

I'll ask my trainer about the omeprazole! :)

Omeprazole (GG/UG) is a lot more than $200, that's why I scoped to be sure before I took the plunge. FWIW, someone on here recommended Ranitidine, which I tried with my horse. Fabulous drug if you want to use it for maintenance, aka your horse is going to be on it forever, and for an average 1100lb horse, it costs about $100/month. If you do use it with any hopes of it healing ulcers, it HAS to be dosed every 8 hrs, no more than that or it's pointless. Omeprazole is so much more expensive, but it's time of effectiveness is much longer, therefore it can be dosed once a day.

I was really hoping the Ranitidine would heal my horse, but after 3 months on it, his shenanigans started coming back in full force. I will say there was no way possible for me to dose every 8 hrs, so he was getting it every 12. The vet who scoped my horse noted that if I wanted to use Ranitidine forever, that was fine, but in the long run UG/GG was actually more affordable because after the 2 month course (1 month full tube, 1 month half tube), with proper management (ie: 24/7 turnout, all the hay and/or grass he could eat and GG/UG 1/4 tube before, during, and after anything stressful), my horse would be ulcer free. I personally don't feel that you should have to "maintain" your horse on something like Ranitidine, because that means you have not healed your ulcers if the horse goes back to being crabby when off of it.

Good luck, I spent many months trying to get my horse back to himself and not being a millionaire it definitely was a hard hit to my bank account, but Gastrogard was SO worth it!

MDHorseGirl
Dec. 11, 2009, 01:40 AM
"FWIW, someone on here recommended Ranitidine, which I tried with my horse. Fabulous drug if you want to use it for maintenance, aka your horse is going to be on it forever, and for an average 1100lb horse, it costs about $100/month."

I actually used the ranitidine for two months as treatment (the cost is about right though!) and then switched off and to the U7 and haven't had a recurrence until the recent one. It seemed to heal everything pretty good and then was manageable with other methods. Since my last post, I also started my mare on an electrolyte... she hadn't really ever been a big drinker but it seemed to be worse later (MAYBE a bucket in 24 hrs and she's a big girl). Along with the Neigh-lox that she's on, she's started eating all of her hay! I guess maybe she needed the extra liquid in her gut to help things digest better, so she felt better to eat more food. (I am using Smart-pak's smartlytes, I only mention it becuase if your horse is like mine and is now a picky eater with the ulcers, she actually eats this!) Gotta love ulcers ;)