PDA

View Full Version : weight gain and ulcers in the young event horse -- advice or suggestions?



JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
My 4YO OTTB Danny is skinny and has ulcers.

The ulcers were a surprise. He'd had some 'irritation' (mild) when we scoped him before so we treated him with omeprazole. He seemed fine -- before and after -- he's just lanky and not gaining weight.

Then Glenbaer won two free scopes. :lol: They had to be used by a certain date. :lol::lol: So we scoped Danny, just because.

Yes. Ulcers. :lol::lol::lol::mad:

Danny isn't exactly the poster boy for ulcers. He's laid back to the point of surfer-dudeness. He eats everything. He's happy under saddle. He's easy to ride. He went to his first unrec BN HT today and scored a 27 in dressage. He's shiny and healthy-looking, albeit on the thin side, but then he's 4 years old, 16.2+hh and not done growing.

Danny does crib like crazy unless he wears a collar. He's been this way since I got him at 2 and he's made it quite clear that he likes to crib.

Does anyone have experience with this sort of situation? We are switching him to a feed that's formulated for ulcer-equines but for all we know, that's just marketing talk. We'd discussed possibly trying Succeed but now that we know he's got stomach ulcers, that seems to make less sense.

I'm generally okay with skinny in a young horse. I'm not one to put any unnecessary weight on them. But his current BO (who knows a few things about horses) says he needs to gain weight, so we're looking for ideas. And then there's the actual presence of ulcers, which actually are worse now than they were before the omeprazole.

Any and all suggestions much appreciated, even horse psychics with a proven, documented record for putting pounds on a horse. :)

alto
Jul. 16, 2012, 01:36 AM
What did you use for Omeprazole? treatment course?

Most cribbers have ulcers so despite his apparant approach to life, the ulcers don't surprise me.

Is he out 24/7 on grass with free-choice alfalfa?

Can't see any reason not to try the Succeed (they appear to offer a guaranteed 60 day trial ;) )

Hopefully you still have a "free" scope left, I'd put him on Merial's Omeprazole for the 28day treament (guaranteed product with research for that formulation so it makes sense to use this rather than the alternates ... if funds are lacking, then the Canadian Omep would be my 2nd choice BUT ask who's manufacturing & what the actual product QC protocol is), repeat scope to judge efficacy, then gradually wean him off to a maintenance dosage.
If this was my horse, he'd be on the maintenance dose for 2 months following the treatment, then consider where to go at that point depending on his condition/behavior.
I would not use a cribbing collar during this time but instead keep him in an interesting program so he's got daily distraction & something to think about (I'm rather assuming that he also has group turnout).

deltawave
Jul. 16, 2012, 08:05 AM
Naturally treat the ulcers, and don't stop omeprazole abruptly, but some of the current beliefs on "what and how to feed ulcer horses" include alfalfa (lignins are supposed to buffer acid), corn oil (a very, very tiny study in ponies demonstrated reduced acid production in corn oil-fed subjects), and avoiding grains with excess starch. Keeping hay in front of them all the time is also felt to help by keeping the acid buffered by the stomach contents and constant saliva production.

Maximize turnout, minimize anxiety, yada yada yada. ;)

I don't mind lean youngsters, either, much rather have one of those than a fat one! :)

If endoscopic studies are to be believed, ulcers are practically universal. (I'm not saying this is what I believe, LOL) Therefore I'd be more inclined to treat symptoms than endoscopy results. If the horse is not anxious, not "ulcery", and doesn't respond particularly well to ulcer treatment (vis a vis profound weight gain) then I would probably not get too worried about the endoscopic findings. A small ulcer can crop up and heal in a matter of days.

EventerAJ
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:24 AM
I had good results on my 4 y/o OTTB with the Abrazole pellets (blue pop rocks). But mine had very classic ulcer symptoms-- not finishing his feed a big one, and most likely why he was losing weight. I gave him 3 packets a day for 3 weeks and noticed a big difference in the first few days. I then tapered him off to 2 packets a day, then 1, then 1 every other day, then only as needed (trailering/stress).

I also added fish oil to his diet; he hated it so I had to syringe it (usually as a suspension with the BPR). Just 2oz a day of the fish oil made a noticeable difference in his coat and condition. I'm not a really big oil feeder; I thought he had a nice shiny coat to begin with. But after two or three days of fish oil, he glows and just appears a bit more "round" over his prominent points. If I skip the fish oil for a week (ran out) he seems to fade a little bit.

Another product that worked well for him is U7 gastric aid. It takes a bit longer than omeprazole to really work (and I don't believe it "heals" ulcers, just gives a soothing environment for the horse to heal them himself). But if he starts picking at his food, a week or two of U7 has him eating full-speed again. I like to keep him on it daily for preventative.

As a positive, when he is ulcer-symptom free, he eats well and holds his weight better. I cut his feed in half after he healed from ulcers the first time-- was getting 6qts daily of high fat, high fiber feed to maintain condition. After omeprazole treatment, he was maintaining on 3qts daily (less feed is also better for his tummy, so a good thing!). I also give him plenty of grass turnout, and free choice alfalfa mix hay. His weight still fluctuates a bit, I think mostly due to heat, work, and growing.

RiverBendPol
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:45 AM
My OTTB fits your description to a T except that mine is 9...I am about to finish his course of UlcerGard (we started on June 6th). He was just re-scoped this week and is clean and clear. How long that will last...who knows?

I have mine on free choice home-grown grass hay. His 3xday meals are 1 1/2 pounds (dry weight) alfalfa pellets, soaked, a cup of canola oil and 2 pounds Triple Crown Training Formula. He is also on ProBios and U-7. He's been laid up with an SDFT, hence the weight (muscle) loss. We're up to 6 minute trots now so hopefully the muscle will rebuild FAST.

This horse does not miss a meal no matter what. The only way I know it is time to scope is that he will occasionally wrinkle the corners of his nostrils and flatten his ears back. It is something that he NEVER does when he's feeling fine. He also dunks his hay with a vengeance. No other symptoms. I think if he wasn't living at home I'd never know he felt crummy.

yellowbritches
Jul. 16, 2012, 10:12 AM
I find 4 and 5 year olds to be very frustrating in the weight department! You get them sleek and round, then overnight they drop a 100lbs because they suddenly decided to grow. Ugh. They can make you feel like a bad horseman!!! :lol:

Lots of good advice. My current system is high quality feed (Fibergized Omega), Cocosoya oil, as much good hay as he'll eat (which isn't much), and supplement the hay with chopped alfalfa since he isn't big on hay. The visiting cousin is getting the same thing, and he is still in the weedy, kinda sorta growing stage, too (we were commenting last night that he seems much bigger than when he arrived from Cali last summer, but we think he's filling out now, not growing up. The boy is ALL legs). Hopefully, he'll go home plump and sleek.

As for the ulcers, do treat them. And, I have to say, I have become a big fan of the "blue pop rocks." They are so easy to just toss in their grain when you think they might be stressed without the giant price tag. I gave the baby cousin a few days worth last week, just to make sure his belly was in order. I think they are a nice product.

Robby Johnson
Jul. 16, 2012, 10:25 AM
Sorry to hear you're dealing with ulcers, but things could be worse so ... YAHOOOOOO on the 27!

Will await follow-up on original treatment protocol, but I personally believe all horses have ulcers to some extend ... and the strong silent types are actually internalizers of anxiety, or resort to other methods (i.e. cribbing) to release it.

What is the grade of his ulcers? That will dictate the treatment course as prescribed by your vet, but I would look to an ongoing maintenance dose/management approach as this will likely not be a one-off thing. I had great results with 2 months on Gastrogard (month 1 at full dose, month 2 at half-dose, then used both GG and Ulcergard as part of my planned training/competitive schedule). The Nutrena XR as well as alfalfa hay and cubes also seemed to make the tummy much more mild.

The best result I ever got, however, was a springs/summer when the grass was lush and the horses stayed out 18+ hours a day. :D

kkindley
Jul. 16, 2012, 11:41 AM
Mine isn't a cribber, but internalizes and is a hard keeper to boot. 24/7 turnout, Nutrena Black Bag to get as much fat per # as possible, cool calories for more fat, and Nutrient Buffer added daily. I also add pop rocks when needed. She does tell me when she is ulcery. I tried U-gard for a summer and it did nada. The Nutrient Buffer really helps if I start it before she gets them. Mid summer is hardest for her when the grass is burned, but there's no round bales out.

JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 01:54 PM
Thanks, all.

Current diet is as follows:

-- free choice timothy
-- alfalfa 2x day
-- beet pulp 1x day
-- 6 qts textured 10% protein 10% fat 3x day
-- grass turnout with friends 24/7

If he doesn't get the above, he loses weight.

I'd work on the 'less anxiety' idea, except that I'd have to give him some anxiety first. This is a very assertive, calm horse, both on the ground and under saddle. He would make an excellent police horse -- it's that kind of brain and temperament. He's not being stoic. He's curious about everything and he's quite expressive.

This (http://www.hightimephotos.com/CarolinaHorsePark/5-5-12-May-Starter-Horse/294-Andrea-Glenn-Danny/22849386_RXhNDC#!i=1834365553&k=tqZ4LrN) is Danny in May, just a couple of weeks after he'd started jumping.

We have consulted several vets, had bloodwork done, checked for parasites, etc. Nothing turned up, except that he was apparently healthy and had a notably good heart.

GotSpots
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:17 PM
I've had good luck with SmartGut on the ones I have that want to be ulcery. I do a course of gastrogard, taper them off, and then put them on SmartGut as a daily. I also tend to back off the grain where I can and add fat to their diet in whatever form they'll eat it. I've found that most of mine end up needing substgantially less grain to maintain weight on this program, but YMMV.

My 5 year old is the happiest pony on the planet and finds more joy than one would think is possible from his dinner, so he's not a good example, but the new 4 year old may end up switching to this same program. He's also a super laid back dude, but the combination of former racehorse, very slow eater, and hard to keep weight on make me wonder if he's working on ulcers (though he also seems to continue to grow, which adds to the fun). Good luck!

yellowbritches
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:21 PM
He gets 6 qts, 3 times a day? That's a lot of grain! Depending on its weight, that can be as much at 24lbs of grain a day, if not more (may be less...but not a lot less). I'd be curious as to brand. When I got to my current job, we were feeding a locally milled feed and several of the hard keepers were getting ridiculous quantities of feed (like, 20lbs a day...I weighed it). I switched to a high quality feed and most of them have had their diets halved, if not more....just food for thought.

RacetrackReject
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:29 PM
I've had good luck with SmartGut on the ones I have that want to be ulcery. I do a course of gastrogard, taper them off, and then put them on SmartGut as a daily. I also tend to back off the grain where I can and add fat to their diet in whatever form they'll eat it. I've found that most of mine end up needing substgantially less grain to maintain weight on this program, but YMMV.



This ^^^. I did the exact same thing with one of my TBs at 5 yrs old who sounds a lot like your guy JER with great results.

Edited to add that my guy gets around 5lbs of feed per day now, in 2 meals, with alfalfa and 24/7 grass pasture. He also receives a vit/min supplement with the SmartGut since he is on so little feed.

JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:39 PM
So I look up SmartGut and see that it has licorice in it. I was so happy about that -- Danny loves licorice -- that I forgot to look at the rest of the ingredients. Which are, what exactly? Maybe I just couldn't find it on the website, but is there a list of exactly what's in this? I'm looking for something more specific than 'soothing herbs'.

yb, I don't know what brand of feed he's getting. I assume it's high-quality because (2) Glenbaer is a high-quality girl and (2) my three other horses with her all look good. All three mares are prone to skinniness, too.

I've had some tough keepers who've taken a year or so to start showing signs of increased weight. Same goes for taking weight off an easy keeper. The successful weight-change process in either direction does seem to take time.

When Danny was with me in BC, he would go from too-skinny to gaining weight to growing to too-skinny again, which IME is normal for a young horse. But Danny does seem to require a lot of food just to look passably skinny.

Blugal
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:43 PM
I'm not a nutrition expert but here are my thoughts. All that grain may be contributing to the ulcers. Have you tried adding oil? What about a higher-fat feed (I have seen some as high as 18-20%)?

A non-feed/ulcer thought: I experienced major weight loss and colic due to encysted cyathastomes/small redworms (which don't show up in fecal egg counts). You need to de-worm specifically for these worms with moxidectin (Quest), and it helps to know about their life cycle.

SophieGirl23
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:43 PM
Lots of good advice. My current system is high quality feed (Fibergized Omega), Cocosoya oil, as much good hay as he'll eat (which isn't much), and supplement the hay with chopped alfalfa since he isn't big on hay. .

YB, do you know if the Cocosoya Oil is higher in fat than just a plain corn oil? Also, do they seem to like the taste of it. I've got my hardkeeper girl on corn oil right now mostly because she doesn't seem to mind the taste of it and she's super picky. But, I'd be willing to change her from the Cocosoya if it was higher in fat and I could get her to eat it ;)

RacetrackReject
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:47 PM
SmartGut ingredients:

L-Glutamine 5,000 mg
Calcium Carbonate 4,500 mg
Magnesium Carbonate 3,000 mg
Hydrolyzed Collagen 2,700 mg
Magnesium Silicate 1,700 mg
Deglycyrrized Licorice 1,500 mg
Mannanoligosaccharides 1,300 mg
Glycine 875 mg
Gamma Oryzanol 300 mg
Slippery Elm 300 mg
Marshmallow Root 250 mg
Orthosilic Acid (Silica) 35 mg
Lactobacillus Acidophilus 750 million CFU

Inactive Ingredients: Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Fenugreek Seed, Magnesium Silicate, Maltodextrin, Natural and Artificial Flavors.


Sophie-I used Cocosoya Oil before I tried the SmartGut and my guys LOVED it. To be honest, it smelled so good I was tempted to try it myself..lol.

yellowbritches
Jul. 16, 2012, 02:50 PM
YB, do you know if the Cocosoya Oil is higher in fat than just a plain corn oil? Also, do they seem to like the taste of it. I've got my hardkeeper girl on corn oil right now mostly because she doesn't seem to mind the taste of it and she's super picky. But, I'd be willing to change her from the Cocosoya if it was higher in fat and I could get her to eat it ;)
I believe it is 100% fat, just like corn oil is. My horse does love the taste (it is a little sweet tasting, though I think it smells like movie theater popcorn butter). He gets A LOT of it, and is happy with it.

kkindley
Jul. 16, 2012, 03:36 PM
A better question perhaps would be how many calories per cup? I'd be curious to know for that and rice bran oil.

JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 03:51 PM
A non-feed/ulcer thought: I experienced major weight loss and colic due to encysted cyathastomes/small redworms (which don't show up in fecal egg counts). You need to de-worm specifically for these worms with moxidectin (Quest), and it helps to know about their life cycle.

I don't know that he's had moxidectin.

How do you test for the presence of such creatures? Is there a specific deworming protocol to follow?

Danny was in BC while you were having this problem, might have been something in BC conditions that made redworms an issue that year.

JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 03:57 PM
Also, I should mention that he started getting Platinum Performance last week.

yellowbritches
Jul. 16, 2012, 04:20 PM
I also know a horse who was extremely hard to get past that "passably skinny" point for years. He recently had a low but positive EPM titre. Will be interesting if he starts to thrive more once he is treated.

Blugal
Jul. 16, 2012, 04:32 PM
I don't know that he's had moxidectin.

How do you test for the presence of such creatures? Is there a specific deworming protocol to follow?

Danny was in BC while you were having this problem, might have been something in BC conditions that made redworms an issue that year.

Sent you an email.

For others, here is a link (http://www.wernvets.co.uk/horses/worming-horses.html) which explains much of what I found out about the evil worms and some of the problems we have due to worms that are resistant to our dewormers. This link also has a very useful chart showing different worm types and recommended rotations of dewormers.

Encysted cyathastomes (small red worms) don't show up in fecal egg counts - so you can't necessarily test for them. Although Fenbendazole is often recommended for the encysted cyathastomes, the vets I spoke with (and some research I read) suggested that moxidectin is more effective and/or the worms are not resistant to it.

Foxtrot's
Jul. 16, 2012, 05:21 PM
I had fecals tested for occult blood - recommended Quest and seemed to clear up the problem - it could have been ulcers.

bathsheba8542
Jul. 16, 2012, 05:44 PM
My hard-to-keep OTTB is on Ultiuum, with 2 different probiotics (one specifically for hind gut), ranitidine with each of his two meals, platinum performance, and free choice alfalfa (even when he's out on grass). While I haven't had him scoped, he used to crib like mad and since he's been on alfalfa and aforementioned products, there is NO cribbing. And, he's round enough and very shiny!

Robby Johnson
Jul. 16, 2012, 05:50 PM
I'd work on the 'less anxiety' idea, except that I'd have to give him some anxiety first. This is a very assertive, calm horse, both on the ground and under saddle. He would make an excellent police horse -- it's that kind of brain and temperament. He's not being stoic. He's curious about everything and he's quite expressive.



There are horses who evolve with a stronger "fight" reaction. Often they're males, as that's what a stallion does for his herd. Leaders have to keep a cool head, but that doesn't mean it they don't stress about it! :)

However, I can't imagine a better scenario for avoiding ulcers as the one you described so, yeah, I got nothing!

JER
Jul. 16, 2012, 07:56 PM
Leaders have to keep a cool head, but that doesn't mean it they don't stress about it! :)

You really have to meet Danny. His favorite activities are (1) sorting through piles of junk and (2) looking at himself in the mirror. He likes other horses just fine but he's doesn't care at all if he's alone. He really does his own thing, on his own time.

Bensmom
Jul. 16, 2012, 08:48 PM
Not a vet, of course, and this should not be construed as medical advice . . . (you know me, I have to say that ;) )

(Not to mention, it is probably worth what you pay for it :lol: )

But, one thing that sticks out to me is that I wouldn't scope him again unless you have no other choice. You know he has issues (as folks here have mentioned that many cribbers do) and there are some studies somewhere (which, of course, I should know *where* to find them, but I can't remember) that have shown that the very environment in which you set them up to be scoped can create ulcers, especially in an ulcer prone horse.

Our new OTTB mare responded well to a couple of days of GG, so I went ahead and put her on the SmartGut -- I really like the set up of being able to compare all the different options side by side and that was the one I liked both price and ingredient wise the best. She has done great on it so far -- she is finishing her food, although I want her to plump up immediately, like everyone else here, and that hasn't happened.

I designed my feeding program with my insulin resistant horse in mind, and everyone else eats the same thing. My NZTB has a tendency to be "ulcery" -- he just has a sensitive stomach, and he's done really well on the diet that I feed here. I would say don't be like me, and have a list of things that gets mixed together, but from your list, you already are! :) I feed low starch feed, alfalfa pellets, beet pulp, and a little bran (to balance the Ca/P ratios -- had professional help in balancing the stuff when I first started). For the hard keepers, they also get a rice bran supplement, and the new horse gets a little extra high fat feed.

I have ordered a starter set of the blue pop rocks, and will use those with her, and then maintain her on the SmartGut, but while I was waiting for them to arrive, I started her on the SG now.

It sounds like you are doing everything right, especially if he isn't showing any symptoms (other than the cribbing). FWIW, Ben was *tough* to put weight on when I first got him at 4 -- he got a lot of feed, and corn oil and other things to try to get him to gain. It seemed as if overnight when he was between 6 & 7, he porked up so much that he looked like a sausage dog on long skinny legs. :lol:

It may be the calories required for growing are just burning faster than he can eat, but it sounds like you are on the right track with everything suggested here. :)

Libby

alto
Jul. 16, 2012, 09:18 PM
Can you switch him to free choice alfalfa rather than the timothy re "nice" pH effect of alfala for ulcerative horses?

retreadeventer
Jul. 16, 2012, 11:43 PM
Hmmm.
I've fed a lot of hard-doers.
I really do not force a horse to eat something they dislike. Oils and high fat liquid supplements seem to have the opposite effect on some Thoroughbred types.
I usually switch thru feeds, JER, before I find one they relish and then stick with it about two weeks until I see some sort of difference -- either a bloom on the coat or little bit of weight gain.
Do you use a weight tape regularly to see if there are any changes -- up or down?
I know you want to do something, but I think more roughage before more concentrate is a generally safe rule of thumb.
I think the cribbing is the culprit. It stresses his system.
Could be just weather...hot and buggy, more time inside, more cribbing opportunity...?
I have a horse whose been a stall walker all his life and I switched him to Buckeye Eq8 (equate) after trying many other feeds...he was on Southern States on and off for five years and never really liked it. Within two weeks on the Eq8 he began eating the bottom out of the tub. The ingredients should be listed on the Buckeye site. Just has the addition of some live probiotics, it is a high fat feed as well and other than that, I just think he likes the taste. It has made a very good noticeable difference. This has been the first BIG change I've seen in this horse in about six or seven years and everything else is the same, so I am pretty sure the feed is doing this. It took a month, though, before I could really see the fat cover over the ribs and the weight tape kept going down and down. Occasionally a big hunting day would show a loss the following day but mostly he maintained pretty well on it last winter.
In the straw-grasping category:
something insidious like Lymes perhaps -- doesn't have to have a clinically presented case of this to simply not do well and remain thin without any outward signs of disease for a long while.
Lymes is a tough disease to pin down and diagnose, for sure.
Heart murmer?
Low grade deep lung infection? Blood work would indicate something for that, though.

JER
Jul. 17, 2012, 01:06 AM
But, one thing that sticks out to me is that I wouldn't scope him again unless you have no other choice.

What you're really saying is that winning a free scope as a prize is perhaps not the best reason to scope a horse. :lol:


FWIW, Ben was *tough* to put weight on when I first got him at 4 -- he got a lot of feed, and corn oil and other things to try to get him to gain. It seemed as if overnight when he was between 6 & 7, he porked up so much that he looked like a sausage dog on long skinny legs.

This is what happened with all of my homebred mares. They were skinny and immature until age 6. Unlike Danny, they were also mentally immature so they didn't go out in public much.

This (http://www.flickr.com/photos/28168510@N07/6379033075/) is Danny last October at 3.5 years old, in an unskinny phase. We weren't feeding him anything special then, I just kept hay in front of him when he was in at night and gave him equine senior 1x day.
[/QUOTE]


Can you switch him to free choice alfalfa rather than the timothy re "nice" pH effect of alfala for ulcerative horses?

This depends on who he's sharing hay with. I'm not sure who he's out with at the moment but he does live in a social situation, which is why timothy is probably more advisable.


Hmmm.
I usually switch thru feeds, JER, before I find one they relish and then stick with it about two weeks until I see some sort of difference -- either a bloom on the coat or little bit of weight gain.

If you saw the above pic, you'll see he can get that look. He was getting equine senior before, so maybe we'll switch back to that.


I think the cribbing is the culprit. It stresses his system. Could be just weather...hot and buggy, more time inside, more cribbing opportunity...?

He's outside. He's not what I'd call a nervous cribber. It's more like a guy enjoying a beer.


In the straw-grasping category: something insidious like Lymes perhaps -- doesn't have to have a clinically presented case of this to simply not do well and remain thin without any outward signs of disease for a long while.
Lymes is a tough disease to pin down and diagnose, for sure.

That straw has been grasped at. Last month. By Mike Plumb, so consider yourself in good company. :) No Lyme, however.


Heart murmer?

That too. The vet actually commented on how good his heart is.


Low grade deep lung infection? Blood work would indicate something for that, though.

Interesting idea, but again, his blood is fine.

Xanthoria
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:24 PM
Current diet is as follows:

-- free choice timothy
-- alfalfa 2x day
-- beet pulp 1x day
-- 6 qts textured 10% protein 10% fat 3x day
-- grass turnout with friends 24/7

We have consulted several vets, had bloodwork done, checked for parasites, etc. Nothing turned up

OK, aside from treating the ulcers, the weight issue - questions:

1.You know you need to weigh your feeds... :yes: How much alfalfa, beet (dry) and grain is he actually eating?

2. What brand/line of grain is he on? The protein and fat content are part of the picture - if they're also high in sugar and starch they could be helping those ulcers brew.

3. Parasites. Your vet may have checked for parasites but if they did a fecal it's worth noting that tapes don't show on fecals, and if you haven't dewormed regularly with a product that kills them (praziquantel), well. Similarly encysted larvae don't show up on fecals. I'd do a Panacur Power Pack and follow up a week later with a Zimecterin Gold.

4. Teeth? I have seen many mouths with awful sharp teeth that the vet said were fine. Go the equine dentist out and he showed me the waves, hooks, sores and so on.

5. Fat supplements. The expensive ones in little tubs don't actually give many calories to the horse - you're only supposed to feed an ounce or two! Pick any or all of the following: BOSS, ricebran, flax, oil. Feed up to 2# (or cups if oil) and in any combo your horse loves. Build up slowly - if he gets the runs its too much fat.

OK do all that and sit back and wait a month before you see any major changes! :yes:

Jleegriffith
Jul. 17, 2012, 12:52 PM
I always have an assorted mix of ottb's that are coming in from various places- straight from track, from our let down farms and from other barns.

I have a routine that works for me:

-I powerpak everything right away. I just assume they need it. It doesn't hurt. Without a fecal you don't know what you have and my farm has quite a bit of turnover so I would rather they be clean to start.

I sort of just assume that all horses have ulcers. I feed straight alfalfa...I haven't died yet;) I find the alfalfa does the most for adding weight and making the stomach calm. It doesn't make the horses hot. The fatties don't get the alfalfa.

I really try to not feed a bunch of concentrates. I LOVE Triple Crown senior. It's a high fat/protein feed with very low sugar. It puts weight on w/o adding sugar. I try not to feed a bunch of it so if they need more calories than I add ration balancer to the senior. I like the TC 30%. A find that fat isn't always the answer with these horses. Protein really seems to do the trick (alfalfa/ration balancer for me). Some people do the tri amino to help with the muscle building as well.

I really like the cool calories. I also like the omega fat supplement that SStates carries.

I have had great success with the blue pop rocks. I had one that went off his feed, dropped weight, was kicking out and showing all ulcer signs. He seemed to make a complete turn around on the pop rocks. I was a bit skeptical but pleased. I didn't scope so can't say he did or didn't have the ulcers.

Turnout if they like it. I have stalls that open into my fields so they can just come and go. It seems to ease the nervous horses who don't want to be in but sometimes don't want to be out either. Ha, I let them decide.

When they are growing they can sometimes look worse before they look better. I know it can be really hard to accept especially when you want everybody to look awesome.

If your glenbear doesn't have alfalfa hay (hard to get in that area) than alfalfa cubes or pellets can work.

scubed
Jul. 17, 2012, 01:42 PM
I am with Jlee. All of my horses get powerpacked, pop rocked, and put on a high quality, known nutrient feed (for example nutrena performance pellets). I will add a supplement with both probiotics and prebiotics and often will consider stablized rice bran along with the feed.

Blugal
Jul. 17, 2012, 01:45 PM
I did not feel cool calories or rice bran made any discernible difference (n=1). Of course, maybe they were preventing further weight loss... it's so hard to know with all the different factors involved. For the cost, I went back to feeding oil.

fanfayre
Jul. 17, 2012, 02:53 PM
^ I agree with Blugal, just fed straight veggie oil (usually canola) when needed. Same fat content as Cool Calories, but 1/4-1/3 price = more bang for the buck.
Nothing else to add, but to say it's all very interesting and I'm learning a lot.

JER
Jul. 17, 2012, 05:22 PM
1.You know you need to weigh your feeds... :yes: How much alfalfa, beet (dry) and grain is he actually eating?

2. What brand/line of grain is he on? The protein and fat content are part of the picture - if they're also high in sugar and starch they could be helping those ulcers brew.

I'm in BC. Horse is in NC. Glenbaer would have to answer those questions. It's not high sugar AFAIK.


3. Parasites. Your vet may have checked for parasites but if they did a fecal it's worth noting that tapes don't show on fecals, and if you haven't dewormed regularly with a product that kills them (praziquantel), well. Similarly encysted larvae don't show up on fecals. I'd do a Panacur Power Pack and follow up a week later with a Zimecterin Gold.

It's all been done over the past year. We'll be giving him moxidectin but this horse has been de-wormed more than most.


4. Teeth? I have seen many mouths with awful sharp teeth that the vet said were fine. Go the equine dentist out and he showed me the waves, hooks, sores and so on.

He's seen dentists in BC and NC. When he was with me, I'd have him checked whenever a vet was in the barn (at two different barns). He had his teeth checked again a couple of months ago.


5. Fat supplements. The expensive ones in little tubs don't actually give many calories to the horse - you're only supposed to feed an ounce or two! Pick any or all of the following: BOSS, ricebran, flax, oil. Feed up to 2# (or cups if oil) and in any combo your horse loves. Build up slowly - if he gets the runs its too much fat.

He got ground flax every day in BC. We could give him flax or oil now as well.


I always have an assorted mix of ottb's that are coming in from various places- straight from track, from our let down farms and from other barns.

Because I didn't post it yet, Danny's history. Danny was born in Spokane, bred/raised by a quality small breeder who prides herself in raising healthy and sound TBs. Then he ws bought at the sales by a BC owner and sent to a well-regarded local trainer. She and her staff loved Danny -- he thoroughly enjoyed training and track life -- but in a handful of races in the fall of his 2YO year, he was happy to canter around at a relaxed pace of his own choosing. His breeder says they should have waited until his was 3 to race him; his dam's other 6 foals are all winners on the track. We laugh at the idea of trying to race Danny. He is shamelessly lazy.

Nonetheless. his track connections were crazy about him and wanted him to find a good home, so they called the local rescue, who were reluctant to take on a 2YO TB but changed their minds upon meeting Danny. A number of volunteers at the rescue say that Danny is their favourite horse ever.

The point I'm trying to make is that he's been well-loved and doted on for his entire life. This is not the case with many OTTBs.


I LOVE Triple Crown senior. It's a high fat/protein feed with very low sugar. It puts weight on w/o adding sugar. I try not to feed a bunch of it so if they need more calories than I add ration balancer to the senior. I like the TC 30%.

He was getting this at one time. Maybe we'll go back to it, although we have ordered the special mix for ulcery horses.


When they are growing they can sometimes look worse before they look better. I know it can be really hard to accept especially when you want everybody to look awesome.

Oh yes, I know this. I don't get worried about it, I just tell myself 'Wait a week, and they'll look better.' 'He's growing!' is my usually excuse with Danny.


If your glenbear doesn't have alfalfa hay (hard to get in that area) than alfalfa cubes or pellets can work.

I use these for my harder keepers at home. Cubes can have iffy quality, so I tend to use pellets for better consistency.


I am with Jlee. All of my horses get powerpacked, pop rocked, and put on a high quality, known nutrient feed (for example nutrena performance pellets). I will add a supplement with both probiotics and prebiotics and often will consider stablized rice bran along with the feed.

This is very much what we did, minus the rice bran. :) It does seem to be a recipe that works.

pegasusmom
Jul. 18, 2012, 04:36 AM
Have one of these. Seven year old OTTB, raced at Emerald Downs. Cribber. Did not have him scoped when he got here almost two years ago as he "screamed" ulcer. Shiny healthy coat, hard keeper, terrible internalizer. Looks dead calm on the outside. . . lifts tail. . . you go in and change clothes if you are in the firing line.

We treated with gastroguard (spent more on omeprazole than the horse cost!) Succeed, powerpacked, blue pop rocks.

Finally found a feed he a. eats and b. puts weight on him. Tried to wean him off a generic omeprazole with poor results so we just have resolved ourselves to the fact he needs a stomach antiacid of some sort of the rest of his life.

He gets beet pulp, a magnesium suppliement, generic omeprazole and Buckeye Feeds EQ8 Gut Health feed, good quality orchard alfalfa mix and is on 24/7 turn out. And it took almost two years to get weight on him. He travels hard and loses weight easily. wish that was the case for his owner!

Eventer55
Jul. 18, 2012, 08:32 AM
You really have to meet Danny. His favorite activities are (1) sorting through piles of junk and (2) looking at himself in the mirror. He likes other horses just fine but he's doesn't care at all if he's alone. He really does his own thing, on his own time.

:lol: does he ever find anything?

Robby Johnson
Jul. 18, 2012, 11:37 AM
You really have to meet Danny. His favorite activities are (1) sorting through piles of junk and (2) looking at himself in the mirror. He likes other horses just fine but he's doesn't care at all if he's alone. He really does his own thing, on his own time.

Wow, he sounds like the horse version of me! I would love him, yes!

JER
Jul. 18, 2012, 03:16 PM
Danny's dream job would be hosting Antiques Roadshow.

He also likes power tools, especially noisy ones with moving parts. The horse vacuum is his BFF.

He also likes to reach under the wheelbarrow and pick it up by the front wheel to make a huge mess.

Charlie&Me
Jul. 18, 2012, 03:48 PM
The thing that worked miracles for my OTTB was a high fat low starch food. I tried Ultium with almost zero results and he was then put on Nutrena Black (AKA high fat performance pellet) and put on quite a bit of weight meaning he no longer looked like a cow - he was really skinny, poor guy. The Black is tough to find in my area (he was in PA while I was out of the country) so I switched him to Seminole Wellness Show and Sport when he came back to SC. He get's 2.5 qts of this AM/PM. He's put on even more weight and looks almost chubby IMHO. :) In addition to the Seminole, he's gets 2.5 qts 10% protein pellets, a smidge of beet pulp, alfalfa/grass mix hay when he's in during the day (it's hot down here!), and lots of grass when he goes out at night. Oh and I should mention he's pretty big - 17.1hh plus a little.

He is a mild cribber totally controlled with a collar and lives out 24/7 except during the summer heat. I've never had him scoped but am treating him for ulcers as I write this because he was exhibiting some signs that indicated his tummy might be hurting. In the winter when the grass goes away, he typically gets 1.5 qts beet pulp, 3 qts Show and Sport, 3 qts pellets, and as much hay as he can eat. He actually gained weight this winter on this regime. :)

SuckerForHorses
Jul. 18, 2012, 04:48 PM
You really have to meet Danny. His favorite activities are (1) sorting through piles of junk and (2) looking at himself in the mirror. He likes other horses just fine but he's doesn't care at all if he's alone. He really does his own thing, on his own time.

I too thought this about my mare. She seems outwardly fine just being by herself (like when I take my gelding away to ride, and she is alone...she doesn't even whinny). However, last winter we treated her Grade 4 ulcers, rescoped, and they were healed. A few months later, when she had been back to normal for a while (eating all her meals, not grouchy, etc) I started riding my gelding and leaving her alone. The very first time I took him, that evening she didnt' finish her dinner. Next morning...didn't finish her breakfast. I gave her a packet of the Abprazole granules two days in a row...bam...back finishing all of her meals.

She internalizes. It's harder to tell when they're stressed. Almost impossible. She doesn't even poop when you load her on the trailer...don't ALL horses poop when you load them on the trailer?! :yes:

So, just because he appears calm, cool, and collected...don't let that fool you.

www.photobucket.com/ulcers

As for maintenance/prevention:

Now that I know my mare gets upset being left alone, I give her 2 Abprazole packets in her meal if I am planning to take my gelding away. If he is gone multiple days, she gets the Abprazole every one of those days.

She gets Abprazole before trailering.

She is on unlimited grass pasture in the summer.

In the winter she gets as much hay as I can keep in front of her; she also gets alfalfa cubes as her "grain" in the winter.

I feed her alfalfa cubes before EVERY ride to make sure she has something in her tummy. Acid splish-splashes around in an empty stomach and the upper portion of the stomach doesn't have any protective tissue = prone to damage from the acid.

I don't feed grain (last winter when she lost weight because of hte ulcers, once we started her GastroGard treatment, I put her on TC Senior and alfalfa cubes to help with her weight. Once she got back where she belonged....no grain. TC Senior is low in starch and high in fat...a great choice for horses that need weight and may be prone to ulcers)

SuckerForHorses
Jul. 18, 2012, 04:50 PM
Another thought: a lot of horses who have ulcers, will crib. That can be a sign that something is up. I don't believe cribbing will cause ulcers.

TLA
Jul. 18, 2012, 05:24 PM
I suggest that you not rule out colon ulcers. I have 2 cases in the barn right now, and neither presented with the classic symptoms, but the final dignosis was the successful treatment with sucralfate. Dr Jennifer Miller of Cave Creek, AZ tipped us off onlooking in that direction, and surely saved my horses life.

You might find this link interesting, and he is not trying to sell some product:
http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaepfocus/2005/Andrews.pdf

Tom Angle

JER
Jul. 18, 2012, 06:31 PM
TLA, that paper was very interesting.

What is the protocol for treating with sucralfate?

reay6790
Jul. 18, 2012, 08:34 PM
On top of all the ulcer meds mentioned, I have found a couple of things to be quite beneficial:

1) 1/4 scoop alfalfa pellets and a handful of tums right before bridling. As you probably know, acid slashes up in the stomach in the non mucosal surfaces which can irritate pre-existing ulcers or form new ones. I have found giving this to my guy helps immensely. Rides used to make him quite uncomfortable even when he didnt have ulcers.

2) small hole hay net- free choice is great, but that doesn't happen at my barn. I love my freedom feeder and my horse loves it too. It goes in the trailer with him too and it always goes to horse shows. It keeps him busy and actually calms his nerves. He is an internalizer.

reay6790
Jul. 18, 2012, 08:37 PM
TLA, that paper was very interesting.

What is the protocol for treating with sucralfate?

I believe is it 1 tab per 100 lbs 1-2 hrs before feeding.