Thanks guys. Lots to think about. I think to start I'll start with the Brewer's Yeast and see if it helps at all. How much does the 10 day ranitedine treatment usually cost? There is an RX needed with that, right?
As far as the antacid test, what/how many CC's do you generally dose and when? Right before the ride? That might not be a bad idea. Is there a better brand to use?
He's out on field board 24/7 and free choice to a round bale. He's getting Nutrena XTN. I plan on feeding him Pennfield's Fibergized Omega when I bring him back to my regular barn, and he'll have free choice to a round bale as well.
I happened to have a sample bottle of Omega Alpha Gastra FX, so I used that for my first test. I followed the directions of 60cc pre-ride, with a 15-20 minute wait.
While waiting for the BPR to arrive, I first bought Gastric Shield from my local feed store (they recommended that brand as we have a lot of STBD racers around here and that particular one was popular). I started using 60cc but was able to reduce to 30cc pre-ride (label recommends 30-60cc per day).
My friend, a vet tech who works with my vet, recommended the aloe juice as they have seen noticeable differences in their clients' horses while using it, so I then switched to the Gastric Shield with his feed, and aloe juice pre-ride. Again, I began with 60cc. My horse actually seemed to like the aloe juice - I can top-dress his feed and he'll eat it happily, and in fact even when dosing with the syringe he's come looking for more.
I treated my mare with ranitidine without scoping, my vet checked her out and agreed that her symtoms were most likely ulcers and to save money we decided to just try the treatment before scoping. She responded very well to the ranitidine, it was about $25 a week to treat her. Much cheaper than gastrogard!
I did 60ccs of liquid antacid about 30 minutes before riding or feeding. I typically use Mylanta. I remember there was a reason that I used Mylanta over something else, but I don't recall what that was- it could well have been price, or it could have been flavor. For whatever reason a lot of horses seem to really like the cherry flavor (one in the barn will try to get into the bottle and drink it on his own.)
Originally Posted by TatteredDaydreamer
If/when the horse improves I switch to omeprazole.
When we suspected my horse had ulcers we started curing her with a vet prescribed liquid form of omeprazole. We used one tube a day and after we noticed her symptoms wearing off, we moved to half a tube. Right around that week we were doing half doses, we noticed her symptoms coming back and we had the vet come out to scope her in case we were looking at something maybe stronger or more severe than ulcers. Turns out, she did have ulcers and they were healing fine!
We also started giving her a flake of alfalfa hay before she was ridden which gave her protein protein protein! It's really important to get protein.
Once seeing the inside of the horse's stomach from the scope, it was easy to understand. The ulcers look like red splotches, and what the vet explained to me in simple terms is that when the stomach is empty, the acidity rises which causes the ulcers and irritates them so they can get worse and worse.
But if there's something in the stomach (Hay, grass, UlcerGard, omeprazole, etc.) It coats the stomach and keeps the acidity down. She explained to me that a lot of the reasons ulcers come is because the horse isn't eating during the day (They're grazers, they should be eating 18 hrs + a day..)
Needless to say, she's going to be getting a tube before shows and before trailering to help limit down the stress.
And to make this simple and short, we only scoped because we wanted to be 100% SURE it was ulcers and not another problem; and it was!
I swear by a full course of GastroGard and then occasional follow-up during times of increased stress. I've experienced the effects of GastroGard on a horse that I was leasing and it was almost immediate and well worth the money.
As an aside, I occasional suffer from ulcers myself, so I understand the pain and am maybe a little more sensitive to the issue.
We went straight to omperazole for my guy, I had recently got him off the track, he had some major aggression issues, didn't want people touching him, super fussy and girthy, but an amazing appetite and he was consistently putting weight on. My vet and I decided to try it for a week or 10 days, I saw a noticeable improvement in the first few days. We did full tubes for 30 days, then did 1/2 a tube for 45 days or so, i added gastra Fx when he was in his last 2 weeks of finishing the omperazole, and now he gets it everyday.
He had one flare up, and did the same thing again, and they are back under control.