For those who have successfully treated their horses for ulcers I have a couple of questions. Did you continue to feed grain? If so, did you reduce it in any way? Do you give on an "empty stomach" and/or did you wait any amount of time after giving GG/UG before feeding a meal with concentrates?
I experimented with Ranitidine which I already had on hand for a week. Horse looks better, seems happy and coat is shining already. I backed off his feed quite a bit but of course he is eating hay 24/7 and getting some alfalfa. I received UG in the mail yesterday and will continue on with treatment now using UG since he seems to be improving. He is a 2 year old and still growing so I don't want to withhold calories and sufficient protein when he needs them.
I had a pony mare with ulcers. I always gave the medications on a full stomach as in my experience for myself my tummy feels bad when I take meds on an empty stomach.
according to the packaging and what I know about UG it's going to work no matter what you because of what it does : it does not coat the stomach lining or anything surface like that. it actually stops a bodily process from happening that causes the ulcers to fester.
We are treating my horse for ulcers and DSLD/ESPA, so a low sugar, high fat diet.
For grain he eats Safechoice 3 times a day topped with a total of 2# of Empower [high fat supp, divided between those 3 meals], and tums with each meal.
He gets a 4th meal of alfalfa mush- if I could he would get alfalfa mush top dressing each meal, it's just not possible boarding.
He also gets magnesium supplement, and probiotics among many other things.
Before we struck on this ulcer thing we tried feeding him anything and everything to get weight on him- kudos to the barn I was at who truly offered him a smorgasbord of choices in an attempt to find him something he could eat and tolerate and put weight on with. Alas it was all high[er] sugar- Senior, sweet feed, etc.
He has done great on this diet, adding weight while not getting nuts and he appears bright and content.
The only thing wrong with him now are those unfixable dropped fetlocks. *sigh*
No sugar, no high carb grains. That stuff doesn't digest in the hind gut it does most of its digesting in the stomach. The UG you need to give when they don't have anything in their mouth. It can be given at any time since as someone else stated it shuts down the acid pumps in the stomach, it doesn't coat anything.
More fiber. I added a beet pulp meal. We split his daily ration of commercial food into 4 small meals. He eats LMF Low Carb stage 1 which is all fiber, no hard grains. He has food available 24 hours a day. Alfalfa cubes as treats instead of high sugar, high carb stuff. At the farm there is a trash can on the aisle that I keep full of alfalfa cubes, when Mr. Trainer or anyone wants to give a treat to any of the horses that is what they give. It helps keep my horse from getting anything he shouldn't and there is always something for people to give their horses.
My horse wound up being allergic to corn, oats, and timothy hay along with 19 other things, which I think either caused or exacerbated the ulcers. Now that I don't feed him any corn, oats, or timothy hay he seems very happy. I also had to check all supplements for offending items. U7 has corn gluten in it and he was getting that, I switched it to SmartGut which doesn't have any food stuffs that he is allergic to. His issues went beyond just having ulcers, not every horse has food allergies too.
I kept my gelding's feed the same because he needed those calories at the time. He was on a mix of grain and bp. I've since switched to TC Senior and taken out the bp, but he does well on just the grain. I think it actually has some bp in it, or at least it's formulated to help older horses with digestive issues. I would avoid feeds with lots of molasses, etc.
I try to keep hay or grass in front of him all the time -- can't do alfalfa, he goes looney on it. After initial treatment with Gastrogard/Ulcergard, I tried a number of maintenance supplements and have settled on U-Gard (Corta-Flex). Works great and is cost-effective. He gets a full scoop twice a day. Other than that, I just try to keep him out and moving as much as possible with grass/hay available, and when inside, I make sure he has a ton of hay in front of him. I think keeping something in his stomach at all times is the most important thing.
Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper
Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace
I'm adding a bit more this is in addition to my post above - alfalfa helps raise the pH in the stomach, my horse is on straight alfalfa because he is allergic to all grass hays that I can get out here. So if your horse can eat a grass hay that is great but add some alfalfa cubes, or pellets to his rations for each feeding. Doesn't have to be a great deal just some to raise the pH in the stomach.
Horses, unlike people are pumping acid into their stomachs all the time, people only do it when they eat. The alfalfa will help buffer the acid.
vet recommended that we take out 7y.o. ish off coastal. he was given gastrogard 2x's a day and was switched to equine senior. we eventually worked coastal back into his diet but kept him on equine senior until he was sold.
Try to keep something edible in front of him at all times
Horses, unlike humans, are trickle feeders and are designed to be always eating.
So try to avoid an empty stomach for any length of time.
That means a high fiber diet, hay and more hay. High starch and sugar are usually best avoided any way, and certainly in this case.
Omeprazole (the active ingredient in UG/GG) and ranitidine, are proton (H+) inhibitors, which means that they stop the formation of the acid in the cells lining the stomach.
The lower acidity allows the ulcer to heal and reduces the pain. Once the ulcer is healed, you should stop giving the proton inhibitor and try to control the acidity with buffers preferably salts of calcium and magnesium.
One of the effects of the acidity in the stomach is the digestion and subsequent absorption of the calcium and magnesium. Thus giving the H+ inhibitors interferes with calcium and magnesium digestion and absorption.
It has been shown in humans that long term use of H+ inhibitors increases osteoporosis, due to reduced calcium uptake.
So use them while the horse needs them and then get off them and use calcium salts instead.
Hope this helps
Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
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