I know, I know, there are thousands of threads on this topic, BUT....every case is a little different, so...
Do you think my guy could have an ulcer issue?
15 year old, 14.2 hh pony.
Lately, he has been a bit girthy and very, very irritable. He has always been sort of "grumpy," its just the way he is, but lately, it has gotten out of hand. He also pins his ears when I brush from his shoulder to girth area. OVerall, he just doesnt seem very happy. He hasnt had any weight loss issues, in fact he needs to lose a few pounds. He has a bit of a "hay belly." He's a very picky eater and it is not unusual for him to not finish the little grain he gets. Currently, he recieves 1 quart (1/2 of a "normal" scoop) of Equine Senior twice a day in addition to a joint supplement and 2 oz. of flax seed. He is on 24/7 turnout, however the pasture is pretty bad. It has *some* grass, but is similar to a dirt lot. He gets fed 2 large flakes of Bermuda grass hay and 1 flake of alfalfa daily.
Any suggestions? I was considering a course of Ulcer Guard. If so, how much? Would that be a good choice?
"To do something that you feel in your heart that's great, you need to make a lot of mistakes. Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes." -B.J. Armstrong
Its certainly a possibility. You could try him on UlcerGard for a week to see if there's any improvement, if there is, continue treatment. If not, you aren't out any more money than if you got him scoped.
A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham
I scoped my horse and did 2 months of Gastrogard (1 month full tube, 1 month half tube). Total cost was $2250, $275 for the scope (which included an overnight vet stay) and about $1900 for 42 tubes of Gastrogard. I only did it this way because I could pay my vet with my CareCredit, which at the time was much easier. If you have the cash up front you can find Ulcergard (same thing as Gastrogard, just labeled differently) online for $30-$32/tube....just make sure you do a full tube a day for 30 days. At that price, it'd cost you $900-$950, and probably around $1250 if you did the same course as I did.
Good luck, ulcers suck!
***ETA, just noticed you have a 14.2 hand pony My horse is 16.3 and 1100lbs, so you might actually get away with only 3/4 tube or something, but I'd run it by your vet!
Your horse's symptoms sound a lot like mine - I had him scoped and we found Grade 2 ulcers. Treating now with Gastroguard (2 weeks so far) and all of those symptoms have disappeared and he is much happier. There were other issues lurking prior to scoping for the ulcers, which is why I did not just start treating him for ulcers without a diagnosis.