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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2012
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    Default Case Study: OTTB Sore Hind End & Suspected Ulcers

    The Horse: 5-year-old OTTB mare, adopted August 2012. Off the track for two years, re-trained green broke.

    Horse history: Chips removed from both front ankles, rehabbed and raced again, retired due to non-competitiveness. X-rayed both front ankles during vetting, minimal scar tissue. Level 3 lameness at trot after right hock flexion, x-rayed and pronounced a "perfect" hock. Prescribed conditioning.

    Last week: Had a vet who is also chiro out. Flexed lame on LEFT hock, and overall sore on the hind end. Very particular about left ankle. Nerve block - no change. Chiro adjustment. Prescribed one day rest.

    Horse gets two days rest. Very stiff when ridden on third day. Call vet. Vet says we should x-ray everything hind end, but can't come out for a couple weeks (continuing education courses).

    Begin reading Chronicle forums about hind end lameness. Find many ulcer references. Find article by vet saying hind end lameness can be related to ulcers. See the staggering stats on ulcers in racehorses. Horse has never been treated for ulcers to my knowledge. Horse has become increasingly melancholy, low neck, nips at girth when ridden. Would not eat the all-organic local feed I shelled out $$$ for when I got her In August. Switched to Triple Crown Senior after one month of picking through the organic feed. Now eats happily. When she ate the organic feed, there were lots of undigested bits in her manure (begin fearing hind gut issues in retrospect). Horse is the personality to internalize things ...

    Horse lives at my home, has 24/7 pasture (although the "night" pasture recently arrived at overgrazed status, so some hay at night for her and my neighbor's horses). Horse gets 2.5 pounds Triple Crown twice a day, plus SmartHoof and Omega Horseshine. Weight has slowly come on, but can still see ribs. In the last few weeks I have thought that her flank looks sunken, but now I wonder if she is bloated. She has gas several times when I am with her each day.

    My arsenal:

    Ordered 12 tubes of Ulcergard and one month supply Equishure. (Currently in transit.)

    I keep reading about ulcers. Find http://www.lunatunesfreestyles.com/horse_ulcers.htm. Search recommended ingredients as keywords on forums.

    Info overload. But I am a do-er. And (irrationally?) I don't want to wait and get a scope.

    Go to Whole Foods on lunch break. Drop $60 on:
    -pumpkin seeds
    -chia seeds
    -one head of cabbage
    -one gallon of aloe juice
    -teeny tiny bottle of slippery elm bark oil

    Formulating my plan now on how to administer my materials.
    Thinking: 8 days full tube of Ulcergard (still in transit) starting in 2-3 days.
    Before that, thinking: just throw all the Whole Foods ingredients at her? And if she "seems improved" then either continue all ingredients or slowly take one away at a time to see what works?

    Or, the more patient route would be to try one. thing. at. a. time. But all this ulcer research has me worried my horse might be in pain.

    What would you do?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2012
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Last year during my first bout with corneal ulcers, my horse started displaying some symptoms of ulcers. I went out and bought 5 tubes of Ulcer Gard and ordered the Pop Rocks. I used the ulcergard while the pop rocks were in transit. I also bought a gallon of aloe vera juice, and a pound of slippery elm bark powder and marshmellow root powder. Well, he hated the herbs and aloe vera juice so I quit forcing that on him after a while and just stuck to the pop rocks. I saw a definite improvement after 30 days, so I think I would just stick to that after this.

    I took him off sweet feed and switched to alfalfa pellets and ration balancer. Hopefully that will help keep his tummy happy!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2012
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    33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by caryledee1 View Post
    Last year during my first bout with corneal ulcers, my horse started displaying some symptoms of ulcers. I went out and bought 5 tubes of Ulcer Gard and ordered the Pop Rocks. I used the ulcergard while the pop rocks were in transit. I also bought a gallon of aloe vera juice, and a pound of slippery elm bark powder and marshmellow root powder. Well, he hated the herbs and aloe vera juice so I quit forcing that on him after a while and just stuck to the pop rocks. I saw a definite improvement after 30 days, so I think I would just stick to that after this.

    I took him off sweet feed and switched to alfalfa pellets and ration balancer. Hopefully that will help keep his tummy happy!
    Thanks, caryledee1!

    I am glad your horse has improved!

    Does anyone have thoughts on doing Gastrogard/Ulcergard treatment dose WHILE doing Equishure, or should I wait and do the Equishure AFTER the gastro/ulcergard? I'm emailing KER to get their opinion, but if anyone has any experience doing them together or separately, would love to hear why and the results.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    I glanced over your post, and while I'm not well versed in the ulcers being related to hind end issues, the OTTB factor and your horse's symptoms of ulcery behavior (nipping, lack of appetite, etc) definitely point to ulcers. I'm glad you're treating him!

    When my mare was being treated for ulcers, the vet recommended NeighLox, and said to start it AFTER my GastroGard regimen was done. Reason: why use an antacid on a stomach that doesn't have any acid because of the PPI omeprazole in the GG? Makes sense. I started the NeighLox the last day of her GG treatment.

    I'm not all to familiar with Equishure, but if its an antacid, I would think the theory would be the same. No acid for the antacid to work on, so why waste it?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Vermont
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lisa327 View Post
    The Horse: 5-year-old OTTB mare, adopted August 2012. Off the track for two years, re-trained green broke.

    Horse history: Chips removed from both front ankles, rehabbed and raced again, retired due to non-competitiveness. X-rayed both front ankles during vetting, minimal scar tissue. Level 3 lameness at trot after right hock flexion, x-rayed and pronounced a "perfect" hock. Prescribed conditioning.

    Last week: Had a vet who is also chiro out. Flexed lame on LEFT hock, and overall sore on the hind end. Very particular about left ankle. Nerve block - no change. Chiro adjustment. Prescribed one day rest.

    Horse gets two days rest. Very stiff when ridden on third day. Call vet. Vet says we should x-ray everything hind end, but can't come out for a couple weeks (continuing education courses).

    Begin reading Chronicle forums about hind end lameness. Find many ulcer references. Find article by vet saying hind end lameness can be related to ulcers. See the staggering stats on ulcers in racehorses. Horse has never been treated for ulcers to my knowledge. Horse has become increasingly melancholy, low neck, nips at girth when ridden. Would not eat the all-organic local feed I shelled out $$$ for when I got her In August. Switched to Triple Crown Senior after one month of picking through the organic feed. Now eats happily. When she ate the organic feed, there were lots of undigested bits in her manure (begin fearing hind gut issues in retrospect). Horse is the personality to internalize things ...

    Horse lives at my home, has 24/7 pasture (although the "night" pasture recently arrived at overgrazed status, so some hay at night for her and my neighbor's horses). Horse gets 2.5 pounds Triple Crown twice a day, plus SmartHoof and Omega Horseshine. Weight has slowly come on, but can still see ribs. In the last few weeks I have thought that her flank looks sunken, but now I wonder if she is bloated. She has gas several times when I am with her each day.

    My arsenal:

    Ordered 12 tubes of Ulcergard and one month supply Equishure. (Currently in transit.)

    I keep reading about ulcers. Find http://www.lunatunesfreestyles.com/horse_ulcers.htm. Search recommended ingredients as keywords on forums.

    Info overload. But I am a do-er. And (irrationally?) I don't want to wait and get a scope.

    Go to Whole Foods on lunch break. Drop $60 on:
    -pumpkin seeds
    -chia seeds
    -one head of cabbage
    -one gallon of aloe juice
    -teeny tiny bottle of slippery elm bark oil

    Formulating my plan now on how to administer my materials.
    Thinking: 8 days full tube of Ulcergard (still in transit) starting in 2-3 days.
    Before that, thinking: just throw all the Whole Foods ingredients at her? And if she "seems improved" then either continue all ingredients or slowly take one away at a time to see what works?

    Or, the more patient route would be to try one. thing. at. a. time. But all this ulcer research has me worried my horse might be in pain.

    What would you do?
    I would also stop dropping money on all this stuff that has limited, if any, real research behind it, and I would spend my money on what I *KNOW* works - GastroGard/UlcerGard paste. And if you're not going to scope to know how severe they are (if any), I would do the 4 week treatment of UlcerGard. My mare had ulcers, and we did scope to confirm, saw the severity, treated for 28 days, and then rescoped so we knew they were healed.

    Why only treat for 8 days then stop, if you don't know if the ulcers are healed in 8 days (and i could pretty much tell you that in 8 days, if the horse does have ulcers, they aren't going to be healed in 8 days).

    FWIW, my mare didnt' even show signs of improvement in 8 days so I know those suckers weren't healed in 8 days either.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2012
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Thanks, Suckerforhorses!

    Yes, I am starting to think that 28-day treatment is what I should do, and possibly scope as well.

    What is your maintenance/prevention plan?



  7. #7
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    She is on grass pasture all summer, spring to fall. Easy keeper so no grain. When she does need grain, ill use TC Senior.

    When I trailer her...preventative dose of pop rocks
    When shell be alone longer than a day...preventative dose of pop rocks. (she internalizes & the only way I know being alone bothers her is she loses some appetite for her alfalfa cubes.)

    She gets alfalfa cubes, about 1.5 lbs daily, soaked to a mash (she won't eat them dry) with 1 cup of flax.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Oops forgot winter!

    She HATES being stalled, so I only stall when absolutely necessary. This means if she isn't shivering, she stays out. If she is visibly cold, she comes in for 1 night. If its still crappy the next day, I throw on het waterproof sheet & out she goes.

    Hay not quite free choice because I haven't created a way to slow feed it in their field. but its about 2 hours she may go without it. In stall, small hole hay net.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  9. #9
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    Feb. 1, 2012
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    Default

    Still gets alfalfa w flax in the winter.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,750

    Default

    28 days of 1 full tube of Ulcerguard/Gastroguard per day. 7 days of 1/2 tube per day. Then start whatever maintenance product you want- don't go crazy. You could do aloe juice or equishure or neigh-lox or Smartgut. You could also add some alfalfa hay or pellets. However, throwing everything you've ever heard of at the horse isn't advisable.

    Separately, ulcers are unlikely to be the cause of your hind end issues (although from your description of other symptoms I would want to treat the horse).

    SI injuries are extremely common in race horses- and that can cause lameness behind and sore back as they compensate. You could also have some arthritis in the hocks or a chip somewhere. However, if it didn't block to where it flexed- I'd start at the top and look at SI first.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2012
    Posts
    33

    Default Night #1 of "the mash"

    Quote Originally Posted by joiedevie99 View Post
    28 days of 1 full tube of Ulcerguard/Gastroguard per day. 7 days of 1/2 tube per day. Then start whatever maintenance product you want- don't go crazy. You could do aloe juice or equishure or neigh-lox or Smartgut. You could also add some alfalfa hay or pellets. However, throwing everything you've ever heard of at the horse isn't advisable.

    Separately, ulcers are unlikely to be the cause of your hind end issues (although from your description of other symptoms I would want to treat the horse).

    SI injuries are extremely common in race horses- and that can cause lameness behind and sore back as they compensate. You could also have some arthritis in the hocks or a chip somewhere. However, if it didn't block to where it flexed- I'd start at the top and look at SI first.

    Last night, she got:

    -Regular feed (2.5 pounds TC Senior)
    -"the mash": 1 cup of her feed, 1/2 cup aloe juice, sprinkle pumpkin seed, about 10 Tums (mint and berry mix), sprinkle chia seed, 2 drops slippery elm bark oil.

    She at first picked out all the Tums and ate them. Then she ate some of the mash. Puttered in her stall, nibbled some hay, eventually licked the bucket clean.

    12 hours later ... this morning I go down to feed. I put this in her bucket:
    -2.5 pounds TC Senior
    -1/2 cup aloe juice
    -sprinkle pumpkin and chia seeds
    -about 8 Tums
    -2 drops slippery elm bark oil
    -add 1/2 cup oat flour after reading more about it last night

    When she eats, I stand around the barn and drink my coffee. Usually, she is still eating. So I go and muck one wheelbarrow in the pasture, and by then she is done. I estimate it usually takes her 20-30 minutes to eat. She has always eaten at this rate.

    Well, I hadn't finished my coffee and she is done! I don't believe it. Check feeder. Licked clean.

    I'm a statistician, so I know that what I am doing is pretty unscientific, and more because I just want her to feel better so I'm throwing a bag of Whole Foods ingredients at her. But I count this reduced eating time as, well, something.

    Still waiting for Ulcergard to arrive. Trainer will be out tomorrow and we're going to do some heavy observation of her canter, looking for crossfire, etc., as recommended by vet.

    Suckerforhorses: I am going to get alfalfa cubes this weekend. I'm also looking into a hay hut (eek $$$!) so I can just put round bales out. My boarders pay for their own feed and hay, and I just have the one horse, but I think the round bale savings may come back in, oh, 7-10 years ... Ugh.

    Joie: Thank you for this! I had been reading voraciously about tapering the gastro/ulcergard.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2008
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    not where I want to be
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    Default

    I second the SI thought!
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"



  13. #13
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    Just because you gave her whole foods in a meal and she ate faster doesn't mean she feels better. It probably means she liked the flavor.

    Seriously, save your money, use the medication, and then maintain her with management. If you don't figure out how to keep her low stress, nothing you shove down her throat is going to prevent ulcers short of GastroGard.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2012
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    33

    Default The "real" treatment

    Joie & wishnwell: Yes, I plan to explore SI et al with my vet, who is also a chiro. She can't get back out here til next week at the earliest (continuing ed classes).

    Suckerforhorses: If she did like the taste, then I'm happy I've given her something she likes! The bag o' Whole Foods is just an attempt to give her some comfort while I wait for the big guns.

    Yes, I do plan to treat with Gastrogard, and probably transition to pop rocks after my 12 tubes of gastrogard are gone. Unfortunately, I don't have thousands of dollars to throw at all these: gastrogard, chiro, vet, radiographs, and am also going to get pressure mapping done by saddle fitter in early November. Thus, I'm going to use pop rocks and taper with those.

    Right now, I want to treat for both gastric and hind ulcers/acidosis, as well as explore muscle/tendon/bone/alignment issues.

    Has anyone ever given gastrogard and equishure at the same time? Or would it make more sense to do gastrogard first, then the equishure? I emailed KER to ask their opinion, but haven't heard back yet.



  15. #15
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    Oh I hear you... My mare's ulcer ordeal alone was $2500 start to finish. I didn't even pay that for the horse!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    10,262

    Unhappy

    If you twist your ankle it hurts, and you limp.

    If you hurt your back, you rest it and do as little as possible to annoy it.

    You don't run for the Metamucil.

    Start with some ultrasounds.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  17. #17
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    Sep. 7, 2012
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    33

    Default

    Update: Trainer came out yesterday. As asked by the vet, we looked for cross-firing at the canter. We cantered her in the round pen (although the trainer said we might look again one day while she moving on the straight). She picked up her leads both directions, both in front and behind, nearly every time. When she didn't, we thought it might be more to a lack of balance issue, since she corrected pretty quickly.

    Also, the trainer thought she moved very well (not stiff), and that it improved as she warmed up. Trainer recommended that I wait to have the vet/chiro out until for a few more weeks and see how she does.

    She has had two doses of full tube of Ulcergard. I'm going to go ahead and give her my full 12 tubes and taper with pop rocks, since I already made the investment.

    She absolutely loves aloe juice. Got her first pound of soaked alfalfa cubes before working yesterday. I still sprinkle some pumpkin seed and chia seed in her feed and give her 1/2 cup oat flour per day. I'm going to start Equishure in a week or two and do a 30-day treatment. I already bought all the stuff during my bought of hypochondria (or whatever it's called when you fear everything is wrong with your horse). I figure I may as well give it to her because as far as I can read, it can't do her any harm.



  18. #18
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    Sep. 7, 2012
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    Default

    Update: She got her fifth full tube of Ulcergard this morning. I haven't really noticed any major changes in her, except for perhaps a small reduction in her incredibly loud and frequent tummy noises. Everyone always told me the tummy noises were a good thing, but I honestly have never heard any quite so loud so frequently.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 7, 2012
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    Update: After 12 days of Ulcergard, she has switched to Neigh-Lox (which I had on-hand for transitioning off of pop rocks). I had planned to transition to pop rocks after the 12 days of Ulcergard, but got an email a week after Hurricane Sandy from Abler saying that Hurricane Sandy had delayed their shipments. I had purchased enough Ulcergard to give me a 2-day cushion in estimated arrival time of the pop rocks (got express shipping). Well, I planned to then give her half a tube one day and a quarter tube the next two days when I got to my last tube. I adjusted the Ulcergard tube to a half tube dose, but apparently I didn't lock it, so she got the whole dose instead. She's on her second day without it now. Thanks to her increasingly furry coat, I can see where she has rubbed her tummy with her nose the last couple days. She seems grouchier, but I am also hypersensitive to her demeanor right now because she is off her treatment. She definitely ate way more slowly this morning.

    Nipping at the girth stopped since Ulcergard treatment. Willingness in the canter on the lunge has improved.

    Chiro/vet comes again next week.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Jun. 23, 2006
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    Default

    Sounds like she's starting to feel better! Keep us posted!
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


    1 members found this post helpful.

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