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  1. #1
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    Default Ulcer Woes...again...

    A little history: last January (2012) my 20 year old Arabian mare was diagnosed with a scope...grade 4/4 ulcers throughout the glanular and squamous portions of the stomach along the margo plicatus and the pyloric antrum. She was showing symptoms originally (meaning, for at least a year before this...hindsight and all that...) by being extremely irritable and being slightly picky about her feed and water consumption and it was always worse in the winter. In the summer, she would hold weight, drink normally and graze like a normal horse. In January, she went completely off feed and water. Long story short, we scoped her, and revealed the ulcers. www.photobucket.com/ulcers

    We treated her with 1 tube daily of UlcerGard for 28 days, and rescoped to find the ulcers healed. Great. $2500 later between the local vet who said it wasn't ulcers, the two scopes at the clinic, and the medication, she is feeling great.

    Insert here:
    her lifestyle management has always been 24/7 turnout (she hates being stalled)

    forage available at all times (at most they go an hour without hay between feedings - in the summer they have an abundance of grass available to them at all times. In the winter, I use small hole hay nets).

    She does not receive grain/concentrates and has not in the 6 years that I've owned her. Never from the previous owner either because I'm friends with her and know for sure. At least, she's gotten nothing at all (pasture and/or forage only) and at most, she's gotten soaked alfalfa cubes, flax, aloe juice, and a ration balancer (her current diet in addition to hay).
    She does not seem nervous, but is very alert all the time. Not in a nervous way, she just spots everything, like a great watchdog.

    She does not get bullied in her turnout - her and my gelding are lovers. He is the boss, but not in a mean way.

    * In the past I have trailered her FREQUENTLY (i.e. average of every weekend) without an ulcer preventative. I know now that this is not a good practice...at the time, I had never heard of horses having ulcers. This has changed...in the few times I have trailered her since knowing she had ulcers, I have always administered UlcerGard as directed for prevention.

    Okay, so ulcers are healed, management seems to be in line with keeping horses ulcer free...

    Over the summer, everything seemed A-OK. Drinking water, eating her alfalfa with gusto.

    It's now November, and she is already showing signs that something is NQR, just like before (only now I am more in tune with her symptoms because I know what to look for...).

    She is still eating her alfalfa cube/flax/ration balancer mix, but with not as much gusto.

    Her water consumption has decreased (I know because the tub isn't needing to be filled as often, and my gelding is a GREAT drinker - in addition, she used to always drink water after eating her meal, would walk over, drink, then return to grazing or wahtever, but now she eats, then just wanders off and stands there).

    I obtained some Ranitidine from the vet (last course of ulcers she did seem to respond to the Ranitidine so I figured, if it can get her back on feed and water, it will get us by). She is currently getting 3000 mg twice daily.

    On about the 4th day, she started drinking more water in her usual fashion.

    She's now been on ranitidine since 11/20, so only 8 days.

    This morning when I got to the barn to do chores, one hay net was empty, the other was still almost full. This indicates to me that one of them is not eating a regular amoutn of hay and history tells me its her.

    Her teeth are fine. The water in the tub is warm, the hay is the same hay that she's been eating since early fall (when she was eating with gusto).

    I love this horse. She is by far the best horse I've ever owned. But my ability to continue to pay for expensive ulcer treatments is not going to last here.

    I guess this is more of a vent than anything. Its very frustrating. I know that ulcers are likely to return once a horse has them. I have done everything I can to keep this horse in a way that is condusive to preventing ulcers. I can't afford $900 for ulcergard every year.

    My plan for now is to keep her on Ranitidine for a month and see what happens. IF she seems to level out and eat and drink appropraitely, I will keep doing the same dosage over the winter.

    I am also contemplating ordering a round of pop rocks and administering the treatment dose and see what happens. At best, she will improve and it will only cost me $175. At worse, I will have wasted $175...but that thought that they could do the job makes me want to just shell out the $175.00 and see. I will tsay that this summer whenever I took my gelding and she was alone, I always gave her 2 packets of pop rocks as a preventative. I'm not sure if this "proves" they don't work, or maybe just not in my mare's case.

    I am struggling with the "pay out hundreds of dollars that I can't afford to spend" and "she is 20 years old...how much longer can I do this and justify the expense?" (meaning, at what point could I justify euthanizing her - because let me be clear, this horse WILL NOT be sold).

    Please no flaming here. I'm not interested in hearing the "well, if you have horses you need to plan for emergency expenses!" I am well aware of what having horses entails.

    ETA Again: She has been tested for Lyme twice, I think a few years apart, and both tests were negative.
    Last edited by SuckerForHorses; Nov. 28, 2012 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Add more facts
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    A little history: last January (2012) my 20 year old Arabian mare was diagnosed with a scope...grade 4/4 ulcers throughout the glanular and squamous portions of the stomach along the margo plicatus and the pyloric antrum. She was showing symptoms originally (meaning, for at least a year before this...hindsight and all that...) by being extremely irritable and being slightly picky about her feed and water consumption and it was always worse in the winter. In the summer, she would hold weight, drink normally and graze like a normal horse. In January, she went completely off feed and water. Long story short, we scoped her, and revealed the ulcers. www.photobucket.com/ulcers

    We treated her with 1 tube daily of UlcerGard for 28 days, and rescoped to find the ulcers healed. Great. $2500 later between








    the local vet who said it wasn't ulcers, the two scopes at the clinic, and the medication, she is feeling great.

    Insert here:
    her lifestyle management has always been 24/7 turnout (she hates being stalled)

    forage available at all times (at most they go an hour without hay between feedings - in the summer they have an abundance of grass available to them at all times. In the winter, I use small hole hay nets).

    She does not receive grain/concentrates and has not in the 6 years that I've owned her. Never from the previous owner either because I'm friends with her and know for sure. At least, she's
    gotten nothing at all (pasture and/or forage only) and at most, she's gotten soaked alfalfa cubes, flax, aloe juice, and a ration balancer (her current diet in addition to hay).
    She does not seem nervous, but is very alert all the time. Not in a nervous way, she just spots everything, like a great watchdog.

    She does not get bullied in her turnout - her and my gelding are lovers. He is the boss, but not in a mean way.

    * In the past I have trailered her FREQUENTLY (i.e. average of every weekend) without an ulcer preventative. I know now that this is not a good practice...at the time, I had never heard of horses having ulcers. This has changed...in the few times I have trailered her since knowing she had ulcers, I have always



    administered UlcerGard as directed for prevention.

    Okay, so ulcers are healed, management seems to be in line with keeping horses ulcer free...

    Over the summer, everything seemed A-OK. Drinking water, eating her alfalfa with gusto.

    It's now November, and she is already showing signs that something is NQR, just like before (only now I am more in tune with her symptoms because I know what to look for...).

    She is still eating her alfalfa cube/flax/ration balancer mix, but with not as much gusto.

    Her water consumption has decreased (I know because the tub isn't needing to be filled as often, and my gelding is a GREAT drinker - in addition, she used to always drink water after eating her meal, would walk over, drink, then return to grazing or wahtever, but now she eats, then just wanders off and stands there).

    I obtained some Ranitidine from the vet (last course of ulcers she did seem to respond to the Ranitidine so I figured, if it can get her back on feed and water, it will get us by). She is currently getting 3000 mg twice daily.

    On about the 4th day, she started drinking more water in her








    usual fashion.

    She's now been on ranitidine since 11/20, so only 8 days.

    This morning when I got to the barn to do chores, one hay net was empty, the other was still almost full. This indicates to me that one of them is not eating a regular amoutn of hay and history tells me its her.

    Her teeth are fine. The water in the tub is warm, the hay is the same hay that she's been eating since early fall (when she was eating with gusto).

    I love this horse. She is by far the best horse I've ever owned. But my ability to continue to pay for expensive ulcer treatme is not going to last here.

    I guess this is more of a vent than anything. Its very frustrating. I know that ulcers are likely to return once a horse has them. I have done everything I can to keep this horse in a way that is condusive to preventing ulcers. I can't afford $900 for ulcergard every year.

    My plan for now is to keep her on Ranitidine for a month and see what happens. IF she seems to level out and eat and drink appropraitely, I will keep doing the same dosage over the winter.

    I am also contemplating ordering a round of pop rocks andadministering the treatment dose and see what happens. At best, she will improve and it will only cost me $175. At worse, I will have wasted $175...but that thought that they could do the job makes me want to just shell out the $175.00 and see. I will tsay that this summer whenever I took my gelding and she was alone, I always gave her 2 packets of pop rocks as a preventative. I'm not sure if this "proves" they don't work, or maybe just not in my mare's case.

    I am struggling with the "pay out hundreds of dollars that I can't afford to spend" and "she is 20 years old...how much longer can I do this and justify the expense?" (meaning, at what point could I justify euthanizing her - because let me be clear, this horse WILL NOT be sold).
    Please no flaming here. I'm not interested in hearing the "well, if you have horses you need to plan for emergency expenses!" I am well aware of what having horses entails.
    I highly recommend Succeed Oral Paste Syringes, Nutra cell Labs Ulcer Aide Liquid, Omega Alpha Gastra Fx, Smart Gut Pellets, Finish lines U7 Gastric Aide-all excellent long term ulcer maintenance supplements-I've had great Success with all of them....also Foxden Equine's Tractguard is great for overall digestion and encourages water intake bc it contains electrolyte salts



  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Concetta View Post
    I highly recommend Succeed Oral Paste Syringes, Nutra cell Labs Ulcer Aide Liquid, Omega Alpha Gastra Fx, Smart Gut Pellets, Finish lines U7 Gastric Aide-all excellent long term ulcer maintenance supplements-I've had great Success with all of them....also Foxden Equine's Tractguard is great for overall digestion and encourages water intake bc it contains electrolyte salts
    All of these together? Or as individual supplements?

    I am not big on supplements, especially for ulcers. They lack actual research regarding their effectiveness and if I'm going to spend the money, it would make more sense to put it into UlcerGard.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    I am hesitant to administer electrolytes since they can further irritate existing ulcers. I am adding 1 tbsp of table salt (not iodized) to her alfalfa mash meal.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
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    RE Supplements: I will say that I am leaning towards a calming/take the edge off supplement to try...she is an extremely alert horse, and I think this has a lot to do with her internalizing the worry/stress and results in ulcers, regardless of her management style (unlimited forage, no grain, etc).
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  6. #6
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    I highly recommend Succeed Oral Paste Syringes, Nutra cell Labs Ulcer Aide Liquid, Omega Alpha Gastra Fx, Smart Gut Pellets, Finish lines U7 Gastric Aide-all excellent long term ulcer maintenance supplements-I've had great Success with all of them....also Foxden Equine's Tractguard is great for overall digestion and encourages water intake bc it contains electrolyte salts
    Pretty sure that by the time the OP purchased all of this stuff she could be buying daily doses of GG/UG and be spending LESS.
    Click here before you buy.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Pretty sure that by the time the OP purchased all of this stuff she could be buying daily doses of GG/UG and be spending LESS.
    Yeah, no worries, I'm not planning on it!
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
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    The only management difference between summer and winter I could see was that in the summer she gets grass and in the winter she gets hay via slow-feed net. Maybe she's annoyed at the small hole net--have you tried just giving the hay free choice or does she get chubby? I am boarding a somewhat fussy TB gelding for the winter and every now and then he will pout about the small-hole nets I use. He drops weight easily so I throw him a couple of flakes of loose hay AM and PM. Fortunately he's grouchy enough not to share with the pony, who doesn't need to have her meals become any easier to guzzle down!
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    The only management difference between summer and winter I could see was that in the summer she gets grass and in the winter she gets hay via slow-feed net. Maybe she's annoyed at the small hole net--have you tried just giving the hay free choice or does she get chubby? I am boarding a somewhat fussy TB gelding for the winter and every now and then he will pout about the small-hole nets I use. He drops weight easily so I throw him a couple of flakes of loose hay AM and PM. Fortunately he's grouchy enough not to share with the pony, who doesn't need to have her meals become any easier to guzzle down!
    I thought this too, but she seems to eat readily out of the nets, and they aren't new to her. I used them last winter when they did have to be stalled, and she ate out of it just fine (after her ulcers were treated...prior to that, she just didn't eat hardly any hay, even loose hay. She would make a mess of it and leave it on the floor).

    Going into this winter, like in October, she was eating out of the nets with gusto as well. So I don't think its the nets.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  10. #10
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    No chubbiness concern...she is well padded, but doesn't gain when given unlimited...she's pretty good about maintaining a decent weight even with unlimited or grass turnout all summer long.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  11. #11
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    People are always looking to buy pop rocks, so if they don't work for you I doubt you'd be stuck with them.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
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    This is out of left field, but do you supplement Vit E at all? It is present in quantity in fresh growing grass, but very quickly degrades in hay. The fact that she's good in the summer but poor after she's been off grass for some time makes me wonder if perhaps a minor Vit E deficiency leads to ulcers in your horse for some reason.

    It is cheap to supplement--buy the 1000 IU all natural E capsules from Puritan's Pride. I believe 1000 IU/day is considered sufficient for a normal horse. Perhaps you would want more?

    You could also do a blood test to evaluate her Vit E levels.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    This is out of left field, but do you supplement Vit E at all? It is present in quantity in fresh growing grass, but very quickly degrades in hay. The fact that she's good in the summer but poor after she's been off grass for some time makes me wonder if perhaps a minor Vit E deficiency leads to ulcers in your horse for some reason.

    It is cheap to supplement--buy the 1000 IU all natural E capsules from Puritan's Pride. I believe 1000 IU/day is considered sufficient for a normal horse. Perhaps you would want more?

    You could also do a blood test to evaluate her Vit E levels.
    Simkie, I thought of this as well. However, she is already getting 1000 IUs daily already from the TC 30% supplement.

    Perhaps I should try adding another 1000?
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  14. #14
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    I am wondering if the grass texture vs. hay texture and her refusal of hay after a short amount of time (i.e. after two months on hay, she starts going off it) may have something to do with hind gut ulcers...

    Isn't grass easier on hind gut ulcers where hay would further irritate?

    ETA: However, in January 2012 when we treated with UlcerGard, she did go back on feed 100%. If it were hind gut ulcers, the omeprazole would not have treated those, and I would think she wouldn't have gone completely back on feed with untreated hind gut ulcers....? Meaning, I would think she would've still been somewaht deterred by hay last winter, when that wasn't the case.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  15. #15
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    Interesting: "There appears to be an association between selenium-vitamin E deficiency and increased incidence of gastric ulcers in swine."

    http://www.vigortone.com/tech_librar...ics/TT1032.pdf

    I realize swine are not horses, but both are mammals. I wonder if both could be affected the same way...
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  16. #16
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    "Vitamin E is also used for ... peptic ulcers..."

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/d...tural/954.html

    Maybe it wouldn't hurt to add more Vitamin E in there...
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    People are always looking to buy pop rocks, so if they don't work for you I doubt you'd be stuck with them.
    Its not that...I just don't want to spend $175 on them, and FEED THEM, and have nothing to show for it! LOL! But, that is a chance I take...

    I would do the full 28 day, 3 pack a day, treatment if I ordered them.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  18. #18
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    This is an interesting read as well:
    http://www.montyroberts.com/wp-conte...hite-Paper.pdf

    This horse is going to give me ulcers...
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  19. #19
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    I had great success with pop rocks and my horse is similar to yours - his ulcers hit in the fall when the grass dries up. I use small hole nets too, and I swear he thinks they are fun! But I also feed 1 flake alfalfa in the stall, and 2 grass. I use a 2" hole net for the alfalfa, a 1.5" net for the grass hay. They get round bales (grass) outside, so he's got plenty to eat. He isn't high strung at all and leads a calm life, with at least 12 hours daily turnout and minimal trailering/showing - and that's in the summer, so I know it's not stress, it's the change in season that gets him.

    After lots of research (a lot on COTH!) I did the blue pop rocks - like you, worst case, I've wasted $175, best, I've saved $600+! They worked. He gets the alfalfa, but not exclusive because he is an easy keeper. I also give him 2 tsps slippery elm bark powder, 5 papaya enzyme tablets, and 1/2 cup aloe juice, am/pm on his ration balancer feed (easy keeper). The slippery elm bark powder is a key ingredient in a lot of ulcer supplements, and at ~$20/1lb bag that lasts a few weeks, pretty cheap. I talked to my chiro, who was a DVM for 25 years, and he said at a recent conference the racetrack vets said the trainers were using papaya for ulcers with great success. You can do papaya puree type stuff, juice, or what I did for ease - the chewable tablets from Puritan's pride. I don't know how much the aloe really does - read mixed reviews on it, but he likes it and it can't hurt. This season was our first fall without ulcers, so knock on wood, it's working! I, like you, can't justify the potential monthly expense of GG. I love my horse, but I don't want a divorce/bankruptcy, etc. But there are some additional steps to try before your mare should waste away - high on the list being the alfalfa and papaya. Good luck!



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyandBaron View Post
    I had great success with pop rocks and my horse is similar to yours - his ulcers hit in the fall when the grass dries up. I use small hole nets too, and I swear he thinks they are fun! But I also feed 1 flake alfalfa in the stall, and 2 grass. I use a 2" hole net for the alfalfa, a 1.5" net for the grass hay. They get round bales (grass) outside, so he's got plenty to eat. He isn't high strung at all and leads a calm life, with at least 12 hours daily turnout and minimal trailering/showing - and that's in the summer, so I know it's not stress, it's the change in season that gets him.

    After lots of research (a lot on COTH!) I did the blue pop rocks - like you, worst case, I've wasted $175, best, I've saved $600+! They worked. He gets the alfalfa, but not exclusive because he is an easy keeper. I also give him 2 tsps slippery elm bark powder, 5 papaya enzyme tablets, and 1/2 cup aloe juice, am/pm on his ration balancer feed (easy keeper). The slippery elm bark powder is a key ingredient in a lot of ulcer supplements, and at ~$20/1lb bag that lasts a few weeks, pretty cheap. I talked to my chiro, who was a DVM for 25 years, and he said at a recent conference the racetrack vets said the trainers were using papaya for ulcers with great success. You can do papaya puree type stuff, juice, or what I did for ease - the chewable tablets from Puritan's pride. I don't know how much the aloe really does - read mixed reviews on it, but he likes it and it can't hurt. This season was our first fall without ulcers, so knock on wood, it's working! I, like you, can't justify the potential monthly expense of GG. I love my horse, but I don't want a divorce/bankruptcy, etc. But there are some additional steps to try before your mare should waste away - high on the list being the alfalfa and papaya. Good luck!
    The feeding regimen for her has been this for summer:

    Pasture turnout, grass available 24/7
    Once a day: 1.5 lbs soaked alfalfa cubes, 1 cup flax

    Winter feed, Morning
    Small hole hay net stuffed full of grass hay (we don't have alfalfa around here) At most, they may go 1 hour between feedings. The nets are great.
    1.5 lbs soaked alfalfa cubes, 1.5 lbs hay stretcher pellets (she is not keen on the straight alfalfa and likes it better with "grain" mixed in, so I use hay stetcher), 1/2 lb ration balancer
    1 cup aloe juice
    3000 mgs Ranitidine (started 8 days ago)

    Winter feed, evening
    Same hay nets stuffed full
    1.5 lbs soaked alfalfa cubes, 1.5 lbs hay stretcher pellets, 1 cup flax, 1/2 lb ration balancer
    1 cup aloe juice
    3000 mgs Ranitidine (started 8 days ago)

    I am really wanting to get to teh bottom of WHY she seems to get ulcery with the change of the season...like Simkie mentioned, does Vitamin E have something to do with it? Perhaps the hind gut ulcers are an issue (I know a lot of horses with gastric ulcers often have hind gut ulcers as well...)
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



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