Why are you feed cubes instead of good quality hay?
Horses are different than himans, in that human gastric juices turn on (are triggered) by saliva and eating. Horses don't have gall bladders and DO NOT have an on/off switch for gastric juices. They're designed to be eating little amounts, 24 hours a day, which protects the stomach and intestines from excess acid. If you aren't providing at least 4 meals a day, or ideally, access to good hay 24/7, you're setting up for ulcers.
Also, poor quality hay/alfalfa, that's stemmy, is another exacerbator of ulcers. The celulous breaks down and creates gas.
You can use supplements, like Ukele's GUT, or Platinum's Gastric Support, but, if you aren't feeding as said before, you're fighting a losing battle, IMO. You can also check the prone horse for food allergies, as most supplements have unnecessary filler added, which can cause sensitivity. For instance, Farrier's Formula has tons of extra cr@p, where as Platinum's hoof formula is pure biotin.
I know horses produce acid 24/7. Still learning about ulcers, but not as ignorant to not know this.
My horse has hay available to her at all times. But as you may be aware, not all horses do well on hay alone, and thats when you supplement with hard feed. I am considering switching from the feed I am giving her now to the one in the link, and just wanted other people's opinions on it.
Thank you Callmeacab, you've managed to not say anything useful.
No negative opinions about the feed, I guess your going low starch to avoid over production of acid?
My ulcer prone horse had food allergies, and after treating him a few times for ulcers, I ran the food allergy idea by my vets, who didn't think I was out in left field by any means. ( I had already tested him for allergies because of hives, and all his food sensitivites were tested also) So I eliminated everything he was allergic to food wise and it seemed to help. Unfortunately, I had to put the horse down for non-ulcer reasons before I could completely wean him off the meds. So I can't say for sure that the food allergy issue was the culperate for his persistant re-occuring ulcers, but he put on weight and his manure was better on the non-allergic diet.
My new horse I am treating for ulcers (recently retired racehorse) and I am feeding him free choice hay, beet pulp, hay stretcher and alfalfa pellets. He's not in much work now as he's coming 4, but when his work load increases, I plan to address the increased caloric requirments through increasing the amount of alfalfa pellets he gets, and maybe some oil.
Yes, I am basically at my whits end with this horse as nothing I seem to be doing helps her - in 6 months time she went from scoping clear (after being treated for grade 4 ulcers) to having grade 4 ulcers again.
I was also basing her feed regimen on beetpulp but apparently she can't handle it anymore (very smelly and wet poo) so I am looking into alternatives. I actually hadn't considered food allergies yet and that's next on my list if low starch feeds don't do it for her.
My only concern about the solution mash is the garlic and fenugreek... I have no idea if that would negatively affect her ulcers. It is also a bit lower energy and protein then her current feed but I can just add the Sumo for energy and alfalfa cubes for protein (found some really nice ones that are 17% protein).
Have you considered that hind gut ulcers might be contributing to the problem? My horse had significant gastric ulcers, but still wasn't "quite right" after omeprazole treatment and the serious ulcers returned fairly quickly. I attended a talk about hind gut ulcers and the research showed that nearly all horses that have gastric ulcers have hind gut ulcers (but not the other way around). So I looked around for treatments for hind gut ulcers and found a suggestion of oat flour (I can buy it at the health food store, or you can just put oats in a blender until they turn into a powder). I feed 1/4 cup once a day and it made the world off difference - no more messy butt (even when she was "fine" and didn't seem to be suffering from gastric ulcers, she would still have messy back legs even though the poop looked well formed), no more girthiness, no more weaving at feed time or fence pacing in her turnout paddock, just my happy and laid back horsey! I also spent some time considering her triggers and even though my horse is an experienced traveller, that is what stresses her and triggers her ulcers. So, she will get omeprazole every time she travels this year and she is on oat flour and Smartgut along with her regular feed (30lbs good hay, 1lbs alfalfa pellets, 1.5lbs Purina Ultium per day, multivitamin, per day).
The garlic shouldn't bother her, and the fenugreek is supposedly to make things tasty....I may have read somewhere that it might be good for stomachs. Spearmint (which is also in there) is good, as well.
Seems like a decent quality feed. Hard to know for sure since it is a European/British feed, but it says all the right things and has the high fat/high fiber that I look for in good quality feeds.
Hi, so I'm not sure how helpful this will be for you but I have a gelding who has hind gut ulcers and here is the diet he was put on by a nutritionist/holistic type person. After about 8 months of trying so many different things including omeprazole he thrived on this:
- Purina Senior
- Beet pulp (non molassed)
- Whole flax (soaked with beet pulp)
- Timothy/alfa alfa hay cubes
- Rice Bran (stabilized like Manna Pro or Equ-Jewel)
- Vitamins from ABC Solutions (he was severely underweight)
- plus all the hay he will eat
Also, I know what you mean when you try everything to prevent ulcers and they come back...my mare apparently internalizes everything, and short of keeping her on rantidine or omeprazole daily, long term, I have realized that she is just going to keep getting ulcers. She holds in the anxiety, and no matter how much I turn her out, feed her alfalfa, keep hay in front of her all the time, don't feed grain, make sure she always has a buddy, use rantidine for trailering...she ultimately will be symptomatic eventually...
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
Infiniti you seem to have it figured out, however I would replace the senior feed with a ration balancer, and make sure u make this grain ration in a mash. Also the most important thind to add is psyllium 2 oz per feeding.
ERC - may I ask why you suggest replacing a senior feed with a ration balancer in this case? Also why a mash? Finally, I have not heard of psyllium being beneficial for ulcer-prone horses - do you have more information on this? Typically, it is used to prevent sand colic...
Here's my two cents for what it's worth...I also have been forced to learn about ulcers with my OTTB. Here's what has WORKED for my guy with confirmed stomach ulcers 1yr ago:
*1.5lbs Ultium & 1.5lbs Senior 2x/day (would do 3x/day if it was feasible)
*SmartPak Omega supplement
*3000mg magnesium supplement, generic from SmartPak
*1packet/day of Abler's Abprazole (aka poprocks)
*Stall board with as much turnout as possible - if he could live outside he would.
*QUALITY orchard/timothy hay fed as much as possible. Tried alfalfa, but he can't handle it.
*About 1 flake of hay before and after I ride
I have read all about the home remedies, herbal supplements, etc. I'm not convinced any of it really works - and there's not a whole lot of science to support their efficacy. The last place I boarded tried to switch my guy to a no-grain diet (which works for her warmblood eventers), but my guy dropped a considerable amount of weight. Most TB's need the grain for calories, from what I know complete feeds are best for ulcery tummies. I'm not an advocate of replacing grain.
My vet now tells me that I should protect the hindgut, too - as prophylaxis. She suggested Sacchromyces to protect the hindgut. So, in order to afford this, I am considering going off the pop rocks and switching to KER's RightTrac. Nervous to go off the poprocks bc they have worked.
To the OP: you'll get a TON of opinions throughout your research. Take it all with a grain of salt. It may take a year, but you'll find what works for your horse. Good luck!