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  1. #1
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    Default Gastrogard for all horses?

    I have 2 horses that show, one is a senior been there done that, the other is younger but has had about 8 years in the show ring. My trainer started all the horses at the stable on gastro gard since they are showing. Even though we dont suspect ulcers, does anyone have a logical reason as to why they would need to be on it? I dont want to offend my trainer by questioning her as there must be a reason!



  2. #2
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    A huge percentage of horses have ulcers, especially those actively competing. So a course of GG (28 days) would not be a bad thing if they are showing signs [or if you scope them and find some]. However, long-term use has been linked to colonic ulcers. There is also evidence in human medicine that it decreases the body's ability to absorb calcium. So it would not be something I kept my horses on long-term. Plus, its not cheap!

    Edited to add: if its JUST for the times you are showing (say starting a couple days before leaving and continuing until you get back), then yes, I think that's a good idea if you can afford it.


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  3. #3
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    Showing = stress and stress = ulcers. There are a ton of studies out there that demonstrate something as simple as a trailer ride can cause ulcers in horses, even if they don't show symptoms.

    I wouldn't want my show horse on omeprazole year round, but starting it a couple days before the horse is trailered, continuing through the show and ending a day or two after the horse returns to the barn is not unreasonable.

    You probably would not need a full, treatment dose, though. The Ulcergard preventative dose would likely be sufficient, unless the horse is known to have ulcer problems.


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  4. #4
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    Personally I would not want a horse on omeprazole longterm, shortterm as in 28 days or double that to treat absolutely, longterm, I'm leery.

    In humans there is some indication longterm use leads to Mg deficiency.
    And I would not want my horse to have reduced gastric acidity prolonged either, imm it will have an effect on the digestion of feedstuffs once past the stomach.
    Protein breakdown already starts in the stomach and than futher in the small intestine. Longterm PPI use is likely to have an affect on such.
    Just google longterm risk PPI use and have a read.
    Just the first one that'll show up :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton-pump_inhibitor

    If this is going to be a longterm thing you may want to suggest trainer looks into products containing lecithin, such as Egusin or Starting Gate. Some indication after 5 weeks this is helpful too :

    http://www.thehorse.com/articles/312...cers-aaep-2012

    http://gettyequinenutrition.biz/Libr...atedUlcers.htm


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  5. #5
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    I wouldn't do a full 28 day treatment on a horse that isn't showing any problems... that'll run you around $1000! However I do give my OTTB the preventative UG dosage when we are going to shows, and I think it's probably a good idea for any horse. For a 4 day show I'll end up using 2 tubes, and if I get them on sale, that's only $70, which is totally worth it IMO.
    "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
    but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

    Trolls be trollin'! -DH


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  6. #6
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Overmedication has risks, just as undermedication does.

    Use medications to treat illness that has been demonstrated.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RottiMom View Post
    Even though we dont suspect ulcers, does anyone have a logical reason as to why they would need to be on it?
    Yes, to PREVENT them from getting them. I learned the hard way in thinking that my "been there, done that, calm as a cucumber" horse wouldn't get them while I was competing her... www.photobucket.com/ulcers Everything in her management style at the time was good for preventing ulcers: turnout, forage, no grain diet, etc. I am certain that the stress of trailering/competing is what did it.

    Showing = stress and stress = ulcers. There are a ton of studies out there that demonstrate something as simple as a trailer ride can cause ulcers in horses, even if they don't show symptoms.

    I wouldn't want my show horse on omeprazole year round, but starting it a couple days before the horse is trailered, continuing through the show and ending a day or two after the horse returns to the barn is not unreasonable.

    You probably would not need a full, treatment dose, though. The Ulcergard preventative dose would likely be sufficient, unless the horse is known to have ulcer problems.
    What Simkie said, 110%. Now, neither horse steps foot on a trailer without having either Abler's omeprazole granules started the day before, day of, and day after traveling, and if I don't have those on hand, they get Ranitidine.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post

    Use medications to treat illness that has been demonstrated.

    G.
    Or to prevent illnesses before they get to the point of being demonstrated, as a preventative dose of omeprazole or ranitidine would do.

    OP - I wouldn't use it long term meaning daily for the course of the show season. I would use the preventative dose during specific times of stress, like trailering/showing. A day or two after they get home from the show, stop the omeprazole, until the next time you'll be showing.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eventer13 View Post
    Plus, its not cheap!
    Understatement of the year! Isn't it still like $32/day??
    I would only do a full 28-day treatment if I had strong suspicion of ulcers due to the cost-prohibitive nature of the treatment alone. To even consider constantly giving it throughout show season??? No way.


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  10. #10
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    First, what dose? Gastroguard and Ulcerguard are the same thing. 1/4 syringe per day for a horse up to 1200 lbs. is the preventative dose. 1 full syringe per day for a horse up to 1200 lbs. is the curative dose.

    No, I wouldn't do a 28-day+ treatment dose unless I had reason to suspect ulcers.

    No, I wouldn't keep a horse with no previous history of ulcers on the preventative dose for show season just to prevent ulcers. Long term omeprazola use can have side effects.

    Yes, I would consider giving a preventative dose for shipping/showing. Research shows that it takes 1-4 days for omeprazole to reach full effectiveness. Therefore, giving it just the day before isn't good enough.


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  11. #11
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    A blanket policy of doing the same thing for all individuals "just because" is RARELY smart, unless one is talking about seat belts or not smoking. I'd consider that sort of policy sloppy and expensive.

    I do give it a day or two before shipping to one of mine and feel that it's worth doing for him. I don't bother with my mare, who is not a worrier. I don't feel it's necessary to treat for several days, even though that's the time frame when "optimum" acid suppression takes places. I'm just wanting to tip the balance in my favor slightly with my non-ulcer animals who are simply being exposed to predictable but extra stress.
    Click here before you buy.


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  12. #12
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    Sep. 11, 2011
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    I would not like my horse on it unless there is a reason. Besides its $$$. I prefer pre/probiotics for my horse vs an Rx for long term care.

    I do think a concern about ulcers is valid, its good to consult a vet and keep on top of it. Much for me would depend on the daily routine and if the horse is in a daily schooling schedule. I build in a lot of variety for my horse.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eventer13 View Post
    AHowever, long-term use has been linked to colonic ulcers.
    What????


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  14. #14
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    I can see that as a possibility.
    Less stomach acid, higher stomach PH, foodstuffs are less broken down when they enter the small intestine, as a result the protein & starches will be not be as efficiently digested in the small intestine and travel thru to the hindgut (where they are not supposed to be), as a result those protein & starches sit to ferment in the hindgut dropping the PH of the hindgut, creating more lactic acid bacteria, -some with more knowledge will surely chime in-, but this could well be a recipe to cause or worsen hindgut ulcers.
    Again the aciditiy of the stomach is what it is, so foods would be broken down as they are supposed to be, you start messing with this over long periods of time, it effects things further down the line.
    So you want your horse on Omeprazole longterm, you may well want to add some Equishure to balance that gut PH .

    In the end management is key .

    http://www.aerc.org/ENNov05Ed.asp
    Last edited by Lieslot; Feb. 28, 2013 at 04:54 PM. Reason: added link



  15. #15
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    Okay, found some more explanation on what I was trying to describe above about reducing stomach acid (via omeprazole & other) and the alterartion of PH in the hindgut and its effects or possible ill effects .

    http://www.quia.com/files/quia/users...trition/Ulcers



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieslot View Post
    So you want your horse on Omeprazole longterm, you may well want to add some Equishure to balance that gut PH
    Since Equishure, IIRC, is a bicarbonate-type buffer that is supposed to RAISE the pH, I would think that this would be redundant/counterintuitive if the concern is that omeprazole was raising the pH of the gut lumen TOO much.

    I was under the impression that Equishure was more for problems of hindgut acidity, not hindgut alkalinity from too much stomach acid blocking.
    Click here before you buy.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
    Or to prevent illnesses before they get to the point of being demonstrated, as a preventative dose of omeprazole or ranitidine would do.

    OP - I wouldn't use it long term meaning daily for the course of the show season. I would use the preventative dose during specific times of stress, like trailering/showing. A day or two after they get home from the show, stop the omeprazole, until the next time you'll be showing.
    OK, prophylaxis.

    What's the protocol? Got any evidence that it works?

    Note the comments toward the end of the thread by Lieslot and Deltawave.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


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  18. #18
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    Yes Equishure will raise the PH, which could be indicated when treating with Omeprazole and thereby raising the PH of the stomach, hence less digestion in the small intestine of proteins & starches, (especially proteins start their breakdown in the stomach with the enzyme pepsin) latter two end up in the hindgut to ferment instead of having been digested in the SI, the fermentation of protein & starches causes a rapid release of VFA's (volatile fatty acids), which as a results causes a drop of PH in the large intestine, you also get more lactic acid bacteria thriving, which lowers the PH even more, you also get a die off from the good microbials, again lowering the PH. You want the hindgut PH to be around 6 to 7, so you'd like to raise the PH by adding protected sodium bicarbonate.
    Again any nutritionists, chime in & correct me if I'm wrong. The last article I linked also explains it in a similar way I thought.


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