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Treatments to try for Ulcers other than GG/UG?

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  • Treatments to try for Ulcers other than GG/UG?

    Hi Everyone -
    From the beginning, let me say that I know ulcers are expensive to treat - and that UG/GG really is the gold standard. But does anyone have suggestions for the 'silver standard' to try first?

    Horse is currently fed 2 cups (dry when measured, then soaked) beet pulp, 1/2 cup oats, Omega Horseshine, a mineral supplement, joint supplement and salt. He is turned out 24/7 on ample pasture.

    Emergency vet funds are depleted, as after a week of acquiring horse, horse needed (very unexpectedly) joint injections - which then resulted in a weeklong joint flare episode.

    Horse is incredibly difficult to treat with paste-anything (dewormer, NSAIDs etc) which is partially why I would love to try something else first. Nothing better than seeing this week's grocery funds on the ground and not in Fluffy's mouth.

    Ulcers have not been confirmed by a scope. Symptoms seem to match pretty darn well.

  • #2
    Do a search on treating ulcers on this forum. I know 3? ish months ago there was a large thread that included several people who had treated with aloe and/or papaya juice with good results. Lots of info on that thread. If I could remember it all I'd restate, but I can't.

    Comment


    • #3
      3mg/lb generic ranitidine 3x a day for at least, probably, 2-3 months.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

      Comment


      • #4
        OxyGen Ulcer-Stop. It is an omeprazole paste with electrolytes and herbs. It is a bit cheaper than UG/GG and it has seemed to work really well on my horse. Personally I would use UG/GG to treat because that's the only thing that's really been proven, but I buy the Ulcer-Stop and use it for prevention. You can google it, it's made by a private family in Michigan. Very very nice people and a really great product in my experience.

        I found it through a barrel racing forum. We all know how hot and stressed barrel horses can be. The Ulcer-Stop was developed by a barrel racer and it's used a lot in the speed community.

        Comment


        • #5
          My vet has told me that UC/GG is the only truly researched and proven way to go. The GG treatment for ulcers costs the same as a scoping around here, so I chose to treat. We were quite sure it was ulcers. My horse began (finally) gaining weight just 2 weeks into the treatment. She has been fine since. I do use UC preventative when I do potentially stressful things, ie trailering, events etc.

          I like the Smart Pak supplement SmartGut. Has all the supportive ingredients to help. I've taken her off of it, and did notice a difference. Put her back on it for good, and no problems since. Its around $35 a month.

          I found that after a few treatments of the GG, my picky mare actually liked it. It is cinnamon smelling. This is a mare that LOVES apples, but only the good kind....I guess apple bruises, and Gala type, aren't for Divas. She doesn't eat some of the ones I think are good haha. If she liked it, I'm guessing most horses would. The GG is also a gel type paste, and seems to melt in the mouth right away. In the beginning, before she learned it was tasty, it stayed in as long as I cleaned out her mouth first of any hay/grass etc. I also got into the habit of giving her a treat afterward. Miss Diva says apples and peppermints blend deliciously.

          Maybe this is just what you need to train your horse to readily accept wormers etc.? (albeit a pain in the butt) I've never tried one of those halter attachments that is a bit, that you put the paste into, to dose. You could try I guess.

          Ask your vet about buying the human omeprazole tabs and crushing them into the beet pulp. I knew someone who did this. Not sure if it was less expensive or not. I think it was done just for ease of feeding.

          The beet pulp is a great idea for ulcers btw, if you didn't already know. The calcium and fiber don't cause the acid production that grain does.

          Good luck!

          Comment


          • #6
            The "silver standard" is another prescription drug protocol, many of which were the standards of care before UG/GG came along.

            As they are prescription protocols, you're usually stuck with the one that your vet is willing to prescribe:

            --UG/GG in less than one full tube per day, usually at the advice of a vet

            --ranitidine or sucralfate pills 3-4x daily for at least 6 weeks, cheap at Costco/Sam's

            --omeprazole powder or pills 3-4x daily for at least 6 weeks, cheap at Costco/Sam's (note: not prescription but you will want to consult your vet re: dosage)

            --compounded form of any of the above drugs. It can be difficult to find a pharmacy that will compound omeprazole in a paste form, but depending on how congenial your vet is feeling, they may write you a scrip for that.

            FWIW Ulcergard seems to taste really good to the horses, and after one dose they figure out that it's making them feel better, so they usually grin and bear its administration.
            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by OTTB FTW View Post

              Ask your vet about buying the human omeprazole tabs and crushing them into the beet pulp. I knew someone who did this. Not sure if it was less expensive or not. I think it was done just for ease of feeding.
              This is definitely not cheaper. The human pills are sold usually in 20mg. tablets and the horse needs 1.8mg/lb of body weight or 1,800 mg for a 1,000 lb. horse, or 90 20mg. tablets per day - at around $50 day.

              And - omeprazole needs to be absorbed through the intestinal wall, and not exposed to stomach acid. When you crush the pills, you make the medication subject to destruction by the stomach acid.

              For grins I've tasted a crushed omeprazole pill and it was putrid. The cinnamon GG/UG paste is actually quite tasty. My horse didn't mind it at all. To avoid stressing my horse further with the daily tube in the mouth, I started squirting it on top of a cup of soaked beet pulp. She'd lick it right down like candy and didn't even know she was being medicated. And she is VERY picky.

              Comment


              • #8
                Try Gastrix by Finish Line Inc - it is the prescription strength of their U-7 so your vet will need to order it.

                It is a liquid that you add to their feed and even my picky eater loved it. Similiar to Stomach Soother but also has MSM in it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've tried a number of different treatments for my old OTTB. The best one, so far, is cabbage. Simple. Just about 1-2 cups of shredded cabbage once daily with his supper. Yeah, its an old 'folk remedy' but for him, it works.
                  --Gwen <><
                  "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
                  http://www.thepenzancehorse.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd think that with a horse that is on 24/7 turnout and has consistent access to forage... ulcers shouldn't be flaring up...

                    Mine really changed when she got 24/7 access to hay or turnout and I put her on Anigest... http://www.horse.com/item/animed-anigest/BWB03/

                    Best of luck... this won't "heal" the ulcers but will make it so that they are no longer "flaring up". Even if you treat ulcers, if the cause for them isn't found... they'll come back.

                    Best of luck... and sorry about the "lack of luck" regarding your new horse's need...
                    Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!

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                    • #11
                      I would also try to add some alfalfa to his diet.

                      Even though your horse is on 24/7 turn out, stall time isn't the only thing that can cause ulcers. If this is a new horse and had some pain that required joint injections, the change in venue and pain/discomfort alone could be enough to get his stomach cranked up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jumpingmaya View Post
                        I'd think that with a horse that is on 24/7 turnout and has consistent access to forage... ulcers shouldn't be flaring up...
                        Ohhhh that is SO not true. 24/7 turnout on a big pasture with buddies makes absolutely NO difference for my horse. She's a naturally nervous, worryer type and ANY kind of natural stress - too much heat, bugs, too cold, windy, makes her twitchy and bothered. She'd rather live in her stall all the time than have to go out and be a real horse. She does much worse if made to live outside. She is happiest and calmest in her stall with a huge hay pile and deep shavings. She wants a fan when its hot and a blanket when its cold. In the ideal situation, she'd be hand exercised and only turned out a few hours a day. She does like going out to eat some grass, roll in the dirt, run a few laps, and then she wants right back in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                          Ohhhh that is SO not true. 24/7 turnout on a big pasture with buddies makes absolutely NO difference for my horse. She's a naturally nervous, worryer type and ANY kind of natural stress - too much heat, bugs, too cold, windy, makes her twitchy and bothered. She'd rather live in her stall all the time than have to go out and be a real horse. She does much worse if made to live outside. She is happiest and calmest in her stall with a huge hay pile and deep shavings. She wants a fan when its hot and a blanket when its cold. In the ideal situation, she'd be hand exercised and only turned out a few hours a day. She does like going out to eat some grass, roll in the dirt, run a few laps, and then she wants right back in.
                          There are for sure exceptions
                          However, I mentionned 24/7 access to forage... that's usually the trick... If your mare is stalled with access to good forage 24/7... no reason for ulcers to be flaring up
                          Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, I still have to disagree with you. I believe that some horses just make more stomach acid than they need. They may have a genetic predisposition to have this weakness. And some horses are naturally worryers about everything. Those types are far more likely to flare up with ulcers than horses that just don't care about stuff. Forage, or not. And in some cases, chemicals like dewormers or bute can have an effect, even if they do have forage to eat 24/7. Horses with a mild level of chronic pain - arthritis, painful heat cycles, or even a back that's out of alignment - can develop ulcers.

                            My horse has NEVER been without hay or grass in front of her nose for more than maybe an hour or two here and there. Maybe as much as a few hours on winter days if I'm a bit late coming home from work, but that is rare. Since babyhood, she has never had moderated forage. She's never been on a high grain diet either. And she still developed severe ulcers.

                            If I learned anything through her experience, it's that you can't assume anything about horses, because they always come along and defy logic.

                            You can't say "There's no reason........." because there is always a reason.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will preface this by saying that I am a big believer in a firm diagnosis and a well-researched and proven effective course of therapy whenever possible.

                              And therefore in most cases I'm all for treatment with omeprazole after an endoscopy-based diagnosis, along with making whatever lifestyle changes can realistically be made to help.

                              And I also personally believe that the prices charged for prescription drugs are hideous, bordering on criminal.

                              With that aside, I will share a personal ANECDOTE that is worth precisely what any other anecdote is worth: not much.

                              I am leasing a little Appaloosa gelding who is a complicated critter--smart, opinionated, and although he's a tough and stoic dude, he apparently has a sensitive tummy. Long story short, he got kind of cranky after he came up here and a couple of feed changes did not agree with him and he was showing some signs of "ulcery" behavior. As an "n=1" trial, I picked up several very large bottles of TUMS from the grocery store, and began feeding him 4 grams 3 times a day: with meals and when being ridden. It cost me about $3/week, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven with all the "peppermint treats" he was getting.

                              Now, along with the passage of time, changing to a feed that apparently agrees with him, consistent work, etc. all of the cranky, ulcery behavior is gone. He still gets the TUMS because they're cheap, he loves them, and the risk/benefit ratio is miles and miles on the "plus" side for me. I cannot possibly pick out which "intervention" (if any) did the trick, but he is better and happier. If the symptoms would flare up again, I'd probably have him 'scoped.

                              Moral of story: when you want to go with what's KNOWN and PROVEN, you have to usually stick with what is well researched, and that usually means prescriptions. That is probably not a bad decision in most cases. But if one makes a careful and methodical observation of another type of treatment and has a reasonable "plan B" if it doesn't work, it is sometimes possible to manage this kind of thing without the "maximum" plan.

                              My own feeling is that (as in humans) ulcers can and do heal just fine without intervention. The tough part is trying to figure out when a horse is feeling better or worse. . .
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                Well, I still have to disagree with you. I believe that some horses just make more stomach acid than they need. They may have a genetic predisposition to have this weakness. And some horses are naturally worryers about everything. Those types are far more likely to flare up with ulcers than horses that just don't care about stuff. Forage, or not. And in some cases, chemicals like dewormers or bute can have an effect, even if they do have forage to eat 24/7. Horses with a mild level of chronic pain - arthritis, painful heat cycles, or even a back that's out of alignment - can develop ulcers.

                                My horse has NEVER been without hay or grass in front of her nose for more than maybe an hour or two here and there. Maybe as much as a few hours on winter days if I'm a bit late coming home from work, but that is rare. Since babyhood, she has never had moderated forage. She's never been on a high grain diet either. And she still developed severe ulcers.

                                If I learned anything through her experience, it's that you can't assume anything about horses, because they always come along and defy logic.

                                You can't say "There's no reason........." because there is always a reason.
                                Well, good to know... guess that's why this board is so wonderful to have around... and you are right... you can't truly ever say there are no reasons... because their is always something...
                                Ah... never stop learning!!!
                                Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I, too, wouldn't consider ulcers at first because of the 24/7 aspect - especially on GOOD pasture. He and his two buddies rotate through four pastures - each eight acres minimum. If he was on an overgrazed, glorified-dirt paddock I wouldn't have been surprised.

                                  His previous owner reports he was much happier out 24/7 than stalled. He windsucked/cribbed at his previous barn - he cannot do this at his current farm because of electric wire.

                                  Even though he appears cool as a cucumber, I guess he might be one who internalizes things.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    A note on the TUMS and pepperminty treat!! Sam's Club generics are cheap. And why bother with the expensive sugar cubes -- these little anti-acid treats are the best. It starts a begging frenzy over the stall doors when I get the bottle out!
                                    Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      3mg/lb generic ranitidine 3x a day for at least, probably, 2-3 months.

                                      and you can try 2x day to see if it works - that was about $60/month IIRC. Also WalMart now has the uber cheap x-strength (150mg) ranitidine pills and I think that is even cheaper than Costco (was? is?). It's been years since I used the 2xday dosage, but this last winter my horse ended up at the vet school for 60 hours for colic observation, and just to be on the safe side when he was back home I gave him ranitidine 1x day. I seem to recall it was like $25/month so maybe the price has changed?
                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yeah, but if there ARE ulcers, you really need 3x a day - every 8 hours - to keep the acid production down enough to allow healing.

                                        2x a day is a great way to do a test though to see if ulcers are actually causing a problem, as that can minimize the issues and allow you to see positive changes in behavior/attitude/appetite/etc, after 3-5 days or so.
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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