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Easy keeper with ulcers

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    Easy keeper with ulcers

    My easy-keeper, borderline IR 22 YO Morgan mare has been diagnosed with ulcers, grade 2+ based on scoping. I just had a hunch, after her behavior became, for lack of a better word, "hangry." She is currently on Gastroguard and the change in her behavior after 4 days is amazing. She cantered up to me at the gate from the other end of her (1/4 acre) paddock today and it almost made me cry; she's never been hard to catch, but hasn't come up to the gate to meet me in months.

    I anticipate this being something I'll need to stay on top of for the rest of her life (long story there, but I'm beating myself up enough about this whole thing that I'd rather not share a lot of details.) Whatever is done, there are things recommended for ulcers that are out of the question given her other health conditions. e.g. she can't be out on grass for long periods of time -- I hand graze her for up to 30 minutes at a time, but usually more like 5 to 15 minutes. She has had *no* signs of laminitis, and I'd like to keep it that way.

    Would Purina Outlast be OK for her? I hear mostly great things about it. Alfalfa in general? Help??? Most of the horses I know with ulcers are hard keepers, and the issue there is getting them to eat enough at all.

    Her current BCS is a 6 -- she cannot be allowed to get any heavier, and I'd really like her at a 5, but not if it's going to destroy her stomach lining. She is semi-retired, and has been mostly a trail horse for the past 2-3 years -- but it looks like taking her out alone will be way too stressful for her, and that may be the thing which pushes me into retiring her.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

    #2
    I have a chunkster who is also ulcer prone. He gets all his hay in very small hole hay nets, so it lasts him all day and most of the night. He gets outlast in his am/pm meals (ration balancer). He also gets a cup usually before I ride. He has hind gut stuff as well, and is more or less on sucralfate for the duration, which helps the ulcers.

    It’s a tough combo—at least my guy is young and sound and being in work keeps him at a good weight.

    Comment


      #3
      My guy is a fairly easy keeper with a presumed history of ulcers. He hasn't been scoped, so really can't say for sure he ever had gastric ulcers, but the symptoms were there, and I still take preventative measures. He's on Purina Strategy which has outlast in it, but I don't feel like it does a whole lot for him. He gets alfalfa pellets, and like Dutch's horse, he gets essentially free-choice hay in a small hole hay net. The thing that has helped him the most though is Equishure - when he goes a day without 2 scoops of equishure, he is back to being crabby, flank sensitive, and excessively gassy. Equishure won't do anything for gastric ulcers, though, it's purely for the hindgut.

      I did have him on UGard for a while. Seemed to do good things for his tummy until I pulled him off of it. Aloe vera is also a good option, lots of folks on here have had good success with it. Some people also use OTC esomeprazole (Nexium) or ranitidine (on recall.... but I used to lease a guy that did really well on I think 20 pills 2x/day) for maintenance

      Comment


        #4
        1. Read the feeding requirements for this so-called “top dress”. It is approx 10 ounces , three to four times DAILY.

        https://www.purinamills.com/horse-fe...ort-supplement

        1.1. No where can I find the NSC value but that is typical for Purina Products.

        2. IMO, you would be putt8 g too many calories of any sort into your horse.

        i feed my thrifty 25 yr old, IR/Cushings TWH, HorseTech High Point vit/min supplement for grass fed horses. Requirement is three ounces daily.

        I divide the 3oz in half and feed twice daily, mixed in one dry measure cup of straight Timothy pellets.

        2.1. When his ulcers flare up, I put him on Egusin. I fed both phases the first time I used it.

        http://www.centauranimalhealth.com/egusin/Egusin.htm

        He seems to be good for about six months before he needs another treatment, and then I only feed him the first phase. I start him on the Egusin a week or so before worming and leave him on Egusin until the bucket is empty. He on,y needs de-wormed twice yearly in his environment.

        Anyway, you have to peel as many calories, NSC, WSC off your horse’s diet as possible. IMO, nothing Purina is going to do that.

        Comment


          #5
          I have an easy keeper gelding. I have not had an official diagnosis but I top dress his feed with 1 tbsp a day with Gastro Elm and his nippiness went away and he seems much happier. https://www.gastroelm.com/
          I don't always feel up to arguing with your ignorance

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Hi everyone -- thanks for the replies.

            My vet wants her on some sort of buffer -- Purina Outlast is the most obvious choice -- but yes I am concerned about the extra calories. IIRC the NSC is around 10% - but don't quote me on that. I am looking for something that can also be fed just before I work her. She's been out of work since the end of March due to COVID19 restrictions. Egusin might be an alternative.

            She gets her hay in the evening in a net, but she is *really* hard on nets. I have a small-hole NibbleNet that we could try instead. Nets have to be secured top and bottom, or she hurts her neck yanking on them.

            She is on Poulin ETEC ration balancer, IIRC half a pound morning and night. (Maybe less, I need to check.) Gets first cut hay, not unlimited but a pretty generous amount for my area. Supplements: vitamin E (neuro history), magnesium (currently MagRestore), SmartCirculate, SmartPak Senior Flex, raspberry leaves.

            She does have a history of hind gut ulcers from a few years back.

            Unfortunately, today she was not so good -- very distracted by grass everywhere, and back to hyper-alert. I just don't like seeing her like this.
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

            Comment


              #7
              Any chance you have a dry lot? I've always wondered about those amazing graze and other toys to use with alfalfa cubes for an easy keeper. One inside of her stall in a stall kids pool may even work depending on the stall size.

              Comment


                #8
                You could try giving her a flake of alfalfa before working - alfalfa is a good buffer for stomach acid. I used to do that with my guy, and it definitely seemed to help with his sensitivity under saddle.

                IIRC, I believe Outlast is 15% NSC (I think I read that on here somewhere...), but due to the small amount that you feed, I wouldn't expect that to be a big issue. It's not much higher than what's in your ration balancer

                Something else I'll add is that sometimes omeprazole can irritate hindgut issues. If your mare has a known history of hindgut ulcers, you might want to chat with your vet about giving sucralfate along with the gastroguard to buffer any side effects

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                  Any chance you have a dry lot? I've always wondered about those amazing graze and other toys to use with alfalfa cubes for an easy keeper. One inside of her stall in a stall kids pool may even work depending on the stall size.
                  She is essentially on a dry lot. There is a tiny bit of grass, enough to keep her moving around and busy but not a significant source of calories.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Outlast IS a top-dress if you feed a concentrate, otherwise you can feed it on its own, as some people do.

                    The 3-4 times a day is for more full-time support, rather than just situational. Lots of people use it situationally - before trailering, or working, etc

                    It's 15% NSC

                    A heavy horse should really come off even a ration balancer. 1300 calories is 1300 calories. A high end v/m supplement plus enough yummy carrier is a better idea. High Point Grass, U-Balance Foundation, Sporthorse Grass, Vermont Blend, Arizona Copper Complete, KIS Trace are good ones
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have an easy keeper Morgan mare who is ulcer prone as well. What has worked for her for maintenance is Equitum. My vet prefers Outlast, but since Equitum has worked for my mare in the past she agreed we shouldn't change things up.

                      Her diet consists of Progressive's diet balancer, Equitum,and bluestem hay. When she has a flare up ulcer she is given a month treatment of Succeed and alfalfa (1/4 flake once a day per my vet since she is an easy keeper). Before I had her boarded she had all of her hay in a slow feed net, but the boarding barn does not like nets so she is fed her hay on the ground. With the Equitum on board is doing fine. Her last flare up was because we tried taking her off the Equitum.

                      I always give her a few minutes to eat some hay before I ride to help the reduce splash effect of acid in her stomach.

                      If we haul out anywhere she will be put on a few days worth of ulcerguard as preventative/protection.

                      Comment

                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                        Outlast IS a top-dress if you feed a concentrate, otherwise you can feed it on its own, as some people do.

                        The 3-4 times a day is for more full-time support, rather than just situational. Lots of people use it situationally - before trailering, or working, etc

                        It's 15% NSC

                        A heavy horse should really come off even a ration balancer. 1300 calories is 1300 calories. A high end v/m supplement plus enough yummy carrier is a better idea. High Point Grass, U-Balance Foundation, Sporthorse Grass, Vermont Blend, Arizona Copper Complete, KIS Trace are good ones
                        JB -- thanks for speaking up; I was hoping you would.

                        It turns out she is getting only a half pound of ration balancer per day, which I think is more calories, than what she would be getting on a cup of Outlast twice a day. (She is small, and probably doesn't need a full portion.) I would probably add a bit more Outlast before I work her, or use alfalfa before I work her. (But alfalfa is wicked hard to find in New England!) I'd add a vitamin/mineral supplement to that -- thanks for the recommendation. Do you think she'd need a "yummy carrier" in addition to the Outlast, or would it be tasty enough to serve that purpose? She is not a picky eater at all.
                        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by quietann View Post
                          Do you think she'd need a "yummy carrier" in addition to the Outlast, or would it be tasty enough to serve that purpose? She is not a picky eater at all.
                          I think you'll just have to try I know several people who do feed it straight.

                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by quietann View Post

                            JB -- thanks for speaking up; I was hoping you would.

                            It turns out she is getting only a half pound of ration balancer per day, which I think is more calories, than what she would be getting on a cup of Outlast twice a day. (She is small, and probably doesn't need a full portion.) I would probably add a bit more Outlast before I work her, or use alfalfa before I work her. (But alfalfa is wicked hard to find in New England!) I'd add a vitamin/mineral supplement to that -- thanks for the recommendation. Do you think she'd need a "yummy carrier" in addition to the Outlast, or would it be tasty enough to serve that purpose? She is not a picky eater at all.
                            My horse eats the outlast plain, but he is a horsey garbage disposal, essentially. But I don't think it's particularly gross tasting.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Dutchmare433 View Post

                              My horse eats the outlast plain, but he is a horsey garbage disposal, essentially. But I don't think it's particularly gross tasting.
                              Mine also eats it plain, but she’s not very picky.

                              Comment

                                Original Poster

                                #16
                                Mine is not picky at all, except for now she doesn't eat the really coarse stems in her hay (ulcers anyone? I thought it was a tooth problem, but her teeth are fine.)

                                I've ordered samples of some of the vitamin/mineral supplements JB recommended to see what she will eat. She actually isn't getting enough ration balancer to get the full nutritional value she needs, so switching to a vit/min plus Outlast seems like the way to go.
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I have a 20 year old chunky monkey is IR positive though vet never tested but feels he is. Anyway this past few weeks I took his buddy away that was a training prospect. She turned out very nice. Put her up for sale and she was sold in two days. My newest mare is my dream leopard appaloosa. She and Fatman seem to be getting along fine, Then last he went off his grain and wouldn't take a peppermint candy. That means something is wrong, took him to vet did blood work $250 for blood work a 3 tubes of Ulcerguard. The horse was really sick. He is feeling better but financially I can't afford to keep a 20 year old cushings, ulcer horse, Would euthanuzia be an option

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by appybeads View Post
                                    I have a 20 year old chunky monkey is IR positive though vet never tested but feels he is. Anyway this past few weeks I took his buddy away that was a training prospect. She turned out very nice. Put her up for sale and she was sold in two days. My newest mare is my dream leopard appaloosa. She and Fatman seem to be getting along fine, Then last he went off his grain and wouldn't take a peppermint candy. That means something is wrong, took him to vet did blood work $250 for blood work a 3 tubes of Ulcerguard. The horse was really sick. He is feeling better but financially I can't afford to keep a 20 year old cushings, ulcer horse, Would euthanuzia be an option
                                    This is a sad situation. I am in the camp of not being able to afford to keep a horse healthy means it's OK to euthanize. This is especially so if the horse in question would not be easy to find a home for, because of its health conditions.

                                    I'll let someone else bring up alternative treatments for Cushings and ulcers.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment

                                      Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Update: the mare thinks Purina Outlast is YUMMY. A barn friend is letting me use a handful of hers before I work my horse.
                                      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by quietann View Post

                                        She is essentially on a dry lot. There is a tiny bit of grass, enough to keep her moving around and busy but not a significant source of calories.
                                        I think that may be one of the best solutions, although I'm finding that I have to keep increasing the size of the dry lots to prevent them from turning them into dirt.

                                        I may have found a solution, though. Our pasture is a 4 acre field, which I've now split up into strips with hot wire. The strips are narrow enough so that I only need one post to run a hot wire across each strip, which makes it much easier to increase the length of each strip as they get it grazed down too short.

                                        The only problem is that the grass is so short that they have to be out there fighting the bugs a lot longer to get enough, so I've been letting them out at night in their restricted patches of grass, and then locking them up during the day and feeding small amounts of hay.

                                        Feeding horses was so much easier before I knew about ulcers!

                                        Comment

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