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Feeding/ Managing Your Ulcer Prone Horse

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  • Feeding/ Managing Your Ulcer Prone Horse

    So what is your protocol for your ulcer prone horse? I am wondering what other people do with their horses. Mine is on 24/7 turn out on about 2-3 acres with another horse. He gets fed twice a day. Hay in the AM and then again in the PM. He gets mostly Bermuda and a ittle timothy each day. In the PM he gets 2 pounds Triple Crown Low Starch, 2 pounds alfalfa cubes (8-9 pounds wet) and his Kombat Boots Supplement ( has yeast in it http://kombatboots.com/ ).
    Right now he does not leave the property, but when he does I plan on giving his Ulcerguard on the days he leaves.
    Pro Slaughter
    Anti Parelli

  • #2
    Mine was scoped and had pretty severe ulcers (bleeding in some places) a little over 2 yrs ago. She actually prefers her stall time over being outside 24/7 so she's normally in overnight unless the weather is really warm and clear then she's out with the others. She has free access to pasture and very nearly free choice hay. She gets more alfalfa than the others. Also soaked beet pulp. I use either Ulcergard or OxyGen Ulcer Stop as prevention when needed. She gets Ultium daily and ground flax and rice bran when in work. I use Pro-CMC (antacid liquid) as a carrier for electrolytes when in work (endurance horse.)

    (FYI, omeprazole takes about 24 hours before it starts working so you need to give Ulcergard the day before you take the horse off the property.)


    • #3
      I have an older mare who was very (and I mean VERY) sick with her ulcers. Lots of treatment and healing time later she is doing well. I pretty much keep hay available to her 24/7. Part timothy and part alfalfa. Soaked beat pulp a.m. and p.m. For a long time I was afraid to take her away from home for fear of ulcer flar-up. Finially made up my mind to go camping with her (she is my best trail horse as well as best bud). Gave her ulcerguard the day before we left. Also on each day camping. Then, I also dosed her with over the counter anti-acid liquid a.m./p.m.. She likes the minty stuff! It cannot hurt her and gives her a little extra acid protection between camp meals. We had a great time! No ulcer flar-ups. I have been following the same treatment now each time we leave home.


      • #4
        The one thing I would change to your routine above is to get some of that alfalfa in the horse in the morning too. The calcuim in it helps cut stomach acid.

        Give the Gastrogard/Ulcergard the night before and each evening while away. You can give 60cc of OTC liquid anti-acid before the non-Gastrogard meal while traveling. Heck, I would probably dose the horse with OTC AA before a ride at home for the short acting relief it provides.


        • #5
          My guy gets 24/7 turnout, Ration Balancer + fat supplement, an orchard/alf. mix several times a day so he always has something in his tummy. He also gets the maintenance dose of Ulcerguard, but I do it every other day, if trailering, a full dose the day before, and I also give him aloe juice 1c. 2x day. He more than likely has hindgut ulcers too, so per vet he now gets Succeed daily as well. This horse should have better GI function than me by now.


          • #6
            I've had some ulcer prone horses and I've gone with an alfalfa diet - once treated I maintain with U7 and have had good success keeping ulcers at bay. I've currently got one horse on the Finish Line Total Control (with U7 in it) and he is doing very well on that.


            • #7
              Free choice hay, smartgut, tractgard, alfalfa pellets, Strategy grain, beet pulp. He hasn't had any ulcer symptoms since he started on that diet. He's retired so he doesn't leave the farm at all, but if he ever did go somewhere I would start dosing with ulcerguard 2 days in advance.
              come what may

              Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


              • #8
                APF Pro, Stomach Soother, Aloe juice are also good.
                Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                • #9
                  I treat my ulcer prone horses the same way I treat ALL my horses. I feed them as much hay/grass/forage as they will eat (well, almost...dieting horses are slightly different). I then feed them as little grain as I can manage for their energy and condition needs. I do like to give alfalfa in some form, and I feed SmartDigest Ultra every day (Tractgard is my second favorite). Ulcergard as needed for showing and traveling (my own horse gets a full tube on dressage day, 1/4 to 1/2 a tube for travel or jumping days).

                  Other than that, I try and keep them happy, give them buddies, don't treat them like hot house flowers, and keep bute to a minimum (if they need an extended amount of NSAIDs we do Equioxx or Previcox).

                  Honestly, I am not convinced that 24/7 turnout is the cure-all for ulcers. My older horse colicked quite badly while out on good pasture 24/7, on a handful of ration balancer, and retired from competing. Turns out he was pretty eaten up with ulcers. The working theory is he fretted about being without a "job." I think the key is happiness, a forage rich diet, and as little concentrate feeds as possible (which can be tough for hard working, very fit horses like mine). And even then it seems to be a crapshoot.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post

                    Honestly, I am not convinced that 24/7 turnout is the cure-all for ulcers. My older horse colicked quite badly while out on good pasture 24/7, on a handful of ration balancer, and retired from competing. Turns out he was pretty eaten up with ulcers. The working theory is he fretted about being without a "job." I think the key is happiness, a forage rich diet, and as little concentrate feeds as possible (which can be tough for hard working, very fit horses like mine). And even then it seems to be a crapshoot.
                    The one time my older horse frequently coliced it was due to ulcers and it was the only time in his life he was out of work. He was resting due to a suspensory strain. Some horses just like having a job I think.

                    My current ulcer prone horse prefers to be outside so she is out 24/7, gets bermuda, t&A, and alfalfa AM & lunch, but no alfalfa at night due to an added pasture mate that will steal it all. She gets a scoop of MannaPro SafePeformance 3x a day. She also get GUT with her AM grain and her generic omeprozale powder with her lunch.

                    This diet seems to be working. My vet saw her the other day and said she looks to of gained 200 lbs since the last time he saw her. I doubt it is that much but she has started to fill out nicely.
                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                    And I love to run.


                    • #11
                      Give the horse as much grass as you can and LOTS of hay. Give good alfalfa about 10-15 min before you feed to suds up their stomach. If you could split feed over 3-4 feedings a day that is helpful too. Good luck :-)


                      • Original Poster

                        For some reason he does not like the alfalfa cubes. So I have to mix his grain with it to make him eat or or I would have him eat it first. I also wish I lived out where he is but twice a day is the most he gets fed. So far so good though.
                        Pro Slaughter
                        Anti Parelli


                        • #13
                          Dewormers set off flare ups of ulcers in my ulcer-prone horse.

                          I give mine 1/4 tube of Ulcergard the day before giving dewormer, 1/4 tube the day of, and the remaining two Ulcergard doses the two days afterward. It helps prevent trouble.