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Do Ulcers heal on their own?

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  • Do Ulcers heal on their own?

    Will ulcers heal eventually on its own or does they always require treatment of some form?

    DISCLAIMER - I don't have any horses that I suspect ulcers in - I'm just curious. If I suspected ulcers in my girl I'd scope and treat if necessary, no hesitation.

  • #2
    Sure they do. Ulcers can come, and go, and come again. No ulcer (unless it is due to stomach cancer, and I'm not even sure that exists on horses) stays put for months on end.

    Proper treatment andmanagement speeds healing a LOT, and can also prevent new ones from coming.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Sure, low stress environment, hay in front of them at all times and cut out work for a while, will give the horse a great chance at healing ulcers without meds.


      • #4
        The way we feed our horses contributes a great deal to ulcers. Meal feeding in barns is horrible on their bodies and grain is hard as well.

        You need to keep hay in front of them and Alfalfa will actually help with ulcers.

        Toss out the grain.


        • #5
          I personally think the lack of constant foraging is what is the main culprit in many ulcer cases.
          Too often the horse is fed 2 flakes am, 2 flakes pm and same at night and as a result they are often standing hours with nothing to munch, nothing to buffer the acidity in their stomachs.
          Last edited by Lieslot; Mar. 29, 2011, 12:47 PM. Reason: Spelling, thinking english, typing french :D.


          • #6
            Posted by deltawave:

            (unless it is due to stomach cancer, and I'm not even sure that exists on horses)
            Yes, horses do get stomach cancer. A friend of mine inherited a horse that had been starved. Horse was rehabbed and did very well for about five years, but eventually died of stomach cancer (diagnosed by a vet). Don't know if the earlier starved aspect was directly related or not.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks guys! I don't really know a whole lot about ulcers, other than I've had one and it was awful until I treated it - I didn't give it a chance to heal on its own lol.
              But I do deal with rescues sometimes and its good to know so I can be armed with more info on how likely horses are to have them given their history/ recent situation.


              • #8
                oh boy

                My rescued TB was in a starvation situation. We think she's early 20's. Very bad diarrhea all the time so I give her supplements iwth probiotics. Seems the more grain I give her (now at 10# per day of Sentinel) the better the poop. Gets hay 2 or 3 times per day (best I can do working full time). Hard keeper, too thin now after a very cold winter but was blanketed the whole time. Turned out with a run in all the time. Dangerously protective (to other horses) of her food. Is grey, has sarcomas on neck. Farrier last week said consider ulcers...what do you think...


                • Original Poster

                  Umm, I wouldn't try to diagnose ulcers over the internet, but if you had one professional say consider it, then maybe you should have the vet out. You can ask them about the diet/diarrhea when they are there - is that 10 pounds of grain?
                  That seems high to me, but I've never had a chronic hard keeper, just some starved ones, or ones that came to me with the "he/she is skinny cause they are old" excuse. I always check (then DO if needed) teeth, and then use primarily forage to put on weight. Assuming her teeth are good, and she's been fed regularly for a while now, can you make your hay free choice?

                  Also, there are lots of threads on here about things that can contribute to ulcers, and the symptoms. Not saying that your horse has or doesn't have them, but starvation, stress, and lots of grain can contribute to ulcers from what I've gathered, and diarrhea and being hard to keep weight on can be symptoms. I'd ask your vet though.


                  • #10
                    okay thanks

                    Yes she gets 5# Sentinel morning and night. After May 1 I will be able to put her out with a round bale.


                    • #11
                      Take this with a grain of salt, since the horse is question was never scoped, but I beleive that ulcers can heal without medications under the right conditions.

                      I had a horse come back from a lease where he was miserable on dry lot private turnout. Acted ulcery, nippy when sides were brushed, picking at his feed, and so on. Not like him at all. He'd been out on lease because although he was an absolute saint, he wasn't terribly athletic, and wasn't really my kind of ride, so I put him out 24/7 in a large herd on a large pasture, just checked on him and groomed him, for a couple of months, and it wasn't too long before he was back to his old cheerful food mongering self.
                      "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                      -Edward Hoagland


                      • #12
                        Im wondering if my horses (new) ulcer problem has been brought on by a lack of pasture during the day ....

                        As long as I have had him, he has been out on a nice pasture, and had hay in the pasture in the winter time. Farm we moved to in October does not have grass at all in the winter, and they don't do hay in the pasture.... (all of the horses eat something different, etc). He gets 7 or 8 flakes at night, but from dawn to afternoon, he now has nothing... trying to work a solution to this currently.

                        I had suspected this may be the cause before, but am now seriously pretty sure.
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