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Right dorsal colitis v. colonic ulcers - how to know what the problem is?

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  • Right dorsal colitis v. colonic ulcers - how to know what the problem is?

    Ok all you hind gut smarties! This is my question - is there a way to tell if you're dealing with one or the other?? We suspect hind gut ulcers due to a low protein count on his CBC and other symptoms such as bloating, intermittent colic. On my take home care sheet from the vet it lists it as colonic ulcers/possible right dorsal colitis.

    If it is right dorsal colitis I'm assuming this means that I need to keep this short fiber diet going forever? which would SUCK but of course I would do it. Is it just ultrasounding that can detect if it is RDC?

    I'm thinking that it is just colonic ulcers due to the low protein count on his CBC. They basically said it is probably low because he is bleeding out in his ulcers.

    Also - for people that have had this issue and treated with Sucralfate - how long did you keep the Sucralfate up?? I was told to keep on it until I bring my guy back for a re-check of an infected tooth in 6-8 weeks. Just curious if it's going to be a forever thing.

    Obviously I will ask the vets when I go back, but just wondered what people's experiences here were with these issues. Omg it's a pain in the arse feeding soaked hay cubes all day and all night but I'm SO glad that my boy is feeling better. Just kinda getting tired of showing up to work with green hands everyday....


  • #2
    I'm on the same path right now.

    My guy came home from the vet clinic last Thursday, so I don't have any long term answers, but I can share what I do know (which may be less than you).

    I'm feeding Timothy hay pellets and Triple Crown Senior feed 4x a day. My guy doesn't like his pellets soaked, so no soaking or mashes here (not for a lack of the vet clinic trying). My vet did comment that she prefers the pellets over the hay cubes because they're easier and quicker to soak. He's on 12 sulcralfate tablets every 8 hours and the plan is to keep him on them for 2 weeks and then lower the dose (I think), though it sounds like they want him on the sulcrafate for the full 3 months that he's off of hay. A trainer friend of mine has several horses on 3 tablets a day as a maintenance dose for the long haul. But I will comment that the vet I've been working with feels that that dosage level wouldn't help anything.

    In regards to my guy's paperwork it also says "colonic ulcers/possible right dorsal colitis," and he also had a low protein count. The way it was explained to me is that my guy definitely has colitis but that they can't prove definitively that it's right dorsal. The Succeed test indicated that he has colonic ulcers (though I understand that there's a high error rate).

    I'm also curious about the ultrasound. The vet I'm working with wants to reultrasound my guy when he hits the 12-14 days home range. I'd like to know what they expect to see....or if it's more about something they *don't* want to see.
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the reply! Hay pellets would be sooooo much easier. I should look into that. I have alfalfa pellets that I soak and mix into his feed (rice bran, ground flax and supplements). I'm trying to keep him off soy so I'm not using commercial foods but I might try at least to do a combo of cubes and hay pellets.

      Good to know about the Sucralfate. He's supposed to be on 10 tablets 4 times a day but I can only do it 3 times a day be because of work.

      Do you have your guy on Equishure? If not, you might want to look into it and ask your vet about it. It really helped my guy before the diagnoses when he was at his worst. I think even after his colon has "healed" I'm going to have to change a few things moving forward. I spoke with a lady at a feed booth at Spruce Meadows and she was super knowledgable about hind gut issues and has her masters in equine nutrition. She said that the sugars in grass/grass hay can really upset a horse with hind gut issues and that they do much better with an alfalfa mix hay. I'm thinking that I will probably have to limit his grass time next summer.

      Good luck with your boy