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Ulcer Woes...again...

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  • Original Poster

    #41
    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
    SFH, as someone who has given Merial a BOATLOAD of money, I hear you. It's too damned expensive to be doing all the time. I hate that its so effing expensive to do right by my horse!

    I'd really focus on figuring out why your girl is okay in the summer but bad in the winter. Obviously, I think the vit e angle is an interesting one and worth exploring.

    I think a big part of her issue is that she is a VERY alert, looky horse. Not outwardly nervous, but is aware of EVERYTHING that is going on around her. I think this is heightened when left alone... We treated her for ulcers in January last year (2012) and after treatment she was 100% afterwards, even though we still had a good deal of winter left. I think the trouble started when going into summer and throughout the summer, I was leaving her alone in order to ride my gelding at night or all day long on weekends while I was at a show. I think it is more coincidence that now at wintertime, she is ulcery. I think they have been brewing all summer long, and have come to a head, and it happens to now be winter. Am I making sense?

    I'd also look at what else is different. Is she stressed, perhaps, about WHERE she has to eat in the winter? Maybe spreading the hay out in piles in the field would be better, so she can "graze" where she wants? I can do this, but then they hoover it up and go without most of the day. Also, starting in October when I started having to feed hay, I used the nets and she ate with gusto every single day. So, she's never been wary of the nets or refused to eat out of them. Maybe dry hay is a problem and soaking it would help? (What fun in the winter! :-/) She won't eat soaked hay, apparently doesn't like the texture of it...boo picky mare! BUT, the other idea I'm having is ...would rougher 1st cut hay be an issue for her hind gut if hind gut ulcers are the trouble? My plan this weekend is to put a single strand fence up to separate her from the gelding (but not REALLY separate them because she doesn't like that) and feed her 2nd cut hay and see if that changes the reluctance to eat her hay. What else happens in the winter...? The days get shorter--maybe keeping her under lights would help? (I think there was another poster here who's horse had problems with the short days, but was fine if kept under lights.) This is not possible in my setup. Is she drinking less because the water is colder? The water is always warm, and there is no stray voltage from the heater (we've confirmed this). Is she missing out on good gut bacteria that lives on the grass in the summer--probiotics might help? Is she cold in the winter and stressing over that? Blanketing might help. She does not seem cold or unhappy. She strolls around like she always has, and apart from losing weight from ulcers last winter, has always been a very easy keeper. Are you feeding any alfalfa? It can be helpful for ulcer cases. We don't have alfalfa hay readily available around here, but she does get 1.5 lbs alfalfa cubes twice daily, soaked in warm water to at least get some H20 into her.
    I realize that's a whole lot to try, and maybe not even the tip of the iceberg. But since you have a period in time when she is fine and dandy, I think you're in a better place than someone who has a horse that's just ulcery. There IS a way to keep her belly happy without omeprazole--you just have to figure out how to make winter into summer for her.
    This horse has been the most frustrating horse to deal with regarding ulcers all around...she gave me ulcers last winter when we couldn't figure out WTH was wrong with her (well, maybe that was the vet who argued with me when I suggested ulcers and he kept telling me absolutely not...)

    Simkie - I hope you don't find my post response to be argumentative, I just wanted to reply and answer some of your questions and pose some of my own!

    At this point, my plan is:

    Feed her 2nd cut hay and see if that makes a difference in the amount she will consume - perhaps this may be an indicator of a hind gut issue in addition to some gastric ulcers that cropped up over the summer. She does have the tucked up flank and irritability near the back of her tummy (which can be hind gut issue symptoms).

    Keep her on 3600 mg twice daily Ranitidine until I can get an order of pop rocks.

    When the pop rocks arrive, I am going to give her 3 packets a day for 28 days.

    I am also considering putting her on SmartCalm Ultra to see if taking the edge off (if it even does that for her) will maybe keep her from worrying herself into ulcers in the future.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

    Comment


    • #42
      SFH, your mare sounds like mine. So, so frustrating and worrisome for you. I hope you can figure out something that works for both of you.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #43
        I am also considering RiteTrac as well.

        The issue here is that changing everything at once (which costs more money) does not give me a clear picture of WHAT helped.

        However, I don't have months to trial and error each one either...
        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #44
          Where can I buy RiteTrac and how much is it?
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

          Comment


          • #45
            http://shop.ker.com/ker/index.php?ma...products_id=61

            Comment


            • #46
              SFH, if you're sure that the issue is stress from being left alone this summer, then you're in luck as that's an easy answer to a problem you've already identified No need to stress yourself out about figuring out what the trigger is. Sounds like you've got a treatment plan and an idea of how to manage her next summer to prevent a recurrence!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #47
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                SFH, if you're sure that the issue is stress from being left alone this summer, then you're in luck as that's an easy answer to a problem you've already identified No need to stress yourself out about figuring out what the trigger is. Sounds like you've got a treatment plan and an idea of how to manage her next summer to prevent a recurrence!
                Yeah, a friend is keeping her horse at my house for the summer so when I take my gelding, she isn't alone. Thsi is a cheaper alternative than buying another equine...
                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  However, I still think she is too "alert" even with other horses with her...all winter she is with my gelding, but if she sees something moving in the distance, she stops what she is doing (even eating) to walk "closer" and watch, and watch.....

                  Any thoughts on trying a calming supplement to see if taking the edge off helps as an ulcer preventative?
                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    However, I still think she is too "alert" even with other horses with her...all winter she is with my gelding, but if she sees something moving in the distance, she stops what she is doing (even eating) to walk "closer" and watch, and watch.....
                    A lot of mares are just this way temperament-wise. They are hypervigilant, and that's just how they are. You can't change basic temperament with a supplement. Trying to get an alpha horse to stop being alert and "in charge" is probably next to impossible, unless you were to drug them to their eyeballs or confine them constantly where they can't see everything. And I'd wager the horse herself would see that as MORE stress than being able to see the horizon in all directions. I have one like this. There IS no changing the basic demeanor of an alpha mare.
                    Click here before you buy.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #50
                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                      A lot of mares are just this way temperament-wise. They are hypervigilant, and that's just how they are. You can't change basic temperament with a supplement. Trying to get an alpha horse to stop being alert and "in charge" is probably next to impossible, unless you were to drug them to their eyeballs or confine them constantly where they can't see everything. And I'd wager the horse herself would see that as MORE stress than being able to see the horizon in all directions. I have one like this. There IS no changing the basic demeanor of an alpha mare.
                      She is hypervigilant, but not the alpha or dominant horse. My gelding is the herd boss between the two, but he'll lay down adn sleep while she literally stands over the top of him keeping watch...

                      And yes, stalling her makes her worse...she either paces/stall walks while grabbing a tiny bite of hay on her way by the net, or simply stands with her head over the stall wall waitng to go back out (meanwhile, eating and drinking nothing because she's too worried about getting out of there...)

                      WOMEN! I tell ya! LOL!
                      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        If I ever had to put this mare on stall rest, she would starve herself into more ulcers.
                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Your gelding may be the boss of her, but SHE has taken on the role of the watchful one. This is what mares do in wild herds. The boys simply worry about procreating, defending their harem, and punishing miscreants. It is up to the mare in charge to scan for predators, decide where we're eating today, and to keep an eye on the environment.

                          Maybe you need another mare.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            SFH, my mare is also hypervigilant, and it's gotten worse as her cataracts have progressed. Have you had your mare's eyes checked?

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              I remember reading a thread started by someone else who had a horse who had a tucked up appearance and was hypervigilant and pacing -- it was in episodes, I believe, not constant, but it turned out the horse had EPSM.

                              I wonder if your mare has something else going on that causes enough stress to create ulcers? And it's just the type of thing where 24/7 pasture provides enough benefit to mask the symptoms in summer, but not winter.

                              Please keep us posted if you try increasing vitamin e and/or if any of your other changes help!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I feel your pain. My horse was scoped and was only grade 2 chronic, but after full treatment with Gguard, I felt like we always battled up and down eating (gusto, then slow/picky...more Ulcerguard, gusto, then slow eating again). Not to mention, everything takes him off his feed (hock injections, meds like banamine, antibiotics). Banged my head on the wall for years...tried Smartgut...I always suspected hind gut ulcers. He had days when his manure smelled so acidic it could have stopped a train. Then it would be normal (this is without diet change).

                                UNTIL....I tried Ritetrac by KER. (Kentucky Equine Research) Yes, it's a supplement, however KER has research and trials backing its products. I went to a seminar they held for their hind gut product called Equishure. Was blown away by the findings and proven results of this product. I put my horse on Ritetrac which treats both upper and hind gut ulcers and we have never had to look back. He eats with gusto. Nickers, comes running for meals, bangs on the door for it. He will still go off feed with hock injections and we learned that the meds in them were just too severe and upset his system (one of the meds actually can affect and strip the lining of the stomach in some horses - Misoprostal fixed it but we stopped the injections and he is now on Adequan and we just started IRAP)

                                I swear, swear, swear by this product and will shout to the rooftops that it has changed my life. He eats 4-5 pounds of TC senior in 15 minutes or less. It used to take him 45. He licks the pan clean, is happier all around and it just plain old works. Stopped the Smartgut and he just gets the Ritetrac - no ulcerguard. I love that it treats front AND hindgut. (it contains the Equishure). Highly recommend it.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #56
                                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                  Your gelding may be the boss of her, but SHE has taken on the role of the watchful one. This is what mares do in wild herds. The boys simply worry about procreating, defending their harem, and punishing miscreants. It is up to the mare in charge to scan for predators, decide where we're eating today, and to keep an eye on the environment.

                                  Maybe you need another mare.
                                  This sounds about right for them...until you suggested that I need another mare! LOL! I need another mare like I need a hole in the head...

                                  SFH, my mare is also hypervigilant, and it's gotten worse as her cataracts have progressed. Have you had your mare's eyes checked? .
                                  Yes, I have had her eyes checked because she was more "skittish" and this is a horse that is NOT skittish. Everything with her eyes checked out 100%, healthy on the inside and the outside. We think the edgy-ness was because of the ulcers.

                                  Please keep us posted if you try increasing vitamin e and/or if any of your other changes help! .
                                  Will do! The problem is that I don't want to change everything at once (adding RiteTrac, switching to pop rocks treatment, etc) because then I won't know exactly what helped. On the other hand, I have a horse who cannot be used as an experiment that takes forever to figure it out because I want to get her back on feed as soon as possible). She is eating, BTW, just not her usual amount of hay and not with as much gusto. She is still eating her alfalfa mash breakfast and dinner.

                                  Last night it was cold here (2 degrees) and we were supposed to get 3 to 5 inches of snow. When I got to the barn last night, she seemed unhappy being out (turning butt to the wind, cold looking) so I decided to bring them in for the night. I am not sure if this will be the tipping point of her not eating, but she didn't look happy outside. So, I doubled the amount of alfalfa cubes in her mash, added 2 tbsp of salt to it, and put them in for the night. I gave her a whole hay net of 2nd cut hay, probably 15 pounds (this was part of my experiment to see if she prefered the softer 2nd cut over 1st cut if this is a hind gut issue). She ate about half of the hay net (which is about as much as she's eating outside of the 1st cut). Earlier this fall, she was eating an entire net full of hay (~15 lbs) So, I don't think the hay is going to make a difference.

                                  I dont' see the Ranitidine making a huge difference right now. However, I have a months' worth so I'm going to continue as is.

                                  I am ordering pop rocks next payday, adn will do treatmetn course with those.

                                  And I'm seriously considering RiteTrac.

                                  How much is it per month, and is it liquid or powder/crumble?
                                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    I just ordered more pop rocks, express shipping. Cross your fingers everybody! I would hate to waste $200 that could've been put towards UlcerGard paste! LOL!
                                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      The drug is the same, you aren't wasting anything with the possible exception that it may not be ulcers this time.
                                      McDowell Racing Stables

                                      Home Away From Home

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                        The drug is the same, you aren't wasting anything with the possible exception that it may not be ulcers this time.
                                        Well, theoretically the drug is the same, yes.

                                        I'm certain its ulcers. Same symptoms as last year, I'm just better at catching them sooner (hindsight and such...)
                                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #60
                                          I am also going to try RiteTrac as a preventative supplement. Its expensive, but I'd rather go that route and pay monthly to keep her ulcer free, than to pay one large sum to treat if they come back. And, that may be the case anyways depending on how the RiteTrac works for her. But, I'm not ready to give up on her yet, so I'll carry on...
                                          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                          Comment

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