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Regular versus hind gut ulcers, treatments and symptoms....

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  • Regular versus hind gut ulcers, treatments and symptoms....

    Just looking for some extra info here.

    Since my horse got back from a long stressful drive across the country, he has been a tad bit tricky.

    He has always been lazy and obnoxious on the ground but since his return, he has become very lazy under saddle and very bratty on the ground.

    He gets turned out all day about 12 to 14 hours and stalled at night. Big pipe pen stalls next to friends.

    I notice him pacing every morning until I go out and feed. He gets free fed grass hay and alfalfa pellets/triple crown/rice bran twice a day.

    What are symptoms for hind gut ulcers and are they different symptoms then stomach ulcers?

    Also, I have read gastrogard doesn't heal hind gut ulcers. What are the things that heal those.

    His coat is also dull and sun bleached, he has started to kick out at my leg when riding and bulges out more then he used to.

    He is eating fine and his weight looks good, but he just is NQR. ;(

  • #2
    i am not sure how different the symptoms of hind gut ulcers are from the symptoms of front end ulcers. Hind end ulcers cannot be seen by a scope. i guess if you have treated for front end ulcers with Gastrogard and are still seeing signs of ulcers, then try Succeed for the hind end ulcers. If you suspect any ulcers it is important that the horse have access to forage most of the day. Chew time is really impt for horses that have ulcers.

    Magnisium deficiencies can manifest by changes in temperament.

    Hope you find out what is going on!


    • #3
      Hind ulcers are cheaper to treat, that's for sure. Ask your vet.


      • #4
        If the most obvious sign of his fretting when he's on his own is pacing until he's fed, then that is easily remedied--more hay, small-hole nets, etc.

        I can't give you any advice about hindgut ulcers, except that my impression is that gastric ulcers are a lot more straightforward. Or maybe I just understand them better, which is not to say that I'm any expert at all. But a 30 day course of ranitidine or omeprazole is a decent empirical trial that's unlikely to do harm and may take care of the problem from a "what's hurting" standpoint. But more forage (or making his forage last longer) is crucial to both types of ulcers, as I understand it, and so easy to remedy unless the horse is grossly obese.
        Click here before you buy.


        • Original Poster

          Yes, I do give him tons of hay at night. Usually there is a tad bit left, but I can certainly give him more.

          What else diet wise is bad for ulcer prone horses?

          I know the triple crown feed I use is very low NSC. I also only feed Bermuda because when I feed alfalfa, they never eat the Bermuda!

          He does get alfalfa pellets that have corn, which I am assuming corn is bad. So I can change that, they just look great on them.

          There is also a product called Equisure for hind gut issues, has anyone used this?


          • #6
            I'm not sure corn is "bad" but anything with starch is hugely guilty of being the Evil Ingredient. Perhaps in many cases with good reason, but bits of corn in the feed is unlikely to make or break the average, healthy horse.

            How about 24 hour turnout--an option?

            Forage is what protects the top part of the stomach from acid. The bottom half has a thick mucous layer to protect it. Ulcers can affect either part of the stomach but forage and the quarts of saliva used to chew it are what really keep the stomach healthy.

            A lot of people think Equishure is a great product--never tried it on any of mine, though.
            Click here before you buy.


            • Original Poster

              Another question, I have done a little research on ranitidine versus gastrogard.

              Obviously gastrogard stops the acid production and has been proven to heal ulcers.

              But people swear by ranitidine and it has had some good trial results though not as good as gastrogard.

              Their prices are worlds apart.

              So, if I start a month trial of the ranitidine twice a day, it won't hurt him and it may solve his issues. Right? It won't make his issues worse and I could get lucky and it will help him.

              Then I bypass having to get a scope and go for the very pricey gastrogard.

              (FYI, I did try the pop rocks, he won't eat them)

              So far I am thinking 30 days of ranitidine twice a day plus Equisure. I am hoping I will see results.


              • #8
                If leaving ulcers alone is a "zero" and omeprazole is "ten", ranitidine is probably a "seven or eight". Before we had omeprazole, drugs in the ranitidine family were GAME CHANGERS in the treatment of ulcers. And you don't run the risk of causing rebound acid hypersecretion with ranitidine like you can get if high dose omeprazole is stopped abruptly.

                Ranitidine has been around for about 10 years longer than omeprazole, BTW.

                Ranitidine is a darn good drug, but ideally is dosed 3x daily. (if you're really doing an empirical trial without a firm diagnosis you want to maximize the chances of seeing response vs. no response) I'm lucky--my beasts will all eat the pop rocks and I only use them for shipping anyhow. But if I had to treat a horse on a budget I'd be very comfortable with ranitidine.
                Click here before you buy.


                • #9
                  how much ranitidine do you feed and where do you get it?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bastile View Post
                    how much ranitidine do you feed and where do you get it?
                    If you're asking me, I don't feed it so I can't answer. But I've heard of people getting it at Costco, Sam's Club, and also online equine pharmacies. Hopefully you'll get more helpful answers than that! I think the dose is 6.5mg/kg or roughly 3000mg every 8 hours for a 1000 pound horse.
                    Click here before you buy.


                    • Original Poster

                      From what I have read, you should feed 12 pills a day for a 1200 lb horse. The pills are the 300 mg type. They should be divided for 3 times a day.

                      Delta wave, I have the same thoughts about the rebound effect of gastrogard. It seems like totally shutting off acid production is not a good thing. I will start with ranitidine.

                      Drfostersmith.com has 250 pills for $20 right now. I will me calling my vet in the morning!


                      • Original Poster

                        Costco does sell ranitidine without a prescription (you need one for the horse pills) but they are in 75 mg, so you have to feed a lot of pills. I would assume the horse pills are cheAper if your vet will write the prescription for you.

                        Does anyone know if the pills soften in water?


                        • #13
                          That's a great price! Valley Vet (just looked) has 250 x 300mg for $32 with free shipping. That would be about a week's worth for a big horse.

                          Pills vary depending on manufacture WRT being water soluble or soften-able. But a cheapo coffee grinder will do the trick.

                          Samotis, did you check the dose for sure? 12 tablets PER DOSE is what my math tells me, not 12 tablets per day. 12 tabs/day would only give you 1200 mg/dose or about 2.5mg/kg and I don't think that's the right dose.


                          Brand Name
                          Zantac 150 (Boehringer Ingelheim)
                          Generic Name
                          What is the most important information I should know about Ranitidine:
                          Ranitidine is a non-prescription medication not FDA approved for veterinary use; however, it is a commonly accepted practice for veterinarians to use this medication in dogs and cats to reduce the amount of stomach acid produced. In addition, it is often used in the treatment of ulcers in horses. Ranitidine is available over the counter as packages containing 24 x 150mg tablets. The usual dose in dogs is 0.22mg to 0.44mg per pound every 8 to 12 hours. The usual dose in cats is 0.22mg per pound every 12 hours. The usual dose in horses is 5-10 mg /kg 2 to 4 times a day.
                          Best check with your vet, though--I haven't used the drug in horses.
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            I paid roughly $35 out the door at Costco for enough ranitidine to treat a horse with eleven 300-mg pills three times a day for three weeks. It does dissolve fairly well in water, at least if it's pre-ground. I suspect that it would dissolve OK even if not ground, but there is some sort of coating on the pills. We ground it and put it in applesauce (note - NOT cinnamon flavored!).

                            We scoped after the three weeks and the ulcers had gone from grade 2-3 to less than grade 1 (you could see a few tiny lesions). It was rather neat to watch, but I don't think it was much fun for poor Star who HATES having a nasogastric tube passed. Even though we'd fasted for the requisite time, he still had enough fluid in his stomach that she had to flush and pump it out. The vet then advised me to keep him on the ranitidine for another week and to give it to him for a couple of days any time he was in a stressful situation. She did say something to the effect that "now that you know ranitidine works on him" so I assume that means it doesn't work on every horse.
                            The Evil Chem Prof


                            • Original Poster

                              Costco has 190 150 mg tablets for $10. You can get 250 300 mg tablets for $20 from Drfostersmith.com with a prescription.

                              So about 60 less pills at Costco for the price.


                              • Original Poster

                                Delta wave:

                                There is a calculator on that link and I plugged in 1200 pounds and it said 11.96 pills. (the 300mg pills)

                                I am assuming that's per day.


                                33 pills a day seems like a lot! I am hoping those were the 150mg tablets! (11 pills 3 times a day?!)


                                • Original Poster

                                  The bioavailability in ranitidine varies in horses. Just like joint supplements.

                                  Some horses absorb 70 percent, some 30, some 10!

                                  So it is one of those times where the drug will work for some and not for others.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Samotis View Post
                                    Delta wave:

                                    There is a calculator on that link and I plugged in 1200 pounds and it said 11.96 pills. (the 300mg pills)

                                    I am assuming that's per day.


                                    33 pills a day seems like a lot! I am hoping those were the 150mg tablets! (11 pills 3 times a day?!)
                                    Yes, it was 3.3 g per feeding, three times a day. It mixed it with the applesauce pretty well. It all fit in a 60-mL syringe.
                                    The Evil Chem Prof


                                    • #19
                                      I think the more typical symptoms of hind gut ulcers that differ from stomach is that horses with hind gut ulcers tend to be bloated and gas colicky. They often show signs of discomfort after eating and often have diarrhea. The treatment used for my gelding was sucralfate, psyllium and a short fibre diet. He was taken off hay completely and eats soaked cubes and mashes. A blood test revealed his protein levels were really low and his stomach scope sowed no tummy ulcers. That's how we diagnosed my guy. To me your guy doesn't really sound like hind gut ulcers but I'm no vet . And tummy ulcers may be more expensive to treat, but simply giving GG once a day is a HECK of a lot easier than feeding a short fibre diet


                                      • #20
                                        Re: the dosage, my vet has me give 12 pills (300 mg) 3x a day..