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Scoping if Gastroguard/Ulcergard/Ranitidine has been ineffective???

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  • Scoping if Gastroguard/Ulcergard/Ranitidine has been ineffective???

    Last week, my soon-to-be 29 year old QH gelding went completly off his feed. He had two other bouts of supposed ulcers in the last year, one caused by Previcox, and the other cause unknown. Both resolved within two days with UG or GG and, of course, withdrawing the Previcox.

    I consulted with my vet, and she recommended that I treat aggressively for ulcers. So, a full tube of GG daily for the last 5 days, plus slurries of Ranitidine every 8 hours since Saturday.

    Still no improvement. He appears to WANT to eat, but won't touch any grain, mashes, bran, soaked alfalfa cubes, chaffe hay, third cut alfalfa leaves, or beet pulp, warm, cold, every which way. He ate some shredded carrots yesterday, but won't touch them today. He tries to eat some grass hay, but loses interest quickly, even though I've chopped it up so he can eat it more easily.

    Vet is coming out to check him tomorrow. If the blood work and general examination are OK, then the cost for a scope at the local vet hospital is $500.

    My issue is that I understand that scoping can tell me if there are ulcers in the parts of the digestive system it can reach, but that's all it can do, and that my money might be better spent on more GG. On the other hand, I'm getting nowhere with the GG.

    I've already purchased some BPR in anticipation of improvement, but that's not happened yet.

    Guess I mainly wanted to whine, but what would you do?

    The old guy is a pet, with many missing teeth and some arthritis, but hasn't been much of a problem until lately and now he's losing weight and seems anxious.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.

  • #2
    If you give him something to coat the stomach, does he eat?

    While five days of gastrogard sure won't CURE anything, I would expect to see SOME improvement in his appetite if the problem was actually ulcers. Since you have not seen any improvement, my inclination would be to look elsewhere--in the mouth, perhaps, or even in the guttural pouches, or something odd happening further down in the gut.

    Bloodwork may also be enlightening, as high kidney values can cause inappetance. I think high liver values can do the same thing.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks Simkie -- that's why I'm wanting to do the bloodwork before the scope.

      He stops eating entirely whenever I give him the GG/Ranitidine.

      I think he thinks he's going to die.right.now. when I dose him.

      I'm worried, as I also expected some improvement by this point.
      Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.


      • #4
        You could try Succeed! It helps with hind gut ulcers in case that's what is going on. I'm not sure how quickly you should see results with that though (I believe the GG should show SOME relief after several doses)
        "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

        Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue


        • #5
          My mare had ulcers that were confirmed with a scope, but prior to scoping we did GG to see if there was improvement. I was certian it was ulcers, vet was certain it was not.

          After 8 days of 1 tube daily, there was no improvement, so I scoped her. www.photobucket.com/ulcers

          She didn't start showing improvement until we were almost DONE with the 28 day treatment regimen.

          Both resolved within two days with UG or GG
          I doubt it, if he really did have ulcers, two days isn't going to do much.

          I consulted with my vet, and she recommended that I treat aggressively for ulcers. So, a full tube of GG daily for the last 5 days, plus slurries of Ranitidine every 8 hours since Saturday.
          5 days on GG isn't always going to show miracles, and 5 days certainly isn't going to heal ulcers if he had them bad enough. I wouldn't consider 5 days of treatment an aggressive approach.

          If you REALLY want to know whats in that gut, scope. Otherwise, really do an aggressive treatment of 1 tube daily for 28 days, and then taper the dose down over a period of weeks to prevent a rebound effect.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • #6
            Broken/cracked tooth (or teeth)?


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for your replies. I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I've given 5 full tubes of GG so far, but will continue. And future vet, we did check the teeth today (whats left of them) and nothing appears to be dental.

              So we are going forward with GG for 28 days, as per SuckerForHorses. I did mention the Succeed and my vet is pondering it.

              As an aside, my vet (who also has chinese med certifications) did some acupuncture, which was quite interesting to watch. The old guy was clearly painful at the digestive system points, and about 10 minutes into his session, he began eating with gusto, and was voracious after the electro-acupuncture.

              So tentatively better, but will keep up with the western medicine for a month, then a taper. (If things continue to improve.) May do so adjunctive Chinese herbal medicine as well. And ranitidine.

              And the vet said absolutely no corn products.
              Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.