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Treating for ulcers on a budget

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  • Treating for ulcers on a budget

    After a long search I couldn't find the exact answer to my question, so sorry in advance for yet ANOTHER ulcer post!

    I am treating my horse for ulcers, but am on a tight budget. I've figured out that I can afford 10-14 tubes of Ulcergard, but that's already stretching the wallet. (We're on day 3 now.) I'm also doing several other things that I have been told can help prevent ulcers, but my question is would it be better to give him 10 full tubes of Ulcergard, or taper it off? If I take it down to 1/2 and then 1/4 tube, it will last much longer, but will the ulcers really be cured? And before I get tons of replies saying this, I know 30 days at a full tube is recommended, but that is simply not in an option, I cannot go into debt to treat my horse for ulcers. So, any suggestions?
    Emily

  • #2
    Small frequent meals spread throughout the day of a low starch and sugar feed. Low starch and sugar allows for a slower rate of passage in the digestive system.

    Research has shown that diets with added fat help reduce ulcer risks by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces.

    Increasing fiber in the diet allows for increased chewing time, this increases the amount of saliva production in the horse and the saliva, in turn, serves as a buffer to neutralize acid in the stomach

    Allowing your horse access to turnout and pasture. Stall confinement can sometimes add to digestive imbalances.

    Does your horse crib?

    Comment


    • #3
      Is your horse on 24/7 turnout with free choice hay? I battled ulcers when I was showing my horse for 10 years. And he had them BAD. And now that he is on pasture board he is completely fine - better than fine - he is happy, calm and sensible. If I'd know how wonderful having him on 24/7 turnout would be, I would have saved myself tons of money and stress and just ditched the stall.

      Plus, if you are paying for a stall now, you'll save money switching to pasture board - even if you have to hire a groom to keep your horse clean .

      As far as his treatment, I have done 10 days on a full tube, 10 on a half and 10 on 1/4 and had good results. I've also done the 30, and of course had better results. I've heard of people who have had success with Ranitidine, so that could be something to try. I've also heard people who have the compounded omneprazole work, which is cheaper too.

      Just my 2-cents, I'm interested to hear other replies.

      Comment


      • #4
        If this was my horse I would feed Omeprazole paste at full dose which is for treatment for 10 days and then follow up with the 700 mg Omeprazole pills made available for horses. Give the appropriate # of pills to equal dosage that your horse required of the paste. This is what I did for my horse along with reducing grain considerably and he has gained weight. My horse was kept on full dose of omeprazole for one month (9 days of that was UlcerGard paste, the rest of the month full dose of omeprazole pills). I followed up with half dose for one month using the pills. The pills are considerably cheaper and I did dose a bit high for his weight in case he chewed the pills too much and some of the omeprazole didn't make it through the stomach unscathed.

        Afterward finishing treatment I found another Omeprazole paste (not a Merial product) online and although it is priced about the same as UlcerGard purchased online $30/tube it has more Omeprazole in just one tube (almost 3 times as much). It is marketed to be a single dose of ulcer treatment but I suspect you could get up to 3 treatment doses from these tubes depending on your horse's weight. Website is http://www.equine.omeprazoledirect.com/

        Combine this treatment strategy with management changes believed to be helpful for preventing/reducing ulcer problems (alfalfa to buffer stomach, small meals, as much turnout as possible, hay in front of horse 24/7, etc.). And then treat horse with omeprazole for a couple of days prior to stressful event (trailering, showing, changing pasture buddies, etc.) and then couple of days after to help ulcers from recurring.
        Altamont Sport Horses
        Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
        Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
        Birmingham, AL

        Comment


        • #5
          WAIT! Before anybody orders from that site linked above, check out the thread I posted on Horse Care about that company. I don't think it's a legitamate company. Too many fishy things. Phone forwarded to answering service, drug is shipped from India, money back guarantee but then they will never sell to you again if you have to use it, drugs shipped in unmarked envlopes, off-shore location, etc... Check out that other thread.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hay

            Don't forget Pro CMC. It's like an equine Rolaids about $30 bucks for a gallon. My guy does well on that and he's been off it all winter due to it freezing in the barn. So far, we've not had to buy any more...HOWEVER my guy is retired and he is on a low sugar feed.

            Auventura: How is your ulcer mare? I think you mentioned she is on Pro CMC now? HOW is she doing?
            Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
            One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
            Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              You have a PM.

              One of our local vets recommends 14 days of full tube followed by 14 days of half tube, but the two horses I've seen him recommend this protocol for both ended up being re-treated a few months later. Whether that is the fault of the treatment or the continued stress/stimuli that both horses were subjected to, I can't say.

              If you have a really generous vet, he may be willing to write you a script for the compounded omeprazole paste sold by Heartland Vet Supply. It is cheaper than UlcerGard and I have no idea if it works as well--reports here on COTH are certainly mixed about whether ranitidine/sucralfate/compounded omeprazole pills work. But do search the forums for more on ranitidine and/or sucralfate, both of which appear to work well if you can administer them 3x daily.
              Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                How does on give Pro CMC? Large dosing syringe straight into mouth?
                How often a day? Or just before riding? Thx.

                Anyone ever tried Gastro from NutriScience?
                http://www.nutri-scienceusa.com/shop...?idProduct=130

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks everyone, after further searching I am definitely calling my vet to ask his thoughts on ranitidine! I unfortunately have to board him, so he cannot be out 24/7, but he is out all day from about 7:30 to 4:30. He gets 2 lbs. of a very low starch grain 3x a day and about 24 pounds of hay spread over 3 meals as well. We started thinking ulcers about a week ago, and as I said we're on day 3 of ulcergard. I've also just started giving him 1 lb. of soaked alfalfa cubes with a cup of aloe vera juice before I ride, as I understand it's better to have a little food in their stomach when ridden. So, I'm trying to cover all my bases with managing the ulcers, but I have to get rid of them first! When I call the vet to ask about ranitidine I'll also ask his opinion of whether to do the full dose of ulcergard for shorter or half doses for longer and report back! (Although from these replies I will probably do the full doses for 10 days and then try ranitidine.)
                  Emily

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ranitidine works for us.

                    I suspected ulcers were the problem with my gelding. He returned from 30 days of training (a 4 hour haul) and from December on he transitioned from a wonderfully sane horse to a PITA. Thought it was saddle fit (on the ninth saddle try now) but spoke to my vet and she said his behavior could potentially be a result of ulcers. If I were to go the ulcergard route I would have had him scoped. That's a lot of money to spend for just suspecting ulcers. But since I'm not rolling in the dough and he's not a competition horse, just pleasure, and he lives only a mile from my house I decided to forgo the scope and to just try ranitidine.

                    I buy it in bulk from Sam's. Something like $9 for 190 count of 150mg which is almost 8 doses for my boy. And with the help of my wonderful mother, Rayn's able to get his meds every 8 hours, which is the only way ranitidine will be able to help his ulcers heal. The effect of ranitidine in the body does not last longer that 8 hours so a dose every 6-8 hours is absolutely required if the pH of the gastric fluid is to consistently stay high enough for the ulcers to heal.

                    Fortunately ranitidine is working well for Rayn. His tummy his happier and it definitely shows in his movement. A week after starting the meds my instructor said she's never seen him move so big. I was so used to sitting his old trot (ok, more like a jog, I was in major denial over his English capabilities), that it took a few rides for me to figure his new stride out! His old personality is coming back and I couldn't be happier. Of course these ulcers of his could never have existed but he's staying on the ranitidine for awhile longer.
                    Wow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can also have your local pharmacist compound Omeprazole, for you if you have a pharmacy that compounds prescription drugs.
                      --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        So, would I be wasting my money to only give him ranitidine twice a day? He eats breakfast at 7:30, lunch around 12:30, and dinner around 4:30. The barn also does late night feedings at 9:30. When out of these times would be the most effective to give him the ranitidine? (if I decide to do that...which I'm definitely leaning towards.)
                        Emily

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Emily, PM me where you are located in Ky and, if in the Lexington area, who you vet with. There are other, cheaper alternatives to be found

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I guess I'd have the barn give him ranitidine at 7:30AM, 4:30PM and 9:30PM. Those times are the most spaced out. I don't think it'd be wasting your time with ranitidine given at those feedings but you might not see results as soon as you would with omeprazole. See what your vet has to say. Good luck!
                            Wow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RealityCheck View Post
                              Thanks everyone, after further searching I am definitely calling my vet to ask his thoughts on ranitidine! I unfortunately have to board him, so he cannot be out 24/7, but he is out all day from about 7:30 to 4:30. He gets 2 lbs. of a very low starch grain 3x a day and about 24 pounds of hay spread over 3 meals as well. We started thinking ulcers about a week ago, and as I said we're on day 3 of ulcergard. I've also just started giving him 1 lb. of soaked alfalfa cubes with a cup of aloe vera juice before I ride, as I understand it's better to have a little food in their stomach when ridden. So, I'm trying to cover all my bases with managing the ulcers, but I have to get rid of them first! When I call the vet to ask about ranitidine I'll also ask his opinion of whether to do the full dose of ulcergard for shorter or half doses for longer and report back! (Although from these replies I will probably do the full doses for 10 days and then try ranitidine.)
                              Make sure you feed hay before the grain. Ideally, do not feed any grain if you can and substitute with something else like alfalfa, if he tolerates this well. Does he have pasture when he's turned out?

                              Some folks also had good results using papaya paste

                              You could also invest in some slow hay feeders, either bags or other designs, to slow down his eating and simulate more natural feeding behvior when he's in the stall or outside if there's not much pasture to nibble on: http://paddockparadise.wetpaint.com/...Feeders?t=anon

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Pull shoes and turn out for 8 weeks, no shoeing, no lessons, no showing, no stabling? Assuming there's a decent place available for pasture board and the move wouldn't stress him. Not "the" solution, but maybe "a" solution? If this allowed a substantial savings, maybe the omeprazole would be do-able for a 2 week course?

                                I wouldn't spend one penny on any "supplement", which (by the time you try 3 or 4 of them) would probably wind up costing about the same as ulcergard or ranitidine, if not more.
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                  I wouldn't spend one penny on any "supplement", which (by the time you try 3 or 4 of them) would probably wind up costing about the same as ulcergard or ranitidine, if not more.
                                  Agreed! I started my ulcer treatment with cimetidine (wanted ranitidine, but the script called in said cimetidine, so I went with it) and it was a waste of $100. I couldn't get the meds into the horse and it didn't make as great a difference.

                                  I shopped around a TON and found Ulcergard for $27 a tube at entirelypets. I was able to get over three weeks for about $600. That is the absolute max I can afford at the moment, and 10 days in has made a huge difference, so I'm satisfied.

                                  If I had to do just the 10 days of Ulcergard, I would put the horse on ranitidine/cimetidine/other script, change his turnout if possible, ensure he has unlimited hay and low starch feeds and not ride for a few weeks.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Pines - Sweets is doing GREAT, thanks for asking. Rode for an hour and a half today and she was wonderful.

                                    Yes I use Pro-CMC daily. I give her 1 ounce in with her feed, I just mix it in. Also I give supplemental magnesium. She eats alfalfa also.

                                    When riding and she needs electrolytes, I mix it with the Pro-CMC and use a 60cc syringe to dose it.

                                    It's kind of funny, I've had an issue with ulcers for years and I just started a 21 day treatment cycle of omeprazole myself. I used to take Protonix, which is pantroprazole sodium, and that worked great too. Not sure if they've ever tried that for horses???

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Just to clarify, I AM doing ulcergard for at least 10 days, and hopefully a full 2 weeks if I can swing it. As to the grain, I have already cut it back to 2 lbs. twice a day, but he is a hard keeper and I event him preliminary, so if I go too much lower than that he'll drop a lot of weight quickly. I haven't ridden him for basically a month, between injecting his hocks and then stifles, and now this, and he hasn't been trailered anywhere since last fall. Thanks for all the replies, you've given me me lots of options to consider!
                                      Emily

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        my guy had the same problem...

                                        along with treating him with everything else, try maalox. couple squirts in the mouth with that before anything that could be considered stressful (riding, jumping, trailering, showing, trail riding) halps coat their tummy so it doesnt hurt as bad when ur riding. My guy was a beefy 16.2 Thoroughbred and i'd give him 3 syringes of it. tons more if we were at a show.

                                        i really do thing it helped. plus it was CHEAP.

                                        changing him from being in a stall to turnout full time helped tons too.

                                        Comment

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