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Feeding an ulcer prone horse

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  • Feeding an ulcer prone horse

    I know this topic has been discussed way more than once, but I have some specific questions I'd love for you to address.

    I know that alfalfa is a great way to go because of it's buffering effect and that little to no concentrated feed is also good, but I have a few questions concerning it.

    My horse now gets quite a bit of grain and mostly grass hay. Not my choice, I board him and it kills me. I'm calling the owner tomorrow to discuss options because I highly suspect my horse has ulcers and he is going through a flare up, as symptoms have gotten worse lately (and solved for the short period of time that I dosed him with uclergard). I'm going to be treating him shortly, but I don't want him to go back to his previous diet and void out the expensive treatment. I'm going to get him on some supplement such as G.U.T. or SmartGut as well, but I'm still researching my options.

    So, I was wondering what kind of feed you give an ulcer prone horse. He will have hay consistantly available in front of him in the form of grass hay and T&A, plus a flake of alfalfa with his AM and PM feedings (this will amount to roughly 6-7 flakes of hay per day, weight varies of course). Now, I do feel as though he is going to require more caloric intake than just the hay. He is a barrel racer and is ridden 4-6 days per week. Moderate exercise for the most part, although can be considered heavy with the speed work involved.

    My question is, since he will require the calories that he gets with his grain feed, what kind of concentrate should I give him to keep his weight up?

    Would alfalfa pellets and beet pulp be too much alfalfa? I am thinking that beet pulp is a good way to go, but I was hoping there was something else I could add for a little taste and energy. Barley or oats? There are some good options out there, I'm just not sure which ones to use.

    Also, is apple cidar vinigar good for ulcer horses, and if so, how much would you recommend as a top dress over their feed?

    Thanks!!

  • #2
    Instead of alfalfa pellets which are very concentrated (and can give the runs...) I used soaked tim/alf cubes to supplement my horse, esp. in the winter. Beet pulp would be fine too. My horse is on TC Senior (about 6 lbs. per day, and in winter he was on slightly more...he has trouble chewing hay - won't touch a round bale but finishes his hay bag in his stall) and he hasn't had a flare up since his first bout in January.

    My vet said his current diet of the cubes, BP, TC Senior and also rice bran pellets was excellent for an ulcer prone horse. The alfalfa especially is great.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a horse who was scoped and diagnosed with ulcers (and treated for them). I changed his diet as a result. I think the biggest factor on the front end was treating him with gastrogard, then making sure to give him ulcergard anytime he has a stressor like traveling/showing. This treatment made it possible to improve his weight and condition on very little grain. He now eats only alfalfa, probably only six flakes a day, but it is fed free choice (always has it in front of him). He also eats TC 30% supplement (a diet balancer), 2 lbs a day, top dressed with 4 oz. a day of TC Rice Bran Oil Plus and no other concentrate feed. He looks better than ever, has put on a lot more muscle, and is a much happier fellow. I do think diet is extremely important in managing ulcer-prone horses.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Ok, great! I have been trying to find a TC dealer in my area but remarkabley, there are none! We have Manna Pro, Seminole, nutrena, and Purina, but no southern states Triple Crown. I've heard great things about them too =(.

        I was thinking the rice bran pellets would be great too, plus beet pulp. I would feed cubes, but they would only get soaked for maybe 10 minutes, as I board at a barn and they're not so hot about going above and beyond, so they'd only get soaked for the short time that they were readying feed. Would that be acceptable?

        Comment


        • #5
          I am currently treating my thbd with UG (full tube a day) and have been asking this question as well.

          Mine gets: free choice grass, t/a hay, a small amount of Purina Tri-Max (Ultium in the US), a pro-biotic and alfalfa cubes in the evening after his UG.

          I feed my horse the alfalfa cubes myself in the evening. Are you able to be there every night? That way I know they are getting into him (along with the spendy UG) and are soaked enough (fear choke). I break them up as much as I can with my hands while waiting for the kettle to boil. Add boiling water and then let sit for 5-10 minutes and add a lot more cold water and feed. It is pretty soupy when he gets it. He loves it!

          I have heard the acv is a no-go with ulcer prone horses.

          Good luck!
          "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
            I am currently treating my thbd with UG (full tube a day) and have been asking this question as well.

            Mine gets: free choice grass, t/a hay, a small amount of Purina Tri-Max (Ultium in the US), a pro-biotic and alfalfa cubes in the evening after his UG.

            I feed my horse the alfalfa cubes myself in the evening. Are you able to be there every night? That way I know they are getting into him (along with the spendy UG) and are soaked enough (fear choke). I break them up as much as I can with my hands while waiting for the kettle to boil. Add boiling water and then let sit for 5-10 minutes and add a lot more cold water and feed. It is pretty soupy when he gets it. He loves it!

            I have heard the acv is a no-go with ulcer prone horses.

            Good luck!
            No, I wish I could, but I can't get out there every day. I have classes often during the day and I work in the evenings. I will get out there every day during his treatment, but to keep it up would be too much for me. I can spend some time breaking up the cubes when I buy them (could I just take a hammer to them?) then have them soak them a bit before feeding, like I mentioned. I like the idea of using the cubes (more finacially feasible than buying 5 extra bales of alfalfa a month), but I don't want him to choke if they've only been soaked for a short time.

            What about plain crimped oats and beet pulp, with the cubes as well? I knows oats have a higher NSC, but would something as simple as the oats upset his ulcers?

            Comment


            • #7
              Seminole Feed

              Originally posted by acoustic View Post
              Ok, great! I have been trying to find a TC dealer in my area but remarkabley, there are none! We have Manna Pro, Seminole, nutrena, and Purina, but no southern states Triple Crown. I've heard great things about them too =(.

              I was thinking the rice bran pellets would be great too, plus beet pulp. I would feed cubes, but they would only get soaked for maybe 10 minutes, as I board at a barn and they're not so hot about going above and beyond, so they'd only get soaked for the short time that they were readying feed. Would that be acceptable?
              I've used Seminole for years; it's a great feed. I'd still be using it if I could get it in this state.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Bump =)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ultium has ground corn and molasses in it. Try to find a concentrate without corn, oats and molasses. I am feeding a concentrate that has no grain and no molasses in it. I don't know if it is easily found outside of the west coast. It is LMF Low Carb Stage 1.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
                    Ultium has ground corn and molasses in it. Try to find a concentrate without corn, oats and molasses. I am feeding a concentrate that has no grain and no molasses in it. I don't know if it is easily found outside of the west coast. It is LMF Low Carb Stage 1.
                    Yes, I was definatly going to avoid both of those items. I found a grain free food by Purina called "Wellsolve, L/S" it is grain free, but it is super expensive! $25 per 50lb bag. EEP! I do like the ingedient list on it though. I guess with increasing his forage and feeding alfalfa, he won't need much concentrate except to transport supplements, so I may go that route with a little beet pulp for extra calories.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Fan of Triple Crown Low Starch here... it is corn, molasses, and alflafa free. It is a beet and rice bran based grain. My guy is not only happier on it (attitude) but his body has never looked so good!
                      Gone gaited....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ultium

                        Ultium was recommended for my ulcer-prone EPSM show horse. He did well on Hallway's Releve, but he didn't enjoy the taste very much. Right now he is FAT.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My ulcer prone TB gets:

                          A.M. Alfalfa pellets, rice bran and a ration balancer
                          P.M. Soaked alfalfa/timothy cubes and rice bran.

                          All the grass hay he wants.
                          Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                          EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Since mine has been on ulcer treatment I started giving him a 3d meal daily with 2 quarts beet pulp (measured dry, then soaked so it's a little more) and 1 lb UltraBloom, which is Seminole's rice bran pellet supplement. He's picking up weight like gangbusters on it, and his poop is more of a consistent consistency.

                            He was getting about 6lbs of 12% local sweet a day plus Seminole Equalizer 1lb (RB), and then 24h turnout on grass. I'm changing the feed over to a lower-starch selection, haven't yet decided if I'm going pelleted or other.

                            With all the research I've done and from speaking with my vet, the most important thing is to just make sure they have some sort of forage in their bellies at all times. The other considerations are managing stressful situations (feeding a buffer or ulcerguard) when they occur, and putting them on concentrates that are the most like forage possible in order to help the gut stay healthier. And from there it's trial and error as you try to figure out what's going on in your specific horse's gut.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you considered high fat and low NSC? I use rice bran as a fat additive and a ration balancer for minerals and plenty of grass hay.My horse looks awesome on it...The RB I use has no corn or molassas but a tiny bit of oats.....
                              Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                              Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                              "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by acoustic View Post
                                What about plain crimped oats and beet pulp, with the cubes as well? I knows oats have a higher NSC, but would something as simple as the oats upset his ulcers?
                                My ulcer horse is currently eating soaked alfalfa cubes, oats and TC Senior. He is pretty expressive when he's not happy with his feed - will not eat or will crib afterwards. This combo is working well for him. If you have hot water the cubes shouldn't have to soak for that long.. I put my guy's at the bottom of his bucket and top with oats and Senior, fill to a couple inches above the feed and let it sit while I pick him out of the field. By the time he comes in and mows through the oats and Senior, the cubes have turned to mush!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My two OTTBs have been treated for ulcers with UlcerGard for 30 days + weaning (the gelding twice and I DIDN'T change his diet the first time - stupid me). Right now, they both get (3x/day) 2 cups plain shredded beet pulp soaked, 1 cup Enrich 32 (RB), 1/2 cup corn oil. Grass all day and night bugs and weather permitting + 2-3 large flakes orchard/alfalfa hay (could have more but they currently walk away from hay fed in paddock as they prefer the grass - when they come in during the day to get out of sun, they have 2 flakes of hay).

                                  Questions: Both horses are ridden 4-6 days a week depending on my work schedule and weather - is there a pelleted feed by Seminole, Triple Crown, or Purina that any of you think is better than what these two are getting/why? Any general recommendations regarding feed?

                                  (1st two weeks of the school year and last 2 weeks of school year I generally do not ride at all; horses go to trainer - not possible this year so both have had big smiles on their toothy faces ) (now I get to start grinning - school ended YESTERDAY!!! )

                                  Thanks!
                                  ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a horse with ulcers and is always prone to it. Right now he's doing great. We give him Strategy and Equine Senior (he is 10 only though, but I dont think that matters) from Purina. It is GREAT! Equine Senior already has beet pulp in it and molasses for flavor. This combo has been working great for me. We also give him ProBios (they work well, 15 grams a day for a working horse), salt enriched with potassium (The ProBios and salt go in the grain), 1 flake of alfalfa (we measure by weight so we give him around 5 or 6 lbs of alfalfa and 4 to 6 lbs of hay per PM and AM feeding. The pasture is great for a horse with ulcers. Make sure to keep him away from other horses who might bother him while he is eating. We give my horse 5 cups of Strategy and 5 cups of Equine Senior. (8 cups of Equine Senior is 3 lbs and 8 cups of Strategy is 4 lbs, the more weight for your horse, the better. You're supposed to measure in weight not in quantity- cups for grain for example unless you know how much weight is in a cup of grain).Equine Senior is good for digestion. Purina Mills is a great place to get your grain from. It's easy to eat and digest and is great for your horse. To learn some stuff about Purina feeds, you can go to www.omoleneuniversity.com or just Google it.
                                    ~He dares to be a fool, and that is the first step in the direction of wisdom~
                                    -James Huneker

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I like to keep the diet simple...My horse has grass, hay and rice bran and a ration balancer and he looks like a million bucks! As for all the other feeds with high sugar content, it is not the healthiest thing for a horse. If you want to give pro bios please find one without sugar(glucose,fructose etc)
                                      If your horse has ulcers the simple diet is the best..remember horses are to be grazing 18-20 hours a day...not have meals 2-3 times a day this is harder on the belly....
                                      If your horse is walking away from it, it might be hard on his belly to digest so they will not eat it..
                                      JMHO
                                      Last edited by ivy62; May. 30, 2009, 09:45 PM.
                                      Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
                                      Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
                                      "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I just treated my problem child with UlcerGuard in March. She was looking starved to death, and has been well-known locally in our area as an absolute witch for a good ten years now. Since the ulcerguard treatment, the change in her temperament has been amazing, and she's put on 200lbs !

                                        Anyway, I digress.... I have found a wonderful product called 'Timothy Balanced Cubes' - dried grass cubes from Ontario. I have to soak them, but it's literally a five minute job - they're very flaky crumbly cubes and they soak up the water in no time flat to form a lovely mush. And My Mare, who won't eat anything, just loves them. To the extent that I can now hide any meds in there, and she'll still eat it (this is unheard of for her !)

                                        I also give her #29 mix from Silver Lining Herbs, and Dynamite's Miracle clay, although since I started these both together, I can't say for sure which, if either is having a beneficial effect. I like them both and they're cheap though, so I'm going to carry on and see if I can figure out whether or not they're working.

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