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Ulcer Help!

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  • Ulcer Help!

    Ok so my 5 yo TB gelding was scoped in a free clinic put on my UlcerGard this weekend. As I expected, he has ulcers, pretty bad. He is a poor hay eater, he was on stall rest from June 09 until December 09 with limited (small) turnout. He is a hard keeper and he is hard to put weight on. Surprise, he has ulcers.

    So I'm about to embark on a $1000 treatment of GastroGard (1 tube per day for 28 days) as recommended by my vet. Has anyone else done the 28 day treatment before with GastroGard? I am going to do a re-scope in maybe 45 days.

    What do I have to do to prevent them from coming back? He has regular turnout now with 3-4 lunges or rides per week. He still is not a good hay eater and for grain he gets 2Q hay stretcher 2Q Senior (recommended by vet) and 1Q 10-10-10. A few days ago I started adding 1Q of beet pulp to the grain and soaking it as well. He gets grained 2x per day.

    Any advise from anyone that has dealt with moderate to severe ulcers before?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Follow the regimen entirely

    Originally posted by JstMyLuck3 View Post
    Ok so my 5 yo TB gelding was scoped in a free clinic put on my UlcerGard this weekend. As I expected, he has ulcers, pretty bad. He is a poor hay eater, he was on stall rest from June 09 until December 09 with limited (small) turnout. He is a hard keeper and he is hard to put weight on. Surprise, he has ulcers.

    So I'm about to embark on a $1000 treatment of GastroGard (1 tube per day for 28 days) as recommended by my vet. Has anyone else done the 28 day treatment before with GastroGard? I am going to do a re-scope in maybe 45 days.

    What do I have to do to prevent them from coming back? He has regular turnout now with 3-4 lunges or rides per week. He still is not a good hay eater and for grain he gets 2Q hay stretcher 2Q Senior (recommended by vet) and 1Q 10-10-10. A few days ago I started adding 1Q of beet pulp to the grain and soaking it as well. He gets grained 2x per day.

    Any advise from anyone that has dealt with moderate to severe ulcers before?

    Thanks!
    but see if you can change his diet to include more long fiber or short fiber come to that, hay, chopped hay etc. add is some calcium carbonate as a buffer for the stomach acid, either as tums, or as TractGard or one of the other buffers.

    and see if he can have more turn out time to eat grass. Reducing stress, increasing fiber in the diet and use of calcium based buffers is the best way to reduce incidence of ulcers.

    Best of luck
    Yours
    MW
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
    New edition of book is out:
    Horse Nutrition Handbook.

    www.knabstruppers4usa.com

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    • #3
      Honestly, he will probably start eating hay again once you start treating the ulcers. My horse went from pacing/whinnying for grain before ulcers, to hardly any interest in grain/hay. When we treated, he went back to his old self. I completely stopped any grain. Horse now eats basically free choice grass hay with occasional alfalfa hay in the mix and "grain wise" he gets a ration balancer, alfalfa pellets (6lbs/day), corn oil, rice bran and a chopped forage.

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      • #4
        He may become a much better hay eater after the ulcecr treatment. Increaing his hay is the safest way to add calories to an ulcer horse. Then adding fats to his diet is next best. He's getting a lot of concentrates right now (even though they are hay strecher and senior), that's not ideal. Trying a higher fat feed might be better instead (Ultium, XTN, Omegatin, there are lots of them).

        Also braking the feedings up into 3 times (or more) would be better. It's best not to feed more than 3-5 lbs of feed per feeding to horses with "Sensitive" digestive trats.

        What do you consider "regular" turnout? Our ulcer prone guys are on a MINIMUM of 12 hours daily. 2-4 hours isn't really adequate for some of these guys.

        The PERFECT situation would be grass turnout 24/7, but I realize that's not always possible in some areas.

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        • #5
          We did 1 month on a full dose of Gastrogard and are almost finished with a "step down" dosage program that took a month as well. He goes back to the clinic on Wednesday to be rescoped. So, two full months on Gastrogard and then some sort of maintenance as determined by the internal specialist, which we will discuss on Wednesday, as long as everything looks good. Can let you know what we are going to do for maintenance, if you would be interested. I am hoping for something a little less expensive, even though my insurance provider picked up everything but the deductible on this one!

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          • #6
            Many tiny meals, lots of forage. I would also remove all grain from the diet. They don't really need it.

            Increased calcium, in the form of alfalfa hay, or cubes or pellets, beet also has more Ca. Add a vitamin/ mineral supplement.

            Increased turn out does not always cure ulcers, horses on 24/7 turnout have scoped with ulcers, foals have scoped with ulcers.

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            • #7
              I have 2 horses--one classic case of ulcers (weight loss, go off feed, grinding teeth). She now gets a probiotic in with her feed, which is a textured feed that has a high fat content, stemmy hay that helps promote saliva to ward off acid, and also gets alfalfa hay with it too. Try to turn her out 24/7, bringing in only to eat.

              11 yo gelding not so much classic case. He gives himself ulcers by worrying. He gets ration balancer with lots of hay, pasture (he can't have alfalfa) 24/7 turnout, succeed for him, and he gets an acid buffer gastro-ade (has bismuth, calcium carbonate, aloe). I think he may need to be on ulcerguard maintenance dose as his symptoms are creeping back up, I need to get him scoped as his ulcers may not have quite healed after 1.5 months of treatment...

              Comment


              • #8
                go here:

                https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/08-033

                download for free as PDF. Dr. Al Jassim was a guest in my house a few years back. Fermentation of carbs starts in the equine stomach. That's what produces the acidity. For sure grain has proven to be a trigger.
                My theory is that high sugar grass and hay can cause ulcers too, either in the stomach or the colon. Seen it happen on horses fed really high sugar/fructan pasture and hay and no grain. Some academics seem to think its a good theory.

                Katy
                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org

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                • #9
                  I have a horse that had chronic ulcers. The only solution I have found is to severly restrict his sugar intake. He gets no grain (remember most pelleted feed is grain). He gets no horse cookies (poor big guy). I had him on beet pulp with molasses and noticed a difference when I changed to beet pulp without molasses. When I had him on grain he was a poor keep. I kept increasing his grain and he would lose more weight. When I took him off grain, he gained weight. I let him graze on grass, and I do not soak his hay, but I could restrict that as well if he needed it. Now this is my horse and what works for him may not work for any other horse, so take it with a grain of salt. Without restricting his sugar in take, I had to give him 1/3 tube of gastro guard a day everyday, which was breaking me.

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                  • #10
                    I agree no grain.....and try to find low sugar hay....alfalfa is supposed to be a good choice for horses with ulcers.

                    Dalemma

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                    • #11
                      This is suppose to be a great long term treatment for ulcers. So maybe once you are done with the ulcer gard you could try this:
                      http://www.farmvet.com/p-912-u-gardsolution.aspx

                      Also that site runs sales on ulcerguard alot..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I did 35 days of full tubes for my horse, and have done 1/4 tube doses when needed for maintenance. I now use Ulcer Stop http://www.oxyhors.com/oxygenproducts.htm which is generic omeprazole and electrolytes in a paste form.

                        Definitely don't use any of the "sweet feeds" available like Omolene, as the NSC value can be as high as 50%. Also whole grains like corn and oats are very high in NSC. I use soaked beet pulp and a little Ultium which is 16% NSC. You can also use pellets such as Wellsolve L/S which is about 11% NSC. I also feed ground flax seed and a little Manna Pro rice bran meal. Be careful, some rice bran preparations can be very high in NSC. Seminole is the lowest, Manna Pro is the next best, and some of the more "generic" ones can be as high as 30% depending on the way it is processed.

                        Add a little alfalfa to the diet if you can in the form of hay or pellets/cubes.

                        If I want to give her a treat, I use a handfull of Wellsolve pellets or a few alfalfa pellets. Apples are better than carrots but don't go overboard. Pecans in small amounts are ok if your horse will eat them. Don't buy commercial horse cookies or treats.

                        As the ulcers are treated, the horse's appetite will improve, but he'll need to learn to eat new foods instead of grain. My horse was an extremely hard keeper and now I'd consider her to be pretty normal. Not an easy keeper but nothing like she was 2 years ago.

                        I feed mine a lot of beet pulp and only very soft/leafy hay because the vet thought she might have colonic ulcers. After getting her on 2-3 lbs. (dry weight) of soaked beet pulp, and soaking all her pellets to mush, plus switching the hay over, the chronic loose poop normalized.
                        Last edited by Auventera Two; Mar. 16, 2010, 01:35 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Been there, Done that, finally found the formula for my guy

                          Long Story Short - july 2007 found my dream horse. came with all sorts of 'instructions', was fed huge amounts of food - ultium, rice bran, beet pulp totaling 24 lbs daily over 4 meals and free choice hay. very, very picky eater. sometimes would eat, sometimes not. would sift out rice bran/ultium one day but eat it the next.

                          I know how to care for horses and thought this was nuts but did not immediatly change anything. I kept a daily journal of intake, exercise, turnout, mood, weather, output, water, salt block, every variable. Ulcers became the very obvious and probable conclusion.

                          Advice was not to scope as even scoping has risks (check them out) and scoping can only detect ulcers about 60% of the time due to limitations of the digestive system, but to rather start on GastroGuard. For the price of scoping, you will give enough GastroGuard to know if it is working and thus most likely have the same answer with out the risks.

                          45 days of GastroGuard, massage, acupuncture at $425 per week, I had a new horse but also needed to learn how to manage that new horse so the ulcers did not fester again.

                          Again, can't stress enough the importance of keeping a daily journal to help you determine what is best for your horse ---there is no one set answer for all.

                          Through trial and error, my horse now gets
                          • three meals a day
                          • free choice hay heavy on alfalfa with some great grass hay
                          • 3 lbs Purina Senior at each meal
                          • occasionally feed 1/2 lb Purina Race Ready if he starts to get picky
                          • 2 oz of U-Gard solution first thing when put in cross-ties for any reason - grooming, tacking, farrier, getting ready to trailer, etc. U-Gard is magnesium and calcium that buffers the stomach acid
                          • 2 oz of U-7 gastric solution after riding, trailer, etc. heavy aloe vera based and good for the whole digestive tract
                          • daily turnout


                          I have not had to use GastroGuard in more than 1.5 yrs, including showing, clinics, etc. I earned by USDF Silver Medal on this horse and have my Intermediare scores towards my Gold, so this is a performance horse that could be stressed if not managed. People who haven't seen him in a while are amazed at his personality change - went from grumpy, not liking life very much to happy, laid back, loving life kind of guy. Had a judge at regional championships last Sept who knew my horse in his former life comment that she could not believe it was the same horse - his attitude, how he worked, how he looked.

                          The whole key for me was keeping that daily journal as maintaining the ulcer prone horse is very individual to that horse. OK to listen to opinions but critical to listen to your horse. And work with your vet and other professionals such as equine nutritionists, etc. The vet school was incredibly helpful with providing information, advice, etc. Seek out your information and advice from those types of professionals, not from a bb

                          good luck
                          Last edited by stoneymeadow; Mar. 16, 2010, 03:21 PM.
                          m

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                            Walnuts are ok if your horse will eat them.
                            Would not recommend feeding walnuts to horses. Walnuts are toxic due to the phenol compound Juglone, which is found in most parts of the walnut tree including the nuts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Calico View Post
                              Would not recommend feeding walnuts to horses. Walnuts are toxic due to the phenol compound Juglone, which is found in most parts of the walnut tree including the nuts.
                              Oh jesus I'm sorry calico, I typed walnuts, meant PECANS! Must have too much on my mind today. Pecans are safe to feed as an ocassional treat. Don't feed handfulls but a single nut to make the horse feel like they got something is fine. I buy small bags of pecans and a single nut in the palm of my hand makes the horse's day. I know that walnut shavings are toxic to horses unless properly composted but have never lived anywhere with trees near the horses so I don't know anything about the nuts.

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