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What do you do when your horse's stomach is irritated?

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  • What do you do when your horse's stomach is irritated?

    Gelding has been shown extensively. Stomach gets irritated easily. On daily Succeed. Ulcergard also. Occasionally still goes off his feed. How would you treat? Thanks.

  • #2
    Get the vet out and scope him.

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    • #3
      1) I would for sure get the horse scoped first. If ulcers are found I would pony up and get it on Gastro Gard as long as it's needed and then another month with a re-scope after just to ensure that the lining is thickening up and really healed.

      2) I would look at the life the horse has versus what it may need. Some horses revel in turnout and need more to be happy, some hate turnout. I would play around and see what improves things more. Adding or subtracting a certain buddy is another thought. Also the location of their stall can bother them. Play around with some changes and see if things improve.

      3) It's summer, so I recommend getting on nighttime turnout to reduce flies, heat, stomping feet, and so many other things. Make sure there's a source of cooling when they are in. But make sure that any fan doesn't cover the whole stall. Horses, like humans, sometimes want to not feel the breeze.

      4) Have a friend video you riding for an hour. No breaks, no special exercises or work, just your normal routine. Go back and watch your horse's ears. Are they relaxed, perky or do they seem less relaxed and more twitchy and always pinned or grinding teeth. Look analytically and see if there's a cause and effect.

      I know what I am proposing is costly but in the grand scheme of things I look at it like if this animal were my child and I knew he was upset, not as happy in life day to day, I would be doing all sorts of things to work on changing it. Lack of happiness is just not ok. The horse should delight in it's job and if it doesn't (Beyond simple grumbles for hard stuff) I really believe that it's up to us to find a way to get them happy.

      Em
      "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Classic View Post
        Gelding has been shown extensively. Stomach gets irritated easily. On daily Succeed. Ulcergard also. Occasionally still goes off his feed. How would you treat? Thanks.
        You need a scope to tell you what the source of irritation is, that's the only way you will learn what this horse's management plan needs to be. Unfortunately, Ulcergard isn't a magic solution for all types of ulcers, so that may not be enough to fix the issue. The horse could need a diet change, different meds, larger dose, a different supplement, etc. but you won't know until you have a specific idea of what the root cause is. And, if you do find a gastro issue, you'll have to re-scope at periodic intervals to make any new treatments or management plan is working. It's a hassle and it is expensive, but it is the best way to peel the onion and find out what you are dealing with on gastric issues. And if ulcers are found, the owner should check their major medical coverage if the horse is insured, because if not excluded there will be coverage for scopes and medication up to the capped amount.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks guys. Had this horse 9 months. Change sets his stomach off, even though he has shown and hauled extensively. Every time lots of maalox. On daily Succeed and now Ulcergard 2x day. Four times maalox got him back on his feed even though on daily Succeed and Ulcergard 2x day. Poor guy.

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          • #6
            Are you still showing him extensively? What sort of changes are we talking about? If he is having stomach issues with a settled life at home, then, yes, seems like some diagnosing would be in order. But if he's having stomach issues because you're shipping to shows every week or so, then you should stop doing that. Just because he has done it a lot doesn't mean he ever liked it. Try giving him 30 days of the life he is most comfortable with and let him get back on his feed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Classic View Post
              Thanks guys. Had this horse 9 months. Change sets his stomach off, even though he has shown and hauled extensively. Every time lots of maalox. On daily Succeed and now Ulcergard 2x day. Four times maalox got him back on his feed even though on daily Succeed and Ulcergard 2x day. Poor guy.
              I have a gelding with a sensitive digestive system who was on stall rest long term. This was really stressful for him- he lost weight, stopped eating, and was constantly pecking st his sides. We had luck with Ulcer Eraser with two other horses in the barn so we decided to give that a try. 6 months later he’s gained weight, eating, has nice solid stools and is generally a lot happier.

              Might be worth a try? It even helped one horse in our barn who was constantly sour and hated going to work. It’s not a miracle solution but I’ve personally seen it help three horses.

              I would also still get your horse scoped.

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