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Treating for ulcers without scoping?

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  • Treating for ulcers without scoping?

    Has anyone had success doing this? I'm seriously considering it an option for Nemo. He's very girthy, very sensitive to that area, and opens his mouth and chews as if he's trying to release some sort of tension/pain when being girthed. He's also a hard keeper but loves to eat. He is very sensitive/hot under saddle as well. He's never bad or dangerous, just very fast and nervous. I'd like to rule out any pain options first and foremost.

    I know there are many other reasons that this behavior could exist, but I think it'd be worth ruling out to see if it did indeed help. As I understand, it's not horribly expensive?

    What does it generally cost to treat?(Feel free to PM if you'd rather) Does it require a vet to prescribe it? Anything else that would be helpful for me to know?
    "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

    COTH Barn Rats Clique!

  • #2
    Yes, I have. My horse had been scoped and treated once already, so when the symptoms came back we just went for it.

    Treatment-wise - it depends on what you go with. Many people on this forum get "pop rocks" from India, which don't require a prescription and are cheaper. If you do a search for ulcers or blue pop rocks on the Horse Care forum, you'll find a million threads.

    Prescription-wise, it depends on your vet on how much it costs - different vets will prescribe different things. Standard treatment with GastroGard is a tube a day for 28 days, and then you need to wean them off of it slowly. I did 28 days of a full tube and then another 28 days of half a tube. It's ~$38 a tube, so it's expensive.

    Other prescription med options are Ranitidine or Cimetidine.


    • #3
      I have had a lot of success managing my TB's sensitive stomach with pop rocks, based on his symptoms (he does this tongue-sucking thing when he needs them, and gets crabby to groom).

      However, please use caution -- pnwjumper has posted about her horse colicing badly, possibly as a result of pop rock constant use. I don't use them for more than a couple of weeks.

      They do not require a prescription. But...I told my vet about the pop rocks and he now recommends them to other clients that can't afford a full round of Gastroguard/Ulcerguard but have a horse with ulcer symptoms.

      The website is omeprazoledirect.com.


      • #4
        In the past, I've given the full ranitidine dosage (6.6mg/kg 3xday) for a week to 10 days to see if there is any change in behavior.
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


        • #5
          I do the "Mylanta test"- 60ccs Mylanta before each meal or before a stressful activity. If symptoms improve, treat for ulcers. Others have posted that a ranitidine test is more helpful. I've never used that; liquid antacid has usually told me what I need to know.
          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

          Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
          Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.


          • #6
            Go to the Horse Care forum and do a search for Ulcers.. TONS of information about it there.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you for the suggestions. Keep them coming. It's also been recommended that I start with Brewer's yeast as a cheap starting point.
              "And my good dreams? They all come with a velvet muzzle and four legs. All my good dreams are about horses."--In Colt Blood

              COTH Barn Rats Clique!


              • #8
                I have a horse that has different symptoms but I suspect ulcers.

                I started him on ranitidine. I also ordered some brewers yeast.

                So far he has been on the treating dose for 4 days. Vet said 28 days, so we will see!

                I just grind them and syringe them 10 minutes before his grain morning and night.

                I also put him on some alfalfa since that is also supposed to help ulcers.


                • #9
                  I've done the Gastroguard/Ulcerguard approach without scoping first. It was clear in a couple of days that we had hit the mark correctly.

                  Incidentally - that was done at my vet's suggestion.
                  We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                    However, please use caution -- pnwjumper has posted about her horse colicing badly, possibly as a result of pop rock constant use. I don't use them for more than a couple of weeks.
                    wow. I didnt know this. I've had my horse on them consistently for some time now. I wonder if I should give him a break and only treat when his symptoms arise...



                    • #11
                      I had my horse scoped so I had an idea of how bad the ulcers were (his were grade 1 to 1.5 on a 0-3 scale). He was then treated with Ulcergard for 28 days and slowly tapered off after the treatment ended. For management, I moved him to a barn where he's on grass and turned out 24/7.

                      I would not scope again unless there was a radical change that indicated that they were worse than before. Some horses seem to have dramatic results from omeprazole treatment, but I never saw anything dramatic with my guy. I have noticed him cribbing more again and he's a little touchy around the girth, so I plan to do a month of pop rocks as soon as the shipment arrives.
                      Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Instagram | Flickr | Calendar


                      • #12
                        I had a horse that showed signs of ulcers after extended travel. My vet recommended ranitedine for 10 days to see if we saw improvement. After 5 days there was such a significant improvement that we left him on it for 2 months, then slowly tapered him back. Never did have to use omeprezole.
                        My adventures as a working rider



                        • #13
                          My horse had been much quieter than his usual self and then refused two of the first four fences on xc before I pulled him up. Called the vet out, did flexions and all that jazz to rule out lameness before vet suggested putting him on Neigh-Lox to see if it helped. Three days later, back to his normal self and he's been on it ever since. It can be pricey, I think a 25 or 30 pound bucket which I believe does 60 days of three doses a day is $139. But I give two doses a day because that's all he needs so it lasts a little longer. I think if you are just giving it a test, do the GastroGuard thing and if that seems to work, find a longer term supplement to keep him on.


                          • #14
                            I had a Thoroughbred gelding that showed a lot of the classic ulcer symptoms. I talked it over with my vet and we decided that instead of scoping and then treating to just save the money on scoping and go straight to treating. He showed improvement fairly quickly so we knew it was the right decision.
                            Maggie Bright, lovingly known as Skye and deeply missed (1994 - 2013)
                            The Blog


                            • #15
                              I'm just in the last week of my 30-day blue pop rocks treatment on my TB gelding. I did the antacid test first - dosed him with antacid, waited 20 min, then rode, and there was a noticeable difference. Ordered the BPR and in the meantime fed him antacid in his breakfast and dinner and dosed with aloe juice before riding.

                              Within 2 days of omeprazole treatment with the BPR, I had my old horse back. I'll be tapering him off the BPR at the end of the full treatment period.

                              The website for the pop rocks is www.abler.com. Shipping does take a while as it's coming from the South Pacific, so you might want to use something else like aloe juice or antacid in the meantime.
                              I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.


                              • #16
                                What is he eating? Hay? Free choice? Turnout?


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                  I've done the Gastroguard/Ulcerguard approach without scoping first. It was clear in a couple of days that we had hit the mark correctly.

                                  Incidentally - that was done at my vet's suggestion.
                                  This exactly. After a full course, I kept him on a preventative daily ulcer supplement and he got 1/4 tube every day at horse shows. Worked great!


                                  • #18
                                    Not to hijack the thread but has anyone used the AbGard from them? And is there a plus over the AbGard vs blue "pop rocks"


                                    • #19
                                      I did this with a mare I had. Started her on an omeprazole suspension the vet had compounded with an excellent local pharmacy. Saw improvement within 36 hours and a diiferent horse within a week.
                                      Thanks for the info on Blue Pop rocks- I am going to order some.


                                      • #20
                                        I ordered the 28-day pack of whichever of the -Gards is not Rx, and sent them with my horse when he went to the trainer's. I suspected some ulcers and knew he'd be stressed. No scoping, didn't talk to my vet. He's much better now, interested in food and not as jumpy, no more diarrhea. The trainer saw such an improvement that he now recommends everyone bringing in a hotter type horse send along the stuff as well.
                                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl