Possible Ulcers???

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Possible Ulcers???

This is a discussion on Possible Ulcers??? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    08-10-2009, 10:09 AM
Possible Ulcers???

I had a Equine Massage therapist come out and work on Classy Sat. Classy absolutely loved the massage until she got to a particular area. I have noticed that she was a bit sensitive in this area but honestly didnt think much of it. It's on her right side back by her barrel. When the therapist was trying ot massage that area Classy got very toucy. She pinned her ears and actually bit at me which she has never done in the 10 years I have owned her. She did say her muscles were a little tight in that area but that she also might have an ulcer.

What are good products to use to help prevent ulcers and what should I start doing for her now? I'm in the process of getting her onto Seminole feed for IR horses...even though she hasn't been tested for it it wont hurt to feed her that way to see if there are any changes.
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    08-10-2009, 10:12 AM
Before you treat for anything, please contact a vet.
    08-10-2009, 10:20 AM
Thank you for your concern but the only vet I have is 4 hrs away and I have to haul. We don't have local large animal vets unfortunately in our area so a lot of people I have learned have had to make due..Sad but true! Trust me if I had an option to have a vet that knew what they were doing I would have them out as soon as possible!
    08-10-2009, 03:12 PM
Green Broke
You could still call the vet?
    08-10-2009, 03:37 PM
Ulcer treatment is very expensive. If your horse does not have ulcers, why go through the expense.

If you suspect your horse is IR, it would benefit both of you to have him tested.

There are so many things in horses that seemingly point in one direction but the truth lies elsewhere. You owe it to your equine friend to find out the truth.
    08-10-2009, 03:58 PM
Hey! There are lots of ways to help ulcers. I work with racehorses, and the statistic is that 95% of racehorses have ulcers. We treat ALL our stock for ulcers to some extent. Mostly we run a preventative program. If your horse gets a lot of concentrate (grain) feed in many small meals instead of one or 2 large meals. Keep him on pasture as much as you can. Try to ensure he drinks a lot. There are products from the vet (Gastroguard) that are VERY expensive. They are amazing, but unless your horse is showing other signs of an ulcer, I would not go that route. If you have a good feedstore, or even better a racetrack with a tack store, go in there and see what they have in the way of daily suplements. There are many that can be used with great success. If you are still worried, take a blood and have it assessed. There are markers on bloodwork that can indicate ulcers. They are working on a urine test now to diagnose - elevated sugar in the urine can mean ulcer. Tha only way I have seen a vet definitively diagnose ulcers is through gastroscope. Your vet may not even have a gastroscope.
I'm sure your MT is great, but just because your horse was a litttle sore doesn't mean it has ulcers - try not to worry too much. They are so common and can be managed without breaking the bank. Look up some of the research online. I'll try and find the links to some great studies and post them for you.
    08-10-2009, 04:06 PM
Thank you for all that info! I have been doing some reasearch online and heard of the gastroguard but it has to be prescribed through a vet! And like you said some vets don't have the tools to do the endrscropy which I know ours don't so really he would only be doing a physical exam and that probably wouldn't do much beign he is not a large animal vet. I'm from the north and used to having vets around 24/7 if needed then after moving to GA in the sticks learned that this is not the best place to have horses there are not vets that know what they doing because none of them are large animal :( it is very frustrating and scary at the same time! I haven't gotten a chance to talk with our BO yet to see what route she recommends since she has been in the area doing this for over 30 years so I will definitely have to talk to her about this! And I was thnking of feeding a supplement like you suggested to help prevent! My mare unfortunatly is not on grass and does not get to graze liek she used to 24/7 which I thnk is partially the reason she might be developing ulcers. Thanks for your help!!!

Thansk for everyone's concern! I guess when you are used to having access to a vet its a lot easier to say call the vet or have the vet come out..not all areas of our country have available vets unfortuntely
    08-10-2009, 09:04 PM
Search this forum for ulcers and aloe vera juice and slippery elm bark. Worked for my ex-track horse like a charm. I just can not remember the dosage right now.
    08-11-2009, 01:01 PM
Aloe Vera is a good one! Used it lots, and some of the daily suplements have slippery elm bark too. We gave at least 30cc 2X daily.
Oh, BTW, northernmama, LOVE your avi!
    08-11-2009, 01:13 PM
While daily supplements may be of benefit in reducing the symptoms of gastric ulcers, they will not heal or prevent them as they only moderate stomach acidity for a short time after dosing--less than an hour. Antacids are therefore of limited use because horses produce stomach acid continually unlike humans who secrete stomach acid only at certain times.

And while drinking water is of a good thing, it's not going to prevent ulcers.

Recommendations for minimizing ulcers are: turnout 24/7, free choice forage (the horse should have forage in front of him at all times), minimize concentrate feeding and if ulcers are suspected eliminate grains from the diet (choose a forage based supplemental feed like a ration balancer instead and use fat for additional energy needs), reduce workload/stress. You can use OTC supplements at feeding times to help reduce the pain of gastric ulcers associated with eating concentrate feed but it's not going to get rid of ulcers just make them hurt less---like taking TUMS.

Contact your vet to discuss the possibility over the phone. He may recommend that you try a course of cimetidine or ranitidine several times a day for several days to see if symptoms decrease and use that as a diagnostic to determine if gastric ulcers are present. Then if he feels confident that ulcers are an issue you can choose to either continue with multiple doses of cimetidine or ranititide for a 3-4 weeks or go with a single daily dose of gastrogard for that length of time.

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