I had the vet out and though he didn't do a scope he's quite sure that Rusty has ulcers. His symptoms are as follows:
Mild Reaccuring Colic
Slightly Low Temperature
Slightly Pale Gums
He has been acting colicy on and off for a couple weeks now. Nothing major, just kinda belly-achey. Most days he seems fine but then he'll have a mild colicy day that is better the next day. He eats fine and drinks fine but eats a little slower than usual. He passes normal urine and feces with no problems.
When I noticed slightly pale gums and a decreased temperature I decided it was time to have the vet out. After a bunch of research I decided against prescription drugs to treat him. Instead I will be using Chia Seeds and Slippery Elm Bark powder, hopefully they will do the trick. Until those arrive he is getting Tums two times a day. Whether or not these are making a difference, I don't know.
Why he got the ulcers is still a bit unclear. He's not currently worked (and hasn't been all winter) and nothing has changed in his environment. The probable cause is the fact that he is only fed twice a day (more is not currently possible) and he scarfs his hay down so he is left with nothing for most of the day/night. I have ordered him a slow feed hay net to help the hay last longer.
He is eating a mostly alfalfa (with some grass) hay. He doesn't currently get any grain. I was adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar in his water as I am fearful that he will develop stones from the high alfalfa content of his hay. I have since removed the apple cider vinegar in case it was involved in causing his ulcers.
I will be using this thread to document how well the Chia Seeds and Slippery Elm Bark treat his condition :)
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