Sensitive Stomach- Good feed? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-20-2009, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sensitive Stomach- Good feed?

My Gunner is an older fellow (16-18 ), and prone to ulcers. I have him on U-Gard, which seems to make him feel a little better, but he's still cribbing badly when eating. Today, something occurred to me. We feed a sweet feed, with high molasses...could it be too rich for him?

What are some good feeds for sensitive tummies?

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 12:49 AM
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Sweet feed is not the greatest for horses with sensitive stomachs. My horse is recovering from ulcers (and thus is ulcer prone) and the vet recommended Safe Choice or Strategy. I started with Strategy but I am now using Safe Choice because someone else in my barn is using it so we can split the cost. I am pretty sure both the feeds are the same ingredients, but Safe Choice is cheaper. The Safe Choice feed is very low starch and low sugar (which is good) and digests well, unlike sweet feed. It doesn't make them hot and it is really helping to maintain his weight even though we had to lower his hay amount for his stomach. I also use corn oil for my horse, on a recommendation from my vet. The corn oil helps with the mucus glands in their stomach, which improves the health of their stomach lining and thus they are less susceptible to ulcers. Make sure your horse has good quality timothy, you do not want stringy hay nor do you want stalky yellow hay. If you suspect that he has ulcers, the most effective medicine is Gastrogard, I am giving my horse the full dose once a day for 28 days and he will get an endoscopy at the end of the month to check up on him.

Last edited by roro; 10-21-2009 at 12:52 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 08:15 AM
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Definitely toss the sweet feed and replace it with a non grain feed.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 10:05 AM
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my horse has stomach problems as well i am now on a no grain diet thanks to the great advice i got on this forum. I also feed him focus to help with digestion and i give him plain yogurt when he starts to act like his belly is bothering him.

i have my bloodhound & my horses what more can a girl ask for?
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by roro View Post
I started with Strategy but I am now using Safe Choice because someone else in my barn is using it so we can split the cost. I am pretty sure both the feeds are the same ingredients
Very much NOT the same.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 11:24 AM
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Try feeding him some alfalfa hay or pellets. Studies have shown that it increases the buffering capacity of the stomach which decreases ulcers. In fact your best bet here is to move to an all forage diet and get away from grain. If he can have food in front of him all day it will help.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 01:17 PM
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Sweet feed is a BIG NO-NO for ulcer prone horses. I'm surprised your vet didn't give you the low-down on what to feed.

IME, alfalfa pellets with flax and vitamins works best for ulcer prone horses. The alfalfa is high in calcium and helps buffer the stomach some. Use a broad spectrum vit/min supplement to round out the nutrition. Flax provides safe/calm fat. I get mine from, their NutraFlax.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
Very much NOT the same.
Pretty much the same if you ask me (note the nutritional information is organized a different way in each link so read carefully) Equine & Horse Advice: SPECIAL FEED FOR CUSHINGS/FOUNDER HORSES?

Purina Mills Strategy® Professional Formula GX

Extremely similar amounts of everything. Maybe you would be more helpful to the OP by offering your own advice on feed, just a suggestion.

Last edited by roro; 10-21-2009 at 03:48 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 04:39 PM
Green Broke
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Strategy has grain products and molasses, just in a pelleted form.

Safe choice ingredients, grain products but no molasses:
Grain Products, Plant Protein Products, Processed Grain By-Products, Roughage Products, Forage Products, Vit. A Supplement, Vit. D3 Supplement, Vit E Supplement, Vit B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Natural and Artificial Flavors added, Manganese Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Ferrous Carbonate, Copper Chloride, Copper SUlfatge, Zinc Oxide, ZXinc Sulfate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Methionine Complex, copper lysine complex, manganese methionine complex, cobalt Glucoheptonate, Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product dehydrated, Lactobacillus casel Fermentation Product dehydrated, Bifidobacterium thermophillum fermentation Product dehydrated, enterococcus faecium fermentation Product dehydrated, cane molasses, vegetable fat product, lecithin, sulfuric acid, acetic acid, benzoic Acid (a preservative), Propionic Acid (a preservative), corn oil, soybean oil

With both, the ingredients depend on where it's milled. Niether Purina nor Nutrena guarantee list the ingredients for these products.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-21-2009, 08:20 PM
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There is a big difference between Strategy and Safe Choice---namely the amount of non-structural carbs which is important in horses that are at risk of insulin resistance, cushings or laminitis. However, neither of those feeds is appropriate for a seniorish horse that has a history of uclers.

As luvs said, you need to get completely away from grains and molasses. The best option is to feed free choice forage and then an appropriate ration balancer. Alfalfa pellets are also a good option because the calcium does appear to act as an antacid and help ease the discomfort of ulcers.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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