Ulcers...
 
 

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Ulcers...

This is a discussion on Ulcers... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • What type of diet should a horse have with ulcers
  • Cheapest way to heal horse's ulcer

 
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    02-17-2011, 03:37 PM
  #1
Foal
Ulcers...

So I 'm working with a young mare that is prone to ulcers and has had them since birth. The vet has said that she is prone to them and will always have them :(... he also said that through proper training/exercise and diet she will not get them as often...

So here is my question to you guys, can you fell me in with the do's and dont's of ulcers and any other interesting facts I should know. I a have basic understanding, but not a complete understanding when it comes to working with them for sport (I plan on driving the mare at local fairs, as well as low level combination driving):

So these are main facts I am wondering about:
  • What type of diet should she have?
  • How much exercise and training should I start her off with? 1-2 times a week for the first few weeks?
  • and what ever else I should know... thanx
The owner is extremely knowledgeable on the subject (since the owner has had her since birth), but when it come to working her with her condition, she has no idea where to start (ie training program with a diet that fit both her condition and new diet needs)... so this thread is more or less for both of us...

Thanx Guys
     
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    02-17-2011, 08:01 PM
  #2
Foal
I have a 3yr old warmblood with a similar issue. She is very prone to ulcers and we have to watch her very carefully. Ulcers can develope in a horse in as little as three days so prevention is key.

As far as treating an active ulcer I have always used a product called acid reducer from costco it carries ranitidine hydrochloride which helps to reduce the acid in the stomach and allows the ulcer to heal. For a 1000 lb horse it is 13 tablets 2xs a day for 30 days. Its much cheaper than any horse product I have found and my vet and I actually scoped my baby while on this product to track her progress and the ucler was entirely gone in the 30 days. Once the ulcer has healed a good product I found for maintainance is called U-guard. I buy it from smartpak and have it shipped directly to my house. We keep my filly on ulcer guard year round and have had$no reoccurance in her ulcers while she is taking the U-guard.

As far as diet goes lots of turn out and grass is always good. The less stress the horse is exposed to the less likely the ulcer is to return. Also alflalfa hay seems to help relieve some of the pain and irritation associated with ulcers. Keeping more ration balancers and beet pulp or alfalfa pellets in the diet rather than grains is helpful as well and stick to natural treats like carrots and apples rather than the processed treats.

Exercise is always good. If you are just starting to treat an ulcer I would go ligh on the work outs or not at all for a week or two if your horse is showing poor coat condition or if they are exhibiting signs of discomfort but otherwise knock yourself out. Horses who are exercised and turned out regularly are happier and healthier so have fun riding!!
     
    02-17-2011, 08:04 PM
  #3
Green Broke
1. No grain or concentrated feeds. Grains and concentrated feeds are not good for horses with ulcers. It's better to use a small amount of a "Lite" feed or a ration balancer, so you can feed as little as possible.

2. All the hay she can eat! She should have hay in front of her 24/7, free choice. If she gets too fat, use a slow feeder net or box to make her hay last all day and all night.

3. Feed alfalfa. Feed some alfalfa hay, or get a grass/alfalfa mix that has 25-40% alfalfa to feed free choice, or feed alfalfa pellets/cubes. If you're supplementing grass hay with alfalfa hay or pellets/cubes, then feed 3-5 lbs a day. The high calcium in alfalfa acts as a buffer for horses that are ulcer prone.

4. Look in to a daily feed-through supplement for ulcer prone horses. You want a good digestive aid and buffer, so what grain you do give goes down easy. Here are a few to consider:
Quick Links
Neigh-Lox - Equine Ulcer & Gastric Health Supplements from SmartPak Equine
SmartGut - Equine Ulcer & Gastric Health Supplements from SmartPak Equine
Grand Digest - Horse Digestive Supplements from SmartPak Equine
G.U.T. - Equine Ulcer & Gastric Health Supplements from SmartPak Equine
PRO CMC - Equine Ulcer & Gastric Health Supplements from SmartPak Equine
SeaBuck Half Gallon

5. Add healthy fat. Flax meal is a great fat source to keep her weight up and improve cell regeneration with high Omega 3 fatty acids.
View Cart
Omega Horseshine - Horse Skin & Coat Supplements from SmartPak Equine

Some good information:
http://www.equinepi.com/faq/ulcers.html
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=1587
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11596
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=14455
     
    02-17-2011, 08:22 PM
  #4
Trained
Like luvs said, no stalling, no grain. Lotsss of hay. My mare had ulcers and pepto bismol works well too if they start coming back. I'm starting my mare on UGard, which my BO uses on their show horses, so I know that one works well.

Also, if you notice she's developing them again, I wouldn't exercise her more than a walk because trotting, loping, and galloping splashes around the acid in their stomachs, which is painful if they have ulcers and you will have a VERY grumpy horse. Otherwise she should be fine. After my mare was treated, she lopes around just as any other horse.

Do you know what caused the ulcers? My mare is very anxious about everything and the vet figures that's how she got hers. She was pasture kept on free-choice hay, she's just kind of wound a bit tight. If your mare is somewhat like that, a calming supplement might help a bit to keep her worrying down.
     
    02-18-2011, 08:13 AM
  #5
Foal
Mine is also prone. Ranitidine is great stuff. You should also consider giving her 1/4 tube of Ulcergard before anything stressful - shows, vigorous training, off site riding/trailering. When moving my horse to new barn we did 1/4 tubes few days before and after the move.

And alfalfa in her diet will be a huge help. It helps the belly. We feed an alfalfa-orchard grass mix, and in winter I feed 2 lbs. Alfalfa cubes soaked as a lunch-snack. (dry weight before soaking)

I have never tried Ugard but have heard great things about it.
     
    02-18-2011, 10:39 AM
  #6
Trained
Oh, I forgot to add: My BO told me UGard takes about 3 months to start taking full effect., but it works very well on their halter horses that are stalled most of the time and then shown during the summer. They get a bit more during shows, but that's understandable.

I haven't used Ulcergard, but I did give Abby two tubes of GastroGard (as told to by the vet and that's all the other vet clinic had). If it weren't so expensive, I would have just used that for a month. There was a HUGE difference in 2 days. It's just super pricy.

My vet gave me two bottles of stuff called Draw. It's meant to be a wound cleaner, but she knew it was a cheap way to heal ulcers. It worked in a month like other ulcer meds. I can touch her belly again and her massive ulcer belly is gone (those were her only two symptoms).
     
    02-18-2011, 10:55 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Girl    
So I 'm working with a young mare that is prone to ulcers and has had them since birth. The vet has said that she is prone to them and will always have them :(... he also said that through proper training/exercise and diet she will not get them as often...

So here is my question to you guys, can you fell me in with the do's and dont's of ulcers and any other interesting facts I should know. I a have basic understanding, but not a complete understanding when it comes to working with them for sport (I plan on driving the mare at local fairs, as well as low level combination driving):

So these are main facts I am wondering about:
  • What type of diet should she have?
  • How much exercise and training should I start her off with? 1-2 times a week for the first few weeks?
  • and what ever else I should know... thanx
The owner is extremely knowledgeable on the subject (since the owner has had her since birth), but when it come to working her with her condition, she has no idea where to start (ie training program with a diet that fit both her condition and new diet needs)... so this thread is more or less for both of us...

Thanx Guys
My TB has ulcers, and so do many TB's that I know for that matter......intreaguing. Anyways, the most important factor to a horse who has ulcers, is to make sure that the horse has plenty of access to hay.
  • The more roughage in their digestive system, the better. Nelson is infront of a round bale 24/7, and he does very well on that. My Vet stressed first and foremost - hay, hay, hay, hay.
  • Grain - I feed Senior Feed. Origionally I fed Purina Senior, but after I found out how poor quality of a feed that is, I switched to Tripple Crown Senior. It is loaded with Rice Bran, Beat Pulp and all the needed nutrients needed for horses. Senior Feeds are great for horses of all ages!
  • I also have Nelson on a few Digestive Suppliments that I got from SmartPak Equine. I have him on SmartGut Pellets, which is made to target ulcers. And I also have him on SmartDigest Ultra, which helps his system to digest and process all the needed nutrients efficiantly. It keeps his system flowing as best as it can.


I cannot stress how happy I have been with the 2 digestive suppliments that I have been using through SmartPak. The results have been wonderful and I wont take him off of them. For a horse with ulcers, I highly recommend SmartGut! I give it 2 thumbs up
     
    02-18-2011, 04:03 PM
  #8
Foal
Thanx guys that's alot of help with the nutrient side of things :)

But how about a training program for her? How would I and the owner start her off? She has not been broke yet (so of course there is the stress of that for her) and we have plans of harnessing her, and the owner knows how to do that stuff...

But I guess my main question is how often do you guys work your horse and what is the activity level - obsessively it depends if the ulcer is inflamed or not - but how can you prevent them from flaring up?

And have any of you guys heard of Magnesium helping to prevent Ulcers before?
     
    02-18-2011, 04:17 PM
  #9
Trained
My vet used magnesium to treat ulcers. That's one of the main active ingredients in Draw. It must have worked because Abby is fine now. I'm not sure about prevention, but it works for healing.

I would talk to your vet about her training program. Since my mare is now and it's warmed up, I've been lunging her to develop some more respect (she tends to stop and test me while lunging). She's trotted for a while and loping. I had her worked up into a completely drenched sweat a week ago because she kept testing me. She let me rub her belly all over the next day.
     
    02-18-2011, 08:45 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Girl    
but how about a training program for her? How would I and the owner start her off? She has not been broke yet (so of course there is the stress of that for her) and we have plans of harnessing her, and the owner knows how to do that stuff...

But I guess my main question is how often do you guys work your horse and what is the activity level - obsessively it depends if the ulcer is inflamed or not - but how can you prevent them from flaring up?
?
with proper care a horse that has a propensity for ulcers can be broken, excersised and ridden just like any other horse. I am an eventer and as such spend a HUGE amount of time riding and conditioning my horses. We ride everyday for atleast an hour maybe more and do tons of trails and outdoor work, lots of hacking and arena riding too.

The important part is to listen to the horse itself. My girl always tells me when she isn't feeling top noch or when her tummy is tender because she gets bloaty through her barrel and she gets sluggish and exhibits a reluctance to truely move foward and engage. She also gets a bit girthy. On those days we lounge lighty since exercise/movement does help the horse move the digestive process along and it helps releave the gas my girl builds up when her tummy acts up. Sometimes I pony her with me on my thoroughbred mare or take her for a handwalk to the big field where she has access to lots of grass and just let her graze. I also add rinitidene back into her diet at that point for a week or two so that it helps curb the developement of her ulcers and keep the uguard going in the feed though supplement as that takes a while to build in the system.

On days that my girl is feeling fine I exercise her just like I would any other three yr old which is often and lightly. I find that consistant exercise and turnout and lots hay do more for keeping my girl fit and heathly than any powder, pill, or liquid has done.

We had no reoccurance of ulcers during the process of introducing the saddle and rider to my girl, we just took it slow and gave her plenty of time to think. She took to it like a dream and we haven't had so much as a buck or a fuss from her (lucky is what it is but i'd sure like to think its cause I did everything right the first time ).

Anyways i'd say that its always good to talk to your vet and make sure there are no special concerns or extenuating circumstances with your girl but otherwise go about your business as usual and just keep an eye out for changes in attitude, behaviour eatting habits ect. If her tummy is acting up she will let you know in her own way. That I am sure of.
     

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