Ulcers?!?! anyone have experience with this. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Ulcers?!?! anyone have experience with this.

So today rocket my OTTB started acting weird, he wouldn't eat and was biting at his stomach, and kept stretching. No laying down or rolling, and he wanted to eat grass. So we were thinking colic, but when we talked to the vet he was leaning more towards, Ulcers. Being that he's an OTTB.
We've also notices that his coat is getting dull. And he's had a few bouts of diarrhea and his poop has been kind of liquidy for a little while.(we just thought it might be from the grass coming back in because its spring time now). But he's been maintaining a good weight and eating well until now.

I'm worried because they are wanting us to have him scoped to look in his stomach and make sure ulcers are the problem. And I'm fine with that but what if it is ulcers. We were told that the medication he would need would be 2x a day and is $250 for a weeks worth. . Then they would cut him back after a month. I don't know how I'm going to afford that for the rest of his life.....PLease cross your fingers that my boy doesn't have ulcers.

Any suggestions or advice. Thanks in advance..
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 05:25 PM
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Depending on your vet, it doesn't NEED to cost that much. He's probably going to suggest GastroGard, which is the BEST ulcer treatment out there and works wonders, but it's not the only method. And you won't have to give him that much EVERY month. Just until they go away and then maybe part of a tube when he is traveling/showing/etc.

My mare had ulcers in December and was all cleared up for $80. She wasn't scoped either. I called my vet because she was suddenly a total jerk and went to cowkick me when I touched her belly. She was eating fine and everything. Those and a puffed up belly were her only symptoms. My vet and I agreed ulcers seemed like the culprit, so she used acupuncture to determine it because the clinic is over an hour's drive away and I don't have a trailer. But scoping is the best way to go.

Ask your vet about Draw if you can. It's meant to be a cleaning solution for exterior wounds, but the main ingredient is magnesium and works very well to heal up ulcers. That's what my vet gave me. She got 60ccs twice a day in grain. Cleared up in a month, like most other medications. She's back to normal now.

First, is he stalled and grained? If yes, I would put him outside if possible with as much hay as he can fill his face full of.

If he does have ulcers, U-Gard is really good to give after to prevent them from coming back. My BO said it takes about 3 months to take full effect, but they use it on their show horses and works awesome. Abby's being started on it as soon as I get it next week.
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 06:05 PM
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I was told that with Gastrogard, that stuff is so potent that it would heal all but the worst ulcers in a week or less. I did the treatment without scoping route last year and feel like I spent $800 for nothing since I was never convinced it was ulcers. If you have the $$, go ahead and scope him to make sure what you're dealing with. No sense in wasting money. I find that ulcers are highly over diagnosed. Does your horse have access to a lot of hay? That's ulimately the best treatment for ulcers, keeping lots of forage passing through their bellies.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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He is turned out 24/7 and only eats in his stall and then is let right back out. He was on a significant amout of grain though because he was 200lbs underweight when we got him which probably contributed to the possible ulcers. PLus we just starting trailering him to lessons once a week and at first he was quite stressed about it. He is also in the field with a mare and anytime she's not near him he gets quite stressed.

So we are going to get him scoped when we find out how much it is.
For the time being we are cutting down his feed and going to give him extra hay. And see if he can maintain weight.
Were also going to stop the lessons for a while, and separate him and the mare. As I feel he is constantly worried about her and that cannot be good for him.

Thanks for the feed back. It helped
So they don't have to be on med forever?? Right just to clear them up and then take preventative measures to make sure they don't come back?? Correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 07:32 PM
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The gastrogard will heal any holes in the stomach lining within a few days as far as I understand. After that, it's more a matter of preventing reoccurance, which you've already started. If he likes bananas, one a day is a good natural remedy to soothe the stomach. Smartpak sells a not too pricey supplement called Smart Gut. I think MIEventer has used it and likes it.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 08:51 PM
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Pepto Bismol is also a good thing for soothing stomachs. 60ccs once or twice a day. It works the same in horses as it does for people.

GastroGard works so fast. My vet told me to go to the nearest large animal vet (about 30 minutes away) and pick up what they had because she couldn't get up to Abby for a few days. The clinic only had 2 tubes. In those 2 days, I noticed a significant improvement. It was just extremely expensive. $75 for 2 tubes of it.. But it's the best for ulcers. However, I'm in college and although I love my horse, she needs to work around a budget.

Also, Stateline has U-Gard pellets for $52 for 80 days worth.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 09:31 PM
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I suspected my OTTB mare had ulcers and after a week of putting her on ranitidine her symptoms are all pretty much gone, and it's only about $48 to treat for a month, see my post about her treatment here Ranitidine is amazing!!!! I would talk you your vet about trying it
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 10:48 PM
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I had an OTStandardbred with ulcers. I treated him with powdered slippery elm bark and aloe vera juice. I'm trying to find the quantities, but can't... I think it was 4 tbsp elm bark and 2 oz of aloe twice a day for the first two weeks and then once a day after that. I never had him scoped, but the vet agreed he likely had ulcers as he was not able to maintain weight. After a little while on this treatment, he improved. I can't remember how long it took initially -- either one or two weeks. In a month he was dramatically better.

It was cheap -- about $20 a month I think, and very easy on his system. The aloe was a healer and the elm bark was a protectant.

I did have a thread about this a long time ago, but searching doesn't seem to turn it up now. Maybe it's too old. Anyway, if you are interested, I could go dig up my old records. I probably still have them somewhere.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 10:49 PM
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Forgot to add: make sure he is not getting any grains at all. Get a complete ingredient list of all supplements and get rid of / change those that have grains in them.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:11 PM
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I was told by a woman at my barn that aloe works really well, also, so you could give NorthernMama's concoction a shot.
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