Ulcers? Thin, but eating well.

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Ulcers? Thin, but eating well.

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  • Barley and ulcers horse
  • Dk horses with ulcers have teouble cantering one way

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    05-15-2008, 03:46 PM
Ulcers? Thin, but eating well.

My 10 year old OTSTD has been with me for almost a year now. He was thin when I got him, but not excessively for a race horse. Still, even for racing, the previous owner agrees that he could have used a few more pounds.

He is getting equal parts 12% and oats and then twice that in beet pulp every day. One part = 1 laundry scoop, I figure about 1-1/2 cups. He was having trouble eating in late winter and he teeth were done at the time. That definitely helped with his eating, but still no weight gain.

I know there are a million different types of feed I could try, but what about the possibility of ulcers? I have spoken to the vet about it. She agrees it is quite possible that he has ulcers, but to have him scoped I would have to trailer him somewhere and even so, scoping isn't a sure thing. I could put him on a med she recommended to the tune of $240 to try it and see what happens. Yes, he has been de-wormed and I am going to send in a fecal sample just in case.

Has anyone found any way of either 1. -- knowing for sure if a horse has uclers and/or 2. -- treating ulcers with something off the shelf successfully?

BTW, the vet told me that there is no proof that ulcers in horses are caused by a bacteria (as they are in people), but I think they must be.
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    05-15-2008, 06:51 PM
Any particular reason for feeding him oats?.... Oats are a fast energy releasing grain and he could be running his socks off to burn excess energy when he's out in the feild. Personally, I would take him off the oats and replace it with barley, barley does have heating properties but not to the extent of oats, barley is a fantastic weight builder, it is also very easily digestable, plus puts a great shine on their coats. I have a Tb who shivers then loses 150lbs lol, he is on barley and it does him very well.
If you are worried about ulcers, there is a syringe style treatment that you can give to your horse on a regular basis to help alleviate any problems and help prevent them from starting, call your vet and ask which he recommends or as a knowledgable person in your tack shop. :)
    05-15-2008, 09:05 PM
Oats -- well, they seem to agree with him. I started him on them because I had a few left and gave it a try. It did help -- some, but not enough. He won't run his socks off because he has osteo-arthritis and seismoiditis. I was actually pleasantly surprised to seem him canter a few strides on the weekend! Wow! Huge improvement from 8 weeks ago, and a very long winter... but that's a whole other story.

I know I could try lots of other foods for him, and I will be trying some other stuff as I go along, but I'd really like some more input on the ulcer possibility / effective diagnosis experiences that people have had. I *have* spoken to the vet and the $240 experiment is omeprazone (sp?) in syringe format -- same as gastroguard. From what I've been reading, omeprazone seems like the solution of the day, replacing renaticidene (sp?) and some other thing I read about in one of my horse books. I don't mind spending the money, but I can't really spend $ here on a guess and $ there on another guess and so on... That can add up really quickly when I must also consider I have spent quite a bit on the arthritis and continue to (but, it does seem to be successful! ) He will likely never be rideable again so I just want to keep him happy and healthy.
    05-16-2008, 03:13 PM
Ok, just wondered about the oat thing, but I would add barley to his feed, it wont be aggressive if there are ulcers chick. It will aid in weight gain though.

Get on the internet cos they do oral syringes that are not 'that' expensive, I don't know what they are called in the states but we have quite a few of them. Its worth a look, see what you can find. Ask if Ryle knows what types you have cos all I can tell you is what we have in england, things change so often. I used to live in Tn but came back 2 years ago so now a lot has changed. Its worth just checking it out, see what happens.

Bless him, take it he's now retires and enjoying life lol! :)
    05-19-2008, 09:15 AM
I'm in Canada and a lot of the stuff that you can get in the states you can't get here. So far, everyone I've talked to has been of the same mind I am, so I'm at least not doing any harm. But the poor guy looks at least 5 years older than he is. Yes, he is retired but he needs to get much better to make it through our Canadian winter.

He's been on aloe vera juice and slippery elm for three days now and yesterday I noticed his gut was making much more noise -- gotta be a good thing, right? Someone suggested probiotic yogurt for him. Anyone know where I can get that? And how do I get it in him? A syringe, I guess?

LC, I'm going to steer away from the barley and reduce his oats too. I've read that grains are hard on a horse with ulcers. Also read that oatmeal is good. Thanks for your input.
    05-24-2008, 03:56 PM
I didnt have timeto read all the replies, so sorry if this is repeat advice, but I thought it couldnt hurt...

If you are just doing a regular worming, try a 5 day, like Panicure, or Safeguard I believe makes a less expensive version. If it is worms, that will get rid of the problem.

Other than that, I know someone who gives her horse Aloe vera juice with his feed, and it really seems to work. He has all sort of funny stomach issues, ulcers being one of them. I'm not sure on the specifics of using aloe vera, so make sure you research before trying that out...

Good luck!
    05-24-2008, 05:24 PM
Aloe is good for ulcers and natural...
    05-25-2008, 10:38 AM
If he has ulcers, you are actually doing harm by feeding grain based feed. So diet change is definitely something you need to look into.

Diagosis of gastric ulcers is done 3 way--endoscopy, fecal occult blood testing (Neither is 100%, but endoscopy is more accurate than the fecal testing), and diagnosis based upon response to treatment--if you treat and your horse imporves you assume that ulcers were the problem.

Treatment options: Gastroguard, ranitidine or cimetidine. Ranitidiine and cimetidine require dosing every 4-6 hours to be effective while gastroguard requires a single daily dose. Ranitidine or cimetidine can be used for a few days to see if there is improvement in symptoms and if so you can continue treatment with those or switch to Gastroguard.

Management (very very important): free-choice forage--pasture or hay, remove grains and sugary feeds from the diet. If supplemental feed is needed, then a ration balancer would be a better choice and for weight gain fat in the form of vegetable oil. If not a ration balancer then a pelleted supplemental feed that is not made from processed grains but is rather forage based. Reduce or remove workload. When going back to work, fat can be added to the diet rather than grains to provide necessary energy.

You can try the diet change without medicating and you might see results, however the ulcers will still be present and that will mean less efficient utilization of feed.
    05-25-2008, 01:28 PM
Ryle, thanks for your input. What you are telling is me is what my own vet has basically told me. Except the part about grain based feed, which I have stopped as of mid-last week. Currently he is getting beet pulp and 12% ration. He gets all the hay he wants and there is some grass left in his paddock, but we take him out for some fresh grass regularly and I think this afternoon, I'm going to extend my fence so they have more grass in their paddock for tomorrow. Then next weekend, they'll get another 1/4 acre of fresh grass too!

For my setup here, I'd have to use the gastroguard, but it would cost quite a bit for just a maybe. Since I've already blown quite a bit more on maybes for this horse, I'm needing to revisit this guy's future all the time.

Does the gastroguard actually heal the ulcers if I do eventually give in to it? That's something my vet won't say. I don't mind a one time $bill for him, but there is no way I'm going to put another $250 a month into this guy just to keep him as a pasture buddy.
    05-25-2008, 02:40 PM
Gastrogaurd limits acid secretion in the stomach and is proven to heal ulcers if given for a minimum of 28 days. But after treatment it's the management that is so important to keeping ulcers from recurring---plenty of forage, minimized starch/sugar content in feed, preventative treatment with ulcergard if your horse is a competition horse while hauling/competing and for a few days afterwards.

You've cut out the overt grains from the diet, but you need to check your 12% ration as many of the pelleted ones are still grain-based. You need a ration that is alfalfa or beet pulp based.

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