Ulcers + Weight Loss
 
 

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Ulcers + Weight Loss

This is a discussion on Ulcers + Weight Loss within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Best ulcer treatment for horses
  • Why ulcers cause weight loss in horses

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    09-24-2013, 12:50 AM
  #1
Started
Ulcers + Weight Loss

I have a beautiful Belgian, who's spent the last 6 months with me recovering from his first 18 years of life. He was pretty substantially overworked and underfed upon arrival - this horse is the love of my life, and I bought him knowing he was full of issues.

In the 6 months he put on about 200pounds, had an abscess which burst and he's sound again. He's been wormed regularly all his life and his FEC came back clean. He's still stuck with about 75 pounds left to go and seems to have plateaued - it's mostly his topline, I'm sure a lot of it is muscle loss as his work load plummitted from 7 days a week of heavy work to now just occasional trails. He has an indoor/outdoor and plays outside alot. His lack of tail to swat flies really keeps him moving too.

So I recently had the vet out to look at another horse but asked her to check his teeth again (they had been done very thoroughly when I first got him). She also checked him for ulcers, she just ran a syring cap across his muscle groups and watched his reactions - I'm not exactly sure how this works and am curious (if anyone knows?)
I'm wondering - would ulcers explain why his weight gain just stopped? Wouldn't being put on a proper diet have helped his ulcers?

Also this is his current diet, is there anything better I could do to fix the ulcers? What are your experiences with ulcers and how do you make them better?
1 pound Nutrena Empower Boost (a ricebran based supplement)
1 pound Nutrena Empower Balancer (just a ration balancer)
2/3 cup of Flax Seed
2 table spoons of Brewer's Yeast
4 quarts 50/50 Hay Cubes with 2 cups Canola oils
^ all of that is split into 4 different feedings a day
I just added (2 weeks ago)
10,000 IU of vitamin E
U-gard pellets
4 cups Afalfa Pellets (split into his meals)

Is this all correct? Are there better options?
loosie likes this.
     
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    09-24-2013, 01:05 AM
  #2
Started
For pics this was him on arrival (6 months ago)





This is him now, see those last annoying spot up top?


loosie and xlionesss like this.
     
    09-24-2013, 01:22 AM
  #3
Banned
I don't know if this will entirely be of help- but I know dealing with ulcers can be a huge struggle so I figured I would try my best to help!

Drifter was suffering from these really bad. It had never entered my mind to think about it because he was out 24/7 and had access to constant grass and hay and wasnt on a huge grain diet. But once he started losing weight last fall we scoped him, and there they were.

Drifter was also reactive at certain points of pressure. There is a video on youtube detailing them. I will try to find it for you.

We had to treat him with ulcer guard for 5 months and I had to get him on a digestive supplement after. I went with the Smartgut Ultra from SmartPak and have seen wonders with it.

I treat him with tums every once in a while. And I make sure to give him alfalfa before we ride. Alfalfa is the best thing for ulcers.

His current diet now is 3 grain meals a day (split up into smaller portions) with his SmartGut added to his dinner. He gets two flakes alfalfa at dinner. And 1 lb soaked alfalfa cubes with breakfast and lunch. He also is out 24/7. If he gets stressed for whatever reason (his triggers are hauling, wormer, stall, etc) he gets a maintenance dose of ulcerguard.

Before treatment he was very lethargic, off his food frequently, frequent colic and his coat was very dull. This is him today.. big difference! And he just keeps improving!

no more ulcer.jpg

Good luck! And please feel free to message me with any questions :)
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    09-24-2013, 03:23 AM
  #4
Trained
Alfalfa. A couple of lbs before each feeding would be best. Hay that is. Gives him around 200 calories more per lb than grasshay. And proteins and amino acids. He should also never be without something to munch on, but you know that
I would also up the Empower Balance to 2 lbs. 1 lb is for a 1000lb horse. He definitely weighs more than that.
I'd also do something against the flies. He might just run off a bunch of the calories instead of converting them into flesh.
PunksTank likes this.
     
    09-24-2013, 07:27 AM
  #5
Trained
Think you're doing well. Agree with what's been said about ulcers, but looks like you've done a fantastic job with him & he doesn't look like he needs any more weight.
PunksTank likes this.
     
    09-24-2013, 08:23 AM
  #6
Started
I agree with loosie. He doesn't need weight, he needs to build topline. When they are thin like that long term they loose muscle mass. It takes a lot of time to build that back up. That's why it always seems the last 100 lbs takes forever.

Alfalfa has lots of calcium.
Beet pulp will fill his tummy.
Hay in front of him all the time in a slow feed net.

You could buy him a tail extension or make one out of scrap material. I had 2 belgians with docked tails. Never did get around to making them something. The 3rd had a really nice long flowing tail.
PunksTank likes this.
     
    09-24-2013, 11:09 AM
  #7
Started
Awesome! Thank you all. The vet mentioned it could just be muscling, which is why she suggested the vitamin E. I've tried beet pulp but he wont eat it, even with his grain mixed in, which is why he has soaked cubes instead. Thanks desert, I'll up his balance, I wasn't sure about it because he's getting so many other things, but I think you're right. I also don't know anywhere to get alfalfa hay around me, which is why I do the pellets and cubes, is that good enough? Or should he have more?I'll go weigh the 4 cups to see what the weight is...

Thank you all so much!
Also, is the u-gard pellets the best choice or should I look into those syringes that are for ulcer?
     
    09-24-2013, 11:18 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
I've tried beet pulp but he wont eat it
many horses are like this for the first week or so. Try mixing in some of his favorite treats. My BO had a paint mare that came very under weight, but had never had grain or beet pulp. One day I sprinkled a small handful of brown sugar over her supper, and stuck a lump under her lip. She was sold, and has never fussed over her food since.

Also aloe vera is great for ulcers. We have used it on many OTTB's that came off the track with them, and it makes a huge difference. The last time I was at the track I noticed several trainers were starting to use it in their horses grain.
     
    09-24-2013, 11:32 AM
  #9
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
Awesome! Thank you all. The vet mentioned it could just be muscling, which is why she suggested the vitamin E. I've tried beet pulp but he wont eat it, even with his grain mixed in, which is why he has soaked cubes instead. Thanks desert, I'll up his balance, I wasn't sure about it because he's getting so many other things, but I think you're right. I also don't know anywhere to get alfalfa hay around me, which is why I do the pellets and cubes, is that good enough? Or should he have more?I'll go weigh the 4 cups to see what the weight is...

Thank you all so much!
Also, is the u-gard pellets the best choice or should I look into those syringes that are for ulcer?
I'd have the syringes on hand, for eventual emergencies. If he always has hay or grass available, he shouldn't need the pellets daily.
As for the 4 cups....I give two handfuls with RB....that's a whopping 3 oz lol. So if he's not gaining, upping the alfalfa could be in order. My TB refused to gain the last 50 lbs needed until I fed soaked alfalfa- pellets, a tiny bit of wheatbran, to balance Ca:Ph, a little corn and barley, about a lb each and flax and soybeanmeal, 50 grams each. Then he started packing it on, topline and all. That was before feeding grains to horses was considered bad, tho
     
    09-24-2013, 11:48 AM
  #10
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSpark    
many horses are like this for the first week or so. Try mixing in some of his favorite treats. My BO had a paint mare that came very under weight, but had never had grain or beet pulp. One day I sprinkled a small handful of brown sugar over her supper, and stuck a lump under her lip. She was sold, and has never fussed over her food since.

Also aloe vera is great for ulcers. We have used it on many OTTB's that came off the track with them, and it makes a huge difference. The last time I was at the track I noticed several trainers were starting to use it in their horses grain.
Funny, he was exactly opposite, he ate it for the first week or so then started leaving it for last at night, then not eating it at all. I tried mixing in a pile of peppermints with his grain and all with just a small amount of beets, but he wouldn't do it. :(

How do you do the aloe vera?
     

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