Ulcers/ Weight gain - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-17-2012, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ulcers/ Weight gain

I have a 12 yr old appendix gelding who has steadily lost weight since I moved him and recently had a pretty bad impaction collic. He didn't bounce back that great after the collic incident- not eating his grain or much hay and not drinking. My vet started treating him for ulcers with Ranitidine which seems to work really great his appitite picked right up and he did put on some weight but we are stuck now a month later and I can't get anymore on him. He is on 4 pounds of stratagy grain which he has done well on his entire life I just put him on pro bios and I put some oil in his grain for fat. I am going to start him on the u-gard pellets once the ranitidine pills are gone but what else can I do to get his weight up!? He is on free choice hay as well and his teeth have been checked also had fecal done. Any recomendations would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-18-2012, 01:35 AM
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Strategy is SO high in NSC (sugar/starch). If you continue to feed him a high NSC diet, you might as well not waste your money on the ulcer treatment bc it's not going to work. If he picked up weight while on the ranitidine, then it was most def an ulcer issue. High NSC diets and ulcers also cause hindgut acidosis which is not treated by the ranitidine b/c it's so far back. To treat hindgut acidosis you need to get Equisure.

First step, get him on free choice hay intake and a very low NSC feed (such as Triple Crown Senior or Buckeye Gro N Win. Gro N Win is a ration balancer and is meant to be fed at around 1-2lbs per 1,000 horse. I currently feed it to both mine.) Alfalfa (pellets or hay) is also very good for ulcers and can provide some extra weight gaining calories. I prefer the pellets.

I can get you a list of feeds that are low in NSC if you can tell me what brands are available to you locally.

Step two, treat him with ranitidine again and get him on equisure.

Step 3, keep him on a low NSC diet or you will just keep having the same issues over and over again.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-18-2012, 01:40 AM
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FYI: Strategy has an NSC of around 30%. Oats is over 50%. Corn is in the high 20%'s.

Read your feed lable. You want to stay away from grains and high molasses contents as they are high in NSC.

Here is a link to NSC values of some common feeds:
Common Feeds NSC levels

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-18-2012, 01:56 AM
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Strategy 28%
Strategy Healthy Edge 18%
Oats 54%
Corn 73%
Barley 62%

As OFH stated, alfalfa is an excellent buffer for stomach acid.
Keeping him eating free choice is most important. Feed the alfalfa before any "grain" meal so it can get to work on the acids.
Good choice for weight gain is also ricebran and beet pulp.
An omega fatty acid supplement shouldn't be missing, I swear by Omega Horseshine, others have other preferences.
When I got my mare she was 300lbs underweight. She didn't have ulcer symptoms. I fed free choice alfalfa/oat hay, the Omega, and 3lbs Nutrena Life Design Senior. Within a month she had gained most of it back. Pics are to be seen in my "critters" album, Snipper before and after
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-18-2012, 07:49 AM
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I agree with everyone to ditch the grain ASAP. Grain does not settle well on an ulcerated stomach.

1. Can you feed the feed pan stuff three times a day? Horses with ulcers really benefit from that.

2. I would keep the horse on ulcer meds all winter until the horse has green grass to eat.

3. Rice bran, even though 22% fat, is healthy fat and provides the horse with cool energy. Or if the horse is an easy keeper, feed it straight timothy pellets.

4. Top dress the rice bran or timothy pellets with a liquid vitamin and NOT Red Cell. It only takes one ounce of liquid for the horse to get everything it needs. I always add in some warm water to help get more liquid into the digestive system. It's important to get as much liquid in them as you can without forcing the issue

I use Tuttles Liquid 747. http://www.y-tex.com/pdfs/747.pdf A gallon will last two months and is only around $22 if you can find it locally. Or pay the shipping fee and buy it from Valley Vet or someone similar.

That being said, my 26-1/2 yo Arab gets gas from the Tuttles. He has gastric ulcers so I feed him "Daily Start by EquiShine" It is a pre-probiotic. He eats Triple Crown Sr and is doing well.

You're going to have to experiment but the main thing is to get the horse with ulcers off all that grain and also plan on keeping him on a pre-probiotic for the rest of his life. Just like people with ulcers can't eat certain things, neither can horses

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post #6 of 18 Old 12-27-2012, 12:36 AM
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The horse doesn't need to be off "grain" completely. It needs to be off whole grains such as corn, barley, oats, etc.

The key is keeping the starch/sugar level as low as possible.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-28-2012, 09:59 AM
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I have a little mare that had a severe impaction colic (had to go into the clinic) and then displayed ulcer-like symptoms - depressed, picking at grain, but not eating, etc. - and lost a bunch of weight. I took away the "grain" portion of her feed (Strategy) and started feeding her a mix of soaked beet pulp and soaked alfalfa cubes instead, plus her regular grass hay. She did eat the beet pulp/alfalfa cube mixture and her appetite picked back up and she gained her weight back. I have since added some Strategy back into her meals, but still continue with with the beet pulp/alfalfa cubes.
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-12-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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thank I you so much for all the great advice. I will get him off the strategy I didn't realize that it was doing him more harm then good. I don't have a lot of $ to spend on expensive feeds and he is an extremely picky eater. He doesn't love beat pulp but maybe I can get him used to it... I tried rice bran pellets and he wanted nothing to do with it. I have access to purina feeds. Would a senior feed be too high in molasses then? He is a TB cross I am afraid alfalfa would make him too hot.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-12-2013, 02:27 PM
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Most sr feeds are very high in NSC. The only sr feed I would feed is the triple crown. It's low NSC.

Purina has a ration balancer (enrich 32 I think?) . If its the only brand that you can get, then go ahead with that and add alfalfa pellets. Alfalfa is great for ulcers and also for adding extra calories.

I started my tb with bad ulcers on 1lb low NSC RB (buckeye gro n win) and slowly worked her up to 3lbs of alfalfa pellets. She was also on 3mg/lb of Walmart brand ranitidine (Zantac) every 8 hrs for 2-3 months. Also, as much hay as the horse will eat.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-12-2013, 03:36 PM
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Alfalfa normally doesn't make them hot, unless they're already on a high octane feed. You could try strategy healthy edge, it puts weight on and a nice shine, it obviously tastes good and is much lower in sugar than the normal strategy. Mix it with the soaked alfalfa pellets. The Enrich 32 is another possibility, but you would have to add a weight gain feed. Again, soaked alfalfa, you could try the loose ricebran, it mixes well with the wet stuff, no way of sifting through, start out slow, maybe together with a little of the strategy for taste.
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