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MyBoyPuck 11-03-2009 09:18 PM

Gut Sounds
My TB has always has a very active tummy as far as gut sounds are concerned. About a month ago, my vet suspected ulcers and we treated him with Gastrogard. During the month of treatment, I don't recall hearing a sound in there. Now that he's off it again, the gut sounds have been returning. I've always read that gut sounds are good, but I'm a little suspicious about the timing. What's the deal? Are they good, bad or am I overthinking it? It's funny. I can be in a ton of pain and not think twice about it. My horse's belly makes one sound and I turn into a hypochondriac.

justsambam08 11-03-2009 09:29 PM

Haha, my guy is the exact same way! Now that I think about it, he hasn't been as noisy either.......

Since gastrogaurd (as well as every other ulcer treatment/prevantative out there) is meant to decrease the production of stomach acid, which is what we hear squelching around in there, it is possible that for the month that he was being treated he was pretty quiet, and now he's back to being noisy again.

I couldn't say if its good or bad, I guess it just depends on how his ulcers were to begin with.

MyBoyPuck 11-03-2009 09:34 PM

Do you have your horse on any type of preventive stuff? I'm not sure how to proceed after the wicked expensive gastrogard.

barefoothooves 11-03-2009 10:21 PM

Gut sounds are not indicative of stomach acid amounts, but simply of the intestines moving food/feces on through. An empty stomach seems to echo and magnify that sound more, but does not mean a horse (or person) is empty when you do hear gut noises. A certain number of sounds is considered normal, while too few or too many can signal a problem.

However, during the treatment, if you you fed your horse different (either kind of food or hay, amount changed or frequency) that could alter how his tummy was working, and it could have been that that helped his ulcers, especially if you also changed back to the prior feeding regime after the ulcerguard treatment was over.

More fiber (Hay, hay pellets or cubes and beet pulp) and less concetrates (grains) can keep the belly full longer and provide good gut motility, and cut down on ulcers from the fact that they utilize the acid produced, and buffer it, but can de-stress the horse, as his natural food is high fiber, which requires more chewing and less time fretting about when the next load of sweet feed arrives. I"m making generalizations here, and not in any way judging your feed plan, either.

MIEventer 11-03-2009 10:24 PM

I'm a freak about Nelson as well MyBoyPuck. Heck, tonight after our hour work out, Nelson's nostrils were taught, and I freaked out - my BO laughed at me. I'm overly paranoid.

Anyways, have you had your boy Scoped? The only way to find out what is going on, and "IF" he has Ulcers, he should be scoped. Anyone can "assume" anything, but nothing is definative unless scoping occurs.

I've had people "Assume" Nelson had ulcurs because he is a anxious/strung out horse, and I was always being told to put him on Ulcer Guard and never did. Then when he was Scoped this Spring, guess what - no Ulcers what-so-ever. So I'd of ended up spending a small fortune on this Ulcer Guard for no reason.

Get him scoped to find out what exactly is going on. If your concerned. That way, you'll know if you should be worrying or not *load of shoulders*

MyBoyPuck 11-03-2009 10:47 PM

MIEventer, no I never actually got him scoped. Unlike Nelson, Puck's a easy going as they come. He had just been unwillinging to work or even move much for about 6 weeks. It was around the same time that his best buddy and pasture mate left and the BO refused to put him with another horse, so I know he was stressed out. We kind of got to the ulcer diagnosis through ruling out everything else. I could get him scoped post treatment, but I have a feeling it would just show me a healthy stomach. Next week we're moving to a new barn where he'll have buddies again, a diet heavy in hay and forage and access to plenty of trail riding which he loves. If there were ulcers before, I doubt they'll return under those circumstances.

I've already been through EPM and a stage 2 heart murmer with my one and only horse, so yeah, I am a little on edge if he so much as coughs. I've been reading about natural preventive remedies for ulcers. It looks like bananas are very good for coating the tummy. I think I'll see if Puck's a banana fan and then try to stop worrying so much.

MIEventer 11-03-2009 11:03 PM

I wish you and Puck all the best at the new barn! Sounds wonderful!

That is super cool info about the Banana's!

Ryle 11-04-2009 09:33 AM

Gut sounds can change with other issues besides just gut motility. Just like your belly makes more noise when you have GI irritation from ulcers or a change in diet such as spicy foods.

Just having gut sounds isn't necessarily good. It's the change in the amount of gut sounds that indicates problems. You can see both increased and decreased gut sounds with gastric disturbances such as colic. So what you need to know is what is a normal number and then assess what you are hearing with that information in mind.

ChevyPrincess 11-04-2009 04:03 PM

I noticed your siggy Ryle! I am taking classes to become a Vet-Tech/Assistant too! =]

Ryle 11-05-2009 05:32 PM

ChevyPrincess, where are you taking classes? And to be a vet tech or a vet assistant? (There's a difference;) )

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