Well, the vet is coming tomorrow to discuss the possibility of Danny having ulcers, and what to do. He has always been prone to gas colic, and has a very noisy gut. The last few weeks Danny has become increasingly girthy, biting at his sides, kicking at his belly, and now kicking at me if i touch his belly. On Saturday, I thought he might be colicky again, walked him for a while, but he didn't seem to be in distress, just a bit of discomfort. He didn't want to go down, but was quite antsy. I gave him a syringe of Pepto and he was his normal self again. I called the vet on Monday, because I'm now wondering if ulcers have been problem all along. She'll be out tomorrow night to look at him and give her opinion. She also recommended using the Pro-CMC daily until she gets there, and he's been much better the last few days. If he needs to be scoped, he'll have to go to the clinic, after an 18 hour fast. I really don't want to put him through all of that (his stress levels will go through the roof on an 18 hr fast), particularly since treatments alone are outrageously expensive for ulcers and I don't want to tack on a bill for the clinic if its not necessacary.
If she thinks ulcers are the issue, should we take him to be scoped, or should we just go ahead with Gastroguard for a month to treat it? Are there any side effects from Gastroguard to be concerned about? After treatment, what are the best preventative supplements? A lot of people have recommened Succeed as on ongoing supplement in place of the SmartDigest Ultra that he's currently on. Thoughts, opinions, suggestions??
You don't have to have your horse scoped, if your Vet firmly believes that the signs are ulcers.
I used Gastro with Nelson when he was diagnosed in January, and it worked well. After the innitial care of his ulcers, I got Nelson on 2 of SmartPak's products.
SmartDigest Ultra from SmartPak Equine
Nelson had a massive colic due to the combination of stress while being on stall rest, the ulcers and the meds he was on due to the cause of his stall rest - and my Vet highly suggested that I get Nelson started on a Digestive Suppliment, so that's why I got him on Smart Digest Ultra.
And due to his Ulcers, I got him on another SmartPak Suppliment:
SmartGut Pellets from SmartPak Equine
I suggest you call SmartPak directly, and explain to the Consultant that you get exactly what you described to us here. And they will suggest suppliments that will benefit your horses digestive tract and tummy.
They are great, and they aren't pushy on products. Just say that you aren't looking to buy right now, but need advice and help in what direction to approach.
I didn't see the last part of your post where you said he is currently on Smart Digest Ultra - so my appologies.
I would get him on Smart Gut - talk to SmartPak and see what they say about Succeed in compareson. And ask them their opinion on the matter - whether you should go to Succeed and drop Smart Digest Ultra. They are very educated on the suppliments that they sell.
I have to say, I am very happy with what I have Nelson on.
Well, it definitely sounds like ulcers. The reaction from the pepto is enough for me and the symptoms. Scoping a horse with ulcers can cause more discomfort/aggravation than is needed. It is also pointless because every horse will have one or more in their lifetime.
Gastrogard is very expensive. It is between 40 and 60 dollars a day depending on your area, and you'll need it for at least a month. Even still, the results aren't guaranteed.
I've had great success with Miracle Clay by Dynamite. I've also had many friends on myspace and in real life use it with excellent results. It is a natural substance, it won't kill your bank account, and it can be used for other things besides ulcer treatment. It is basically a volcanic ash that was deposited into sea water. It has no additives, chemicals, or preservatives. It comes in powder form and you mix it with water to make a paste. It is safe for humans and dogs, and can be used as a poultice as well, I've taken it myself and it really helps calm the stomach. I've heard/seen it used to draw the poison out of bug bites and bee stings, etc.
It's pretty cool stuff. I like that it is all natural. You can do a 14 day blast with it, and then just use the maintenance dose for another month. Usually you see change in behavior and relief in just a day or two. I've got a few friends that are Dynamite reps, and are extremely knowledgeable about it. Shoot me a message if you want to get in touch with my friend Jenny-- she's great.
Your best bet after treating for ulcers to prevent recurrence isn't using supplement x, y or z but rather changing his management.
Decrease the amount of grain-based feeds he gets daily or preferrably cut it out completely. Use ration balancers and oil to balance out the diet and provide extra energy for work or weight gain.
Provide free choice forage daily. (Preferrably with turnout rather than stalling.) Alfalfa provides antacid benefit due to it's high calcium levels so a mix of alfalfa and grass hay is good for these guys.
If he is training, competing or being hauled consider using a Ulcergard (the preventative does of omeprazole) on those days and for a couple of days afterwards. This is a better choice then the supplements which may help horses look like they don't have ulcers but only provide antacid benefit for less than an hour after they are consumed.
Ryle took the words right out of my mouth. After (and while) getting this episode resolved take a hard look at his management. Decreasing grain, increasing forage, adding alfalfa, using a preventative in when you know he'll be stressed, and increasing the amount of turnout are all extremely effective in controlling and helping to treat ulcers.
Stick with Ryle's advice here, this is a management issue but you do need to get ulcers healing as well and for that I'd go with something that has been tested and proven safe, not something that people claim to be safe by word of mouth. If there really were such "miracle cures" for horses with gastric ulcers, which is one of the leading health problems in horses, it wouldn't be super cheap. Part of the reason that effective medical treatments are expensive is because they take a lot of testing and development to make sure that they are safe for our animals. For me, I'm willing to spend the extra money to be sure I'm not causing more harm than good.
Also, Pepto is a human product. I wouldn't give it to a horse and it can be fatal in dogs and cats, just an FYI.
Also, I never said it was a "miracle cure"-- the product is called "Miracle Clay". I also never said it is super cheap, but that it is less expensive than Gastrogard.
I know many, many people that use it daily for ulcers, even the die-hard gastrogard users have seen very positive results with it.
There is really no reason to be snarky about something you clearly don't know anything about and have no experience with. I'm simply offering another perspective to the ongoing ulcer argument, as someone that has seen drastic results and knows many others that have had the same results.
Ok, just to end any debates, the only treatment we will be using is Gastroguard. I'm certainly interested in suggestions for preventative measure after treatment, but we're not considering any other treatments. There have been enough warning statements released against any treatments other than the FDA approved product. I'm really not concerned about the financial cost of treatment.
As for the Pepto, thanks for the head's up. We dosed him with it on Saturday, just to give him some relief, then went out and got ProCMC for future use. I'm certainly not endorsing the use of Pepto on a regular basis!
Thank you everyone for the advice and suggestions! Keep em coming!
luvmyperch - just call SmartPak and talk to them. I love the SmartGut I have Nelson on, and he's coming around. My Vet evaluated the product before I purchased it and she said that it looks to be a good suppliment to help Nelson's tummy and ulcers. It hits the ulcers not only in your horses stomache, but also in his GI Tract.
You can also look into Tract Guard, that one is good as well. I have a friend who's young mare has ulcers and had a massive colic - she put her on that and has had nothing but positive results.
I feed Nelson Purina Senior and Purina Ultium, and his face is stuffed infront of a round bale all day and night. Our horses tummy's have to be full continuously, because that is how they are designed. They are grazers, that's just who they are and that is what their system demands. When our horses are left in their stalls overnight with no roughage to eat, that does damage. When our horses have ulcers, it doesn't help at all when our horses are left for hours without anything in their stomaches. So ensure that your horse has free access to hay/pasture as much as possible.
Cayenne pepper heals ulcers in people that have used it. I haven't read about it for horses though. It's safe for dogs to eat cayenne pepper. But if you were gonna use it for your horse I'd do some research.
If anyone is interested to learn a little more about the healing powers of spicy peppers here's a couple links.
Curing With Cayenne - Amazing healing power of cayenne pepper
I like to put the cayenne on many things I eat. But you can also put it into pills so you don't need to taste the spice in your mouth. But you will feel it in your gut when the pill pops in about an hour. But it's nothing like the spicy feeling you would have in your mouth.
One other thing worth mentioning. Sometimes the store bought cayenne has been irradiated, which I recall reading about it being no good for the pepper, it may make it not as effective or something. So if you have a health food store check there. And typically the health food store has much spicier pepper. The spicier the better.
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