Competing & Feeding The Ulcer Prone Horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-22-2012, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia.
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Competing & Feeding The Ulcer Prone Horse?

As some of you know we've been dealing with Gastric Uclers and Chinga for the past two/three months. Finally, things seem to be going well for him (We're hoping, it's a bit of a wait and see what happens game).

So, we've just had him on a two month course of a 'cure' (cannot remember names, I'll look them up when we get home) and now we've recently swapped him onto one to prevent the ulcers. Ontop of this I've heard people suggest adding things into their feed? The only thing I'd be concerned with is that adding this ontop of the orally administrated one causing a negative effect? So, I could ask my vet about a range of products if anyone has any suggestions. Or, consider putting them in his feed after we finish off this course of medication.

Also, feeds. What have you found being successful to feed an ulcer-prone horse. At the moment we've just been feeding him a hay/chalf based diet and full grazing room, but now we're thinking that we'll need to add something more because we're bringing him back into work and his going to be using musles, etc. Where as his been just standing around recently.

It's also been suggested to us that we give him a scoop or so of chalf before a ride so that he isn't being worked on an empty stomach. Anyone done this before? Negative/Postive results?

So, thoughts, etc on feeds?

Also, I'm taking him too his first show back in around three weeks time, doing a very small 30-50cm jumper class on him. As, we're needing to test if its the show environment which is stressing him out, or the trailering, etc. His been going really well as we've been bring him back into work, so far we are very confident that it's not being ridden as such which is stressing him out.

We're trying to be prepared as possible. We're preparing for if we need to bring him home quickly if he becomes unwell. I've got some electroytes for him (His first thing is to usually not drink), some mollases (to add to water), pain medication (given to us by the vet, for this purpose). We've also spoken to our vet and she's going to be in contact with us during the day. Any suggestions on other things to bring?

We're also aware that he will have a limit and if I have to leave early, I am more than happy too.

Sir Success. Eventer.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-23-2012, 12:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
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It sounds like the stuff you're using is GastroGard/UlcerGard (omeprazole)? There are a number of herbal remedies, but I wouldn't use any of them in conjunction with a omeprazole without consulting your vet first.

Herbal remedies include aloe vera juice, marshmallow root, licorice, and slippery elm. I've used aloe vera juice for my horse, and I saw improvement in him, but I can't say if it's from the aloe vera or something else.

There are also a number of supplements that claim to help prevent/heal ulcers. I've been using U-gard for a couple months, but am about to run out and don't think I'll get more of it (my horse doesn't care for it and tends to sift it out of his feed). I've also been feeding ProBios, but again, once I run out I probably won't order more; I got this one primarily because he was moving barns and I didn't want the change in environment & feed to give him any digestive upsets.

A friend at my barn recently suggested I look into Succeed, which is a pricey supplement, but claims to help both gastric and hindgut ulcers. I've ordered a taste test and will probably try it for a month if my horse will eat it. At ~$3/day, I'll have to see a major improvement to keep feeding it to him.

Lifestyle can greatly affect ulcers, as well. 24/7 turnout on pasture is ideal, but unrealistic in some cases (like mine). Avoiding grains and putting hay into a small mesh hay net so it lasts longer are easier. There are a number of grain-free feeds available, but it sounds like you're probably not in the US, so you likely have access to different things than I do. When you take your horse to a show, bring enough hay that you can keep it in front of him the whole time even if you don't normally give free choice hay.

Feeding an extra scoop of chaff (chaff is essentially chopped up hay, right?) is a good idea before a workout, but if your horse is on free choice hay or pasture, then it's unnecessary as he already has food in his stomach to buffer the acid.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-23-2012, 12:14 AM
Green Broke
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I second aloe Vera juice
That stuff really soothes anything going on and keeps things flowing through nicely
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-23-2012, 01:46 AM
Green Broke
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Our vet recommends a high alfalfa ratio diet and daily feed through wormer for ulcer prone. Lots of turn out and an interesting life seem to help as well.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-23-2012, 10:20 AM
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I went thru three gallons of Aloe Vera juice, from the health food store, and it wasn't worth the powder to blow it to the next county and back with gastric ulcers on my Arab who is a pasture ornament

If you're showing, you need something a lot stronger. My thought is to read up on Succeed. It's pricey but, there are some things in this life (and the horse's) that cheap doesn't get it

I have another horse with hind gut ulcers and probably also lipomas in the digestive tract. He's 25, also has Equine Metabolic Syndrome, hock/ankle arthritis and is now retired from trail riding.

Needless-to-say, he's under a lot of stress just from health issues

He is on Succeed and it seems to be helping. SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Equine Supplement

The less grain products your horse eats, the better. I know that's tough when he's in training and showing a lot but, the less grain the better.

Rice bran has 22% fat and provides the horse with cool energy, instead of amping them up. It might be good to try your horse in rice bran and a high quality ration balancer that has all the vitamins/minerals.

Manna Pro makes "Maxi-Glo" rice bran in both meal and pellet form; I feed the pellets. It can be bought at Tractor Supply.

Ration Balancers are whatever high quality product is available in your area. I feed Triple Crown's 30%. My TC feed is made by Southern States, instead of Cargill.

If you feed your horse a lot of alfalfa, it might be best to reduce that and at least try a 50 - 50 mix of alfalfa and a good quality grass/mix hay.

A lot of alfalfa might be too much for his digestive tract.

What I am trying to say is figure out a way to feed him as bland a diet as you can, yet still get the performance you need. That can only be done with top quality brands and something to aid his digestive tract

Almost forgot, get a lot of water into him if he isn't a horse that likes to drink a lot. That's been a huge problem with my 25 yr old and the Arab ever since I've owned them (22 years and 19 years). Neither one of these horses want to drink a lot of water and irony of ironies, they both have some form of ulcers. They have water in their stalls every night and every night, the Arab's is un-touched and the TWH's is barely touched.

Hope this helps

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 07-23-2012 at 10:28 AM.
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