Possible Ulcers? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-19-2012, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Possible Ulcers?

Hey guys! In the past couple of months I've noticed a dramatic change in my paint gelding. He used to be a total deadhead that was used as lesson horse for new riders. The first change I noticed was him reaching around to bite at rider's legs while under saddle. He also began rearing, refusing to move forward, and kicking at the rider's legs. I don't believe this is a behavioral issue, it seems to me like he's in pain. I've done some research on ulcers and I see this as a possibility. Most of the information I read said that horses most susceptible are performance horses with little to no grazing chances. my horse is not worked very often and is on pasture 24/7 with no grain, so I'm curious if he is still a candidate. I plan to have my vet out as soon as possible to see if we can come up with a diagnosis.

My question for you guys is, have you ever experienced anything like this? Have your horses undergone treatment for ulcers? Was it successful?

Thanks for all the help!
BenniBoo is offline  
post #2 of 7 Old 02-19-2012, 09:02 PM
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No matter what your horse does or the conditions he is kept in can not determine whether he will or will not have ulcers.

They are easily maintained and treatable without worry. There are a several different medicines on the market such as ranitidine(zantac in higher mg pills) and omeprazole (gastroguard). Those two are both prescription from the vet and the ranitidine is a much cheaper choice but does not work for everyone. Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of acid the stomach can produce and omeprazole works by shutting down the acid pumps entirely. I only personally use omeprazole in an extreme case or a really bad flare up that ranitidine can not control. The problem with omeprazole is when it shuts down the stomach from producing acid, this does affect digestion of hay/feed and disrupts the natural flora of stomach bacteria.

If your vet comes out and does diagnose ulcers you can discuss the pros and cons of both medications with him and he should be able to recommend a place to start. Usually that depends on severity of the problem and how much you want to spend money wise. Ranitidine is worlds cheaper than omeprazole. A 4 weeks treatment of gastroguard runs around a $1000.00, then most horses can be kept on maintenance of 1/4 to 1/2 tube a day. It runs around $33.00+ a tube and is paste form. Ranitidine is typically in pill form and is dosed at 6.6mg/kg which will roughly go to 3mg/lb. If you get 300mg tabs, this would basically be 1 pill per 100lbs of body weight at least 2X's a day. A 250 count bottle runs around $46.00.

I also keep my two boys on a digestive aide that reintroduces probiotics, enzymes, and bacteria back to the gut. I like Uckele G.U.T(gastic ulcer transnutrients) or Animed Anigest. The Anigest is the one I am using now cause it is cheaper than the G.U.T. G.U.T runs around .75/day on the low dose and the Anigest is .48/day on the low dose. Animed does not smell as good as the other stuff, but it does not smell bad. The G.U.T smells like hot chocolate powder and if you do what I did and accidently breath the powder in, it tastes like yogurt!

I have 2 right now that have ulcers and are kept on a constant dose of ranitidine. They are being maintained on a very low dose when not being shown. Buck was always easy going but when his ulcers would flare he would become a horrendous horse. He would bite and kick and rear and wanted no other horse or human near him. Put him on the ranitidine and he is back to his old happy self. The other horse I have on ranitidine would lose weight and sucks on his knees when his ulcers would flare. I have not personally witnessed him doing the sucking the knees thing, but that was what the previous owner told me he does if his stomach is hurting him.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"

Last edited by minihorse927; 02-19-2012 at 09:09 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-19-2012, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your reply! When not showing, do you still have to treat your horses daily?
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-19-2012, 11:05 PM
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Yes, they are treated year around. Now take in mind these doses I am giving mine are for mini horses. Normal, not showing any signs of ulcer flare, maintenance dose, which is 1/4 amount of a normal dose in my case is 1 pill(300mg) in the AM. When we go to show, I am putting them on 2AM and 2PM the day before and continue that till the day after I come home. Then I wean them back down over the next few days to one pill again. The technical dosage for these two should be 4 pills 2X's or 3X's a day but I try to keep them on the minimum dose that works. Each case is different and you just have to see what works.

You know how to make a miniature horse even smaller? Leave them in the dryer a little longer!
"Don't ever regret something that once made you smile"
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-19-2012, 11:48 PM
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What alot of people dont realize is that 99.9% of ulcers are caused by Hindgut acidosis. Uguard etc...only cures the stomach but if the hindgut is left untreated its just a matter of time until another flare up. The only product that treats and CURES HA is KER Equishure(you can order it through SmartPak)I found out through research and calling vets about the acidosis....so I put him on a 3 month cycle of Equishure with a 2 week dosage of Precision Omeprazole paste...lots of alfalfa and high fat/low fiber feed..hay...and bam..no more ulcers. After the 60 day mark on Equishure he really started packing on the weight.

As far as feeding for prevention...stay clear of the high NSC feeds(Non Structured Carb) feeds. All of that starch and sugar is like pouring salt into an open wound, and will just upset his digestive tract. I have a list of low NSC feeds if youre interested. Alfalfa and beetpulp are great too bc its high in calcium which acts as an antacid. I always give mine alfalfa and omeprezole on the road.

What alot of people also dont realize is that Uguard is junk....its proven with documentation...however I dont have it handy. Prescision Omeprazole paste is the only way to go if youre wanting to CURE ulcers.



This is withing 4 months....a 140 lb weight gain. I spent $1000 last year on ulcer meds supplements...etc and this is the ONLY way to go. Tried Succeed....UGuard....Smart Gut...Aloe Vera etc.

My gelding was on Prescision for 2 weeks...Equishure for 3 months...Strategy Healthy Edge broken into 3 feeding with Flax Oil for added fat and alfalfa.
1RedHorse is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 02-23-2012, 03:50 PM
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I got a new equine sourced probiotic that is working wonders on two on my horses that have had shown signs of ulcers. My vet says because of the fact that it is sourced from a horse not dairy or poultry, it will be more effective. I think it is the best I have ever used. the name is equiotic. I have had it for two weeks but, it seems to have really calmed the storm.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-23-2012, 09:38 PM
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Of course it could be ulcers, but have you ruled out other issues, that are probably more likely if your horse is kept/fed naturally, such as saddlefit or back probs?
loosie is online now  

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