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Discussion Starter #1
Today we started ulcer treatment for my gelding. The vet said he's about 150-200 lbs underweight. Currently he is turned out 24/7 on a round bale and gets fed 4lbs of triple crown senior with probios, aloe vera, slippery elm, and cool calories. I also give him alfalfa pellets before I ride. My vet thinks that he shouldn't be on a high fiber diet and that we should put him on Purina Ultium because it's higher in fat. I've also been told that I should stop graining him completely while he's being treated. Guess I'm just confused on what I should be doing with him!

*Yes I know he should be getting more than 4 lbs but I'm only able to go out there once a day and worry about giving him too much at once.
 

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That is a lot of grain for a horse with ulcers, I was told by my vet, no grain. Anything high in fat is fine, so I fed rice bran and ground fax with a bit of soaked beet pulp. The probios are good, but I used a pre and pro biotic, very expensive, but it worked and other stuff you mentioned as well as it was in Gastra-FX, great product by the way. Did you have your horse scoped? If you did and they found ulcers (hindgut won't show up), then you should have been given Omeprazole, the other treatment will help, but only the Omeprazole will cure them. However, it's not effective on hindgut ulcers, the pre/probiotics do the trick there.
 

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Today we started ulcer treatment for my gelding. The vet said he's about 150-200 lbs underweight. Currently he is turned out 24/7 on a round bale and gets fed 4lbs of triple crown senior with probios, aloe vera, slippery elm, and cool calories. I also give him alfalfa pellets before I ride. My vet thinks that he shouldn't be on a high fiber diet and that we should put him on Purina Ultium because it's higher in fat. I've also been told that I should stop graining him completely while he's being treated. Guess I'm just confused on what I should be doing with him!

*Yes I know he should be getting more than 4 lbs but I'm only able to go out there once a day and worry about giving him too much at once.
I'm guessing the ulcer treatment was just the omeprazole or such? These are indeed helpful in allowing the healing(as opposed to actively aiding) of *stomach* ulcers, because it works by inhibiting stomach acid. But it doesn't do anything for hind gut ulcers. So I think the aloe & slippery elm for eg are also important measures.

Re the feed, yeah, if you're only able to feed once a day, I would indeed be keeping meals small. Instead of giving different meals before & after a ride, I'd divide his ration in half. I'd be cautious about keeping his diet very 'low carb', but also, if you can only feed once daily, fats won't be as readily digested either(although I don't *think* that poses a gut problem like high carb, just that it's wasted), so high fat options may be also not the best. I have absolutely no idea what would make a (knowledgeable) vet say the horse needs a low fibre diet - as that is the exact opposite of what horses generally need. Perhaps he is confused, or what he said was confused to you.

I'd prefer to feed something very low NSC/carb, grain & soy free if possible. While the TC is molassesed, it is pretty low carb(NSC around 11%). With that, and being a beet pulp base, I think it's the better option, between that & Ultium. *However, the write up of TC says 'grain free' and yet it's ingredients say 'distillers dried grains'. So... :confused:

As the fat supp(cool calories) is just vegetable oil with preservatives, I'd ditch that & just add a little cold pressed linseed/flaxseed oil to his feed. Copra meal(coconut), if you can get it where you are, is another good 'weight gain' additive that's readily digestible.

And then there's nutritional balance. It's important, because, for eg, ulcers are linked with too low Mg in the diet. And adding extra high Ca(often advised for horses with ulcers, because it's another 'antacid') further imbalances/increases need for Mg. So I'd want to do a diet analysis(anyway, knowing how important nutrition is to general health) & work out whether I need to add anything else on that front.

And then, if he is treated for ulcers, his digestive system starts to function better, he will also be able to utilise his regular feed of grass/hay far better too, so should start to do better on that. Don't know the setup, but perhaps you could include more alfalfa/lucerne in that too. But you should find as his health improves, he will have less need of the high calorie supps.
 

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That is a lot of grain for a horse with ulcers.
As below, I'd want *no* grain or sweetened if poss, but the TC is quite low NSC & advertised as(see confusion there in other post) grain-free.

And 4lb of rich feed in only one single meal, while not huge, is not the best, but if she fed it half before & half after a ride, that would help.
 

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Aaaah, we don't have that feed here, it's funny, everyone mentions, Triple Crown, Purina, etc. If I asked for that at the feed stores here, they would look at me like I had 10 heads, lol.
 

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Thank you! She thought it was a bad idea for him to be on senior grain because hes young and has no dental problems. She said low fiber because hes out on a roundbale and doesnt need the extra. im taking what she says lightly because i know the vets arnt nutrinalists but my BO was listening and is now convinced we should put him on straight oats which believe me will NOT be happening. She thought scoping was a waste of money because he is showing all the signs of it... cinchy, underweight, hard keeper, bad attitude when ridden consistently, dull coat, cribs, and is off the track. We have him on a compound and if he doesnt show progress in 2 weeks we will run some bloodwork.

I am worried that he is lacking something in his diet especially since he isnt even getting the minimum of 5 lbs a day. I will split his feed up before and after a ride. How can i do a analysis to find out what hes lacking? My barn grows their own hay and has had it tested so i can ask them for the details for that.

As for not giving him anything other than forage I would be worried about him loosing even more weight.
 

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I would have a chiropractor adjust him too, ulcer treatment and chiro work go hand in hand. I like the horse to have a massage after adjustments, as muscles have a memory will sometimes push things right back out. Now if you search on youtube how to do basic horse massage, you can do it yourself although a RMT is ideal.
 
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I would have a chiropractor adjust him too, ulcer treatment and chiro work go hand in hand. I like the horse to have a massage after adjustments, as muscles have a memory will sometimes push things right back out. Now if you search on youtube how to do basic horse massage, you can do it yourself although a RMT is ideal.
He did just see a chiropractor about 3 weeks ago!
 

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So, you are not really feeding grain. I agree that an ulcer prone horse should have no grain. Was the vet perhaps using the term 'grain' correctly,giving advise?
What type of hay in that round bale?
Does the horse have other equine companions?
Ah, as OTTB that cribs The way race horses are both managed and fed, sets them up for ulcers. How long have you had him? I would feed him a hay free choice that is around 50% alfalfa, both for the nutritional level and the Ca content, far as ulcers
How much time does he spend actually eating hay, versus , ;sucking a post'? Any pasture turnout possible?
 

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I'm assuming what the vet means is that the horse needs to gain some weight, so just adding a low calorie "roughage" type pellet isn't going to help much if he is already getting free choice hay.

However, not all roughage is the same, so if the round bale hay is not a very high protein, high calorie hay, any more concentrated pellet is going to help. For instance, most grass hay is anywhere from 650 to 900 calories per pound. But even a low calorie complete feed with added fats, etc is usually around 1200 calories per pound.

Triple Crown Senior is around 1500 calories per pound. So eating one pound of the Senior is like eating two pounds of hay. This can matter a lot when you're trying to put weight on a horse.

Purina Ultium is 1900 calories per pound, but the vet is wrong when she says it is not a roughage. Both of those feeds are, it's just that one has a higher percentage of added fats such as rice bran, so more calories are packed in.

The alfalfa pellets are great. The calcium is a buffer for the stomach acid in the gut, and they have 970 calories per pound. Of course they are "roughage" too. But roughage is the very best thing for a horse with ulcers. TC Senior is not a grain, it is almost exclusively made of roughages such as beet pulp/alfalfa and fats. The distiller's grain is a grain byproduct so has a low NSC level. I am not sure if it contributes to acidity in the gut, but I would think since you are feeding less than 5 pounds and also providing hay 24/7, it should not be an issue.

Ulcers are caused by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. A horse that is now on turnout with hay always available should heal the ulcers quickly and not have issues again unless going through a period of stress again. If possible, I'd stop riding the horse for several weeks while he is having ulcer treatment. They will heal up faster that way. Riding causes the acid to splash on the upper part of the stomach lining (the upper lining does not handle acid well) and can slow down the healing process.

It's good you're feeding before riding at least, because that does help keep some of the acid away from the lining.
 

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Also, I don't believe complete feeds should ever be used as a way to get balanced vitamins and minerals into a horse.

The amounts of vitamins and minerals are so small in these products, that you'd have to feed many pounds (and this is what the manufacturers always say on the label). But only the rare horse with no teeth or special health condition is going to eat a diet that is mostly pellets, because long stemmed forage is far healthier for their system. You can basically ignore the label as far as supplements go, and just feed a separate ration balancer or multivitamin to give your horse the vitamins and minerals needed.

For example, if you were to give a horse the amount of vitamin E he needs daily by feeding Triple Crown Senior, you'd have to feed at least ten pounds. So that's not the best way to get vitamins into horses.
 

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Thank you! She thought it was a bad idea for him to be on senior grain because hes young and has no dental problems.
Yes, horses DO benefit from having to chew their food, and saliva is an acid 'buffer', so if they have adequate teeth to do it... But if the vet suggested Ultium instead, that makes no sense either, for the same reason - that's pelleted. Perhaps you can look for a similar product but more 'textured', or mix it with alfalfa, beet pulp or such. But so far as I know, aside from the 'chew factor', I don't believe Senior feed is at all bad for horses that aren't seniors - to the contrary, they're generally more easily digested & higher in 'cool' calories, so can be great for 'hard keepers'.

She said low fiber because hes out on a roundbale and doesnt need the extra.
OK, that makes sense... on the surface. But as pointed out, all 'fibre' isn't equal. Alfalfa & beet pulp for eg are both high fibre, low sugar, but high calorie. And you can't just feed a bunch of concentrates without fibre - well, you can, but that's more problematic for the gut, and especially if it's already compromised...

She thought scoping was a waste of money because he is showing all the signs of it... cinchy, underweight, hard keeper, bad attitude when ridden consistently, dull coat, cribs, and is off the track. We have him on a compound and if he doesnt show progress in 2 weeks we will run some bloodwork.
Yeah, tend to agree on the first - I would have assumed, given all that & not bothered scoping. And being off the track, high grain diets cause hind gut acidosis, I'd also assume hind gut ulcers were a given. What is the 'compound'? I wouldn't expect to see much if any changes in only a couple of weeks.

How can i do a analysis to find out what hes lacking? My barn grows their own hay and has had it tested so i can ask them for the details for that.
Well great start if you have a hay/pasture analysis. Then you just have to add in the other stuff you feed. FeedXL.com is one program for doing this without the headache, and they also list all the supplements & things you have available, to better work out which products will 'fill the gaps'. Or you can go to a nutritionist & get them to do the analysis.

As for not giving him anything other than forage I would be worried about him loosing even more weight.
Yeah, if the ulcers/gut upsets are treated(I think getting him off high octane racing fuel & onto free choice forage will go a LONG way of itself), he should do a LOT better on the forage, not likely need much other. I didn't mean don't give him any, but I wouldn't stress about the amounts & that you need to pump more into him, is what I meant.
 

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Complete feeds are just what they say they are-meant to be fed almost as the entire diet, if not all.
Thus, soon as you add any other significant source of food, that entire balance, daily requirement, is out the window.
Supplements are supplements and compete feeds are complete feeds
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Do you guys think i should continue giving him the aloe and the slippery elm during his treatment? Ive heard both yes and no.
Should I add a Vit. E supplement such as soybean oil?
 

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Complete feeds are just what they say they are-meant to be fed almost as the entire diet, if not all.
Thus, soon as you add any other significant source of food, that entire balance, daily requirement, is out the window.
Supplements are supplements and compete feeds are complete feeds
Most people don't feed complete feeds as the horse's entire diet, but rather add a pound or two as a roughage based way to add calories.
I've added many, many complete feeds into the FeedXL program in the amount of 3-5 pounds along with a diet that consists mainly of analyzed hay (so we know the vitamin/mineral content). I've never yet seen a complete feed that unbalanced the diet. They mainly add calories to the diet and do not unbalance it.
I believe the nutritionists that make up these things try to keep them as close to a forage/pasture diet in balance as possible. So you're basically just adding "more" of what you're already feeding.

Just like if you feed timothy or fescue or orchard hay, they are all quite similar in nutritional balance to one another with just a little bit of difference. So they are interchangeable.

Now adding any type of grain or large amounts of one straight product will unbalance a diet. Such as if you feed straight oats, or many pounds of rice bran, beet pulp, etc.

It can't hurt to give the aloe and slippery elm, in my opinion.

I would not consider any oil or "source" of Vitamin E worth feeding just for the E content. Most are so low in E, regardless of the claims, that they can't be considered a supplement.
A cup of soybean oil has something like 17 mg of vitamin E, and horses need a minimum of 1,000 mg daily when not in work. The only real way to supplement Vitamin E is to give either capsules or a horse vitamin that has a significant amount of Vitamin E added to it.
 
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