Gastric Ulcers in Horses

Gastric Ulcers and How to Treat Them

Horses are quite often seen as work in progress when they are bought, especially if that horse is small, skinny or nervous. Owners pour their time and efforts into training their horses up, encouraging them to come out of their shells and working them hard to get them to competition levels. So imagine how an owner feels when their young, new talent suddenly starts to lose its appetite, loses weight and has a complete change of attitude. This could be largely due to gastric ulcers.

Gastric Ulcers in Horses

Horse in pain

How to relieve equine ulcers in the fore and hind gut

A horse has evolved its stomach to suit its grazing lifestyle. Horses are constantly eating small amounts of grass throughout the day. Whereas carnivorous animals produce stomach acid when they are eating, horses constantly produce stomach acid to help digest their constant grazing of grass. Horses can produce up to 9 gallons of acid a day, and if left unchecked, this can dangerously lower the pH levels in the stomach, causing damage to the mucus layer in the stomach, leading to ulcers.

The symptoms of gastric ulceration is quite similar to heart burn in humans in that the acid in the stomach begins to damage the oesophagus.

The most common signs are colic, especially after eating, a decreased appetite, decreased performance and a change in attitude. The traditional course of treatment is to higher the pH levels within the stomach of the horse. The treatment can be expensive and requires a month of daily doses of medication. It can take time for the medication to take effect.

Equine ulcers - Healthy Again

Healthy Again

 

As with all types of health, prevention is better than cure. A few ways to prevent gastric ulcers are: reducing grain-based food intake, mixing chaff in with the feed to increase chewing, as horse saliva is high in alkaline content, using hay nets to encourage slow intake and offering forage around the clock.

In instances where this is not available, digestive supplements can be given to support the health of the horses’ digestive system, provide nutrients that will help to strengthen the wall of the stomach and help normalise intestinal flora, eliminating any bacterial intake.

Good digestive support and horse management are vital in the avoidance of ulceration and in aiding recovery once ulceration has taken place. With smart management, your new, young prospect will be back to his old self and performing well in no time.

Unfortunately, vets often treat the symptom and only relieve the horse of immediate pain. This is a little like a human experiencing indigestion and taking an anti-acid tablet. The most widely know horse product is GastroGard, which can be quite expensive.

However, to fully treat the problem we recommend that you try ULC30EX Plus as this actually targets the root of the problem in the fore and hind gut. Not sure – view our customer testimonials to see how we can help you too.

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