The Effects Of Omeprazole In The Body
Omeprazole is capable of reducing hydrochloric acid in the stomach by up to 99%. While this action is beneficial for healing ulcers in the squamous portion, there are ramifications.
- Stomach acid is needed by horses to digest proteins.
- Stomach acid helps create a hostile environment so certain pathogenic bacteria cannot flourish.
- Stomach acid activates pepsin, an enzyme that breaks protein into amino acids.
- The suppression of digestive acids by omeprazole affects key mineral absorption of calcium and magnesium.
- A small digestibility trial by Kentucky Equine Research showed that two weeks of omeprazole administration decreased calcium digestibility by 20% for calcium carbonate, and 15% for marine-derived calcium.
- Blocking stomach acid for a period of time can cause the body to increase production of stomach acid after omeprazole treatment. This can lead to heartburn and dyspepsia which help to form new ulcers.
- A study on omeprazole published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science concluded: Oral administration of omeprazole in healthy equines interfered with the metabolism of digestive biomarkers of lipid, mineral and protein metabolism, although the animals were treated for a maximum of 11 days. Horses treated with a proton-pump inhibitor need to be evaluated regularly to avoid significant modification in their metabolic parameters.
Horses Holistic Horse Care Temperament Typing And Much More
I hate seeing people walk out of a veterinary clinic carrying $1,000 worth of Gastroguard to treat their horses ulcer.
Not that this and other similar products were not lifesavers before we learned to use natural options instead but these days I prefer to use natural herbs and supplements if possible to not only cope with horse ulcer symptoms, but to promote healing as well. The good news is that most of these natural options are much less expensive to us.
The last couple of months Ive published some articles on the different types of horse ulcers, their causes, and natural ways to treat each kind of ulcers.
These are all natural approaches that I have found to work effectively on various kinds of horses in my veterinary practice.
Products that work well include:
Equine Ulcers: Bad For Horse And Owner
Like anything that causes pain to our horses, equine ulcers are a burden for horse owners. Your horses physical discomfort translates to poor performance and, possibly, a cascade of other behavioral and physical problems. And then there are the vet bills and treatment costs.
Diagnosing gastric ulcers definitively involves an expensive and invasive scanning of the horses stomach through an endoscopy. Many owners forgo that step and treat for equine ulcers proactively. The go-to acid suppressor treatment, omeprazole, isnt cheap.
Ulcer prevention can go beyond proactive omeprazole treatments, however. And it doesnt have to be complicated or terribly disruptive to your routine. Imitating a more natural lifestyle through simple feeding strategies could do the trick, according to recommended practices in the veterinary community.
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Feed Supplements To Address Ulcers
In addition to modifying your feeding program, there are a number of digestive supplements on the market, from old home remedies to packaged products labeled for digestive health.
One simple and commonly used method is to add corn or flax seed oil to the feed. This helps to supply Omega 3 fatty acids, which can help with weight management while the hindgut is compromised and may promote healing.
Another dietary product used in caring for the hindgut is Psyllium Mucilloid. This is a natural dietary fiber that works as a bulk laxative. It is used particularly to help remove ingested sand from the colon, which may cause ulcers or lead to sand colic.
Beyond this, the tack store shelves and catalogs are filled with an assortment of products making all kinds of claims for digestive health or ulcer support. But what really works?
Rather than attempt to review all of the different products out there, lets offer some sound, practical advice: be aware that most of these products dont live up to the claims, so read labels carefully, research ingredients and their effects, and discuss options with your veterinarian.
The Best Inexpensive Choice I Have Found Is Omeprazole
You can get AbPrazole here:
RANITIDINE NOW OFF THE MARKET:The previous research I did for inexpensive medication for horse ulcers was using Ranitidine as a general acid reducer, BUT this drug has now been taken off the market because it may cause cancer in humans. This is the information I compiled from my research on dosing this drug in case anyone needs it in the future for a similar drug:
The healing dosage rate rate for horses is 6.6mg/kg every 8 hours. For my 750 LB horse, I gave 13 150 mg pills 3X a day 4 weeks. I started him on U-Gard at this time along with 13 Ranitidine pills 2X a day for 2 weeks, and then slowly weaned him off with a lesser dosage twice a day after that and put him on U-Gard, along with the Milk Thistle and ProBios. People were amazed at the difference this combination has made with my horse. During the first four weeks he gained over 50 lbs, and he is much more calmer and happy.
www.thehealingbarn.comThis product was used to clear out the horses liver. He had been on a heavy dose of antibiotics because he had developed a open sore on his tongue from either a briar in the hay or, more than likely, some kind of acid reflux.
We ordered the Milk Thistle Plus 4 LB bag on July 5th, and it got to me around 4 days later, so I would say I started it approx 5 to 6 days after beginning Ranitidine around July 10th.
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How Are Gastric Ulcers Diagnosed
Gastric ulcers can only be diagnosed definitively through gastric endoscopy, or gastroscopy, which involves placing an endoscope into the stomach and looking at its surface. This procedure is easy to perform, is minimally invasive, and allows for the evaluation of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. A tentative diagnosis can be made based on clinical signs and how the horse responds to therapy.
My Horse Has Ulcers And Doesnt Seem To Want To Eat Much Hay He Really Doesnt Seem To Like Chops What Else Can I Use So He Spends More Time Eating
If you can turn out on good grazing then that would be a great starting point. In addition it would be good to get some alfalfa into his ration as it is a natural buffer to acidity. There are some pelleted versions of alfalfa that you can use: pure Alfalfa Pellets can be fed dry or dampened with water if he prefers them that way or Alfa-Beet which is a combination of unmolassed sugar beet and alfalfa which must be fed soaked before feeding. Although a horse would tend to consume a pelleted/soaked version of alfalfa more quickly than chopped fibre and therefore spend less time chewing, the main aim in this situation is to increase fibre intake and find a form of fibre your horse likes. Once the ulcers have healed you may find your horses appetite picks up a bit and you can try introducing some chopped fibre again.
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Gastric Ulcers: Read The Latest News And Research
Gastric ulcers in horses are a common problem, particular among racehorses and elite competition horses, although they can be suffered by horse of all ages and types, particularly if they have limited access to forage. Foals are also susceptible. Ulcers occur in the horses stomach when the digestive acids come in contact with the upper part of the stomach lining.
In a natural environment the horse will graze for up to 16hr a day, so the acidity is reduced by the forage passing through the stomach as well as by bicarbonate in the saliva that is produced as the horse chews. If stabled horses have access to ad-lib hay, haylage or grass, this natural preventative process continues. But if they are fed high-concentrate diets with only limited access to forage, the acidity in the stomach increases.
Any period without forage intake, whether due to management practices or illness, leads to increased gastric acidity and a risk of ulcers. Training which includes fast work increases the risk of the acid splashing around, resulting in damage the upper part of the stomach. Stress can also be a factor.
What Are Horse Ulcers
Horse gastric ulcers are sores that form in the lining of the stomach. Ninety percent of all horses will develop ulcers at some point in their life. Horses have four types of ulcers. Squamous ulcers occur in the upper part of the stomach, close to the esophagus, and are referred to as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome. Glandular ulcers are found in the lower part of the stomach and are referred to as Equine Glandular Gastric Disease. Pyloric ulcers are found in the opening of the stomach to the small intestines.
But why are ulcers so prevalent in horses?
Compared to other large animals, the horses stomach is on the smaller side. In fact, because of the size of their stomach, experts recommend horses should eat smaller meals more often.
A horses stomach acts like two stomachs in one. The upper portion of the stomach is called the squamous. It does not produce any digestive acids and therefore does not have a protective lining. It is particularly vulnerable to ulcers. The lower portion of the stomach is known as the glandular. It produces digestive acid twenty-four seven and, as a result, has a protective lining.
Squamous ulcers occur during a horses movement when acid splashes up onto the upper portion of the stomach where there is no protective lining and causes irritation. In some cases, it produces an ulcer. Even though movement can result in ulcers developing, they are preventable.
Figure 2 The Equine Stomach with permission from Jean Abernethy
How Do Gastric Ulcers Develop
Horses differ from humans because they secrete stomach acid continuously, even when not eating. Adult horses secrete 30 litres of gastric acid daily. When horses are unable to access food on a continual basis, such as when grazing, the pH balance of the stomach changes drastically and gastric juices begin to attack the stomach mucosa. Acid produced in the stomach is generally buffered by saliva which contains a high concentration of bicarbonate and mucus.
If access to feed is reduced then consequently the saliva production is greatly reduced. As a result the squamous portion of the horse’s stomach, the most common part to be affected, lacks the buffer bicarbonate and protective mucous coating to protect the stomach lining from acid.
Various feed stuffs produce different amounts of saliva, for example 1 kg of hay takes 3000 chewing movements and produces 4 litres of saliva versus 1 kg of grain takes only 1000 chewing movements and produces 2 litres of saliva.
My Cob Is A Really Good Doer And So Is On Very Limited Hay And Basically No Grazing She Has Had Ulcers In The Past And I Know I Need To Feed As Much Fibre As Possible But Im Worried About Her Putting On Weight Im Also Concerned About Using Low Calorie Feeds As They Contain Straw And Ive Read I Shouldnt Feed It As It Can Cause Ulcers
The minimum amount of forage your horse should ideally be consuming is 1.5% of her bodyweight. To try to promote good gut health the total daily ration should be divided into as many small offerings as possible so the period of time she isnt eating is as short as possible. Research by Luthersson and colleagues showed that if the time between eating was more than 6 hours, the risk of ulcers increased.
Straw can be a really useful feed material for good doers as it provides chew-time without too many calories. In the study by Luthersson and colleagues, they also found that when straw was the sole source of forage it increased the incidence of ulcers. However, the important part of this finding was that straw was the only type of forage fed. There is no reason why straw cant be used alongside other forages such as alfalfa and grass hay to increase fibre intake for good doers. Feeds such as Hi-Fi Lite or Hi-Fi Molasses Free would therefore be suitable options for your horse.
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Ulcer Prevention & Diet Consultations
We offer diet and nutritional consulting for those of you supporting or suspecting a horse with ulcers – or looking to prevent ulcers from developing. Consultations are available in the following increments. First time customers who book an hour consultation receive $25 off your first order of $100 or more.
- 30 minutes – $45
Drugs That Coat The Stomach
The most commonly used coating agent is a drug called Hexadeca–hydroxytetracosahydroxy]hexadecaaluminum or Sucralfate for short! Sucralfate binds to stomach ulcers and aids healing. Sucralfate is not usually considered effective in treating squamous ulcers and is usually given with acid-suppressors such as omeprazole for treating glandular ulcers.
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Feed Hay Before Exercise
Despite misconceptions about fasting before exercise, a horse should preferably not work on an empty stomach. Horses produce gastric acid continuously, whether or not they are eating. A layer of forage can protect the stomach during periods of work.
Concerns about colic from working after eating are unfounded. In fact, a full stomach likely improves a horses mood and increases focus. Offer hay as you tack up, or in the stall shortly before riding.
What Is In The Tummy Tamer Ulcer Support Blend
Tummy Tamer blends a rich yeast culture with the herbs because it has probiotics and a small amount of rice bran. To that we add:
- Slippery Elm to help coat the digestive tract
- Fenugreek to sooth the gastric disorders
- Ginger to soothe any of the nausea a horse may feel
- Licorice Root, which reduces gastric acid secretions and gastric inflammatory conditions
- for gastric ulcerations and colitis type symptoms
- Peppermint and Spearmint, which are anti-spasmodic and natural digestive aides to soothe and relax the digestive tract
- Chamomile and Valerian to calm a stressed horse and help with any stomach cramping
- Yarrow flowers, fennel and fenugreek, lemon balm and some white willow bark
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Ulcer Treatment For Horses
Now that the condition of horses is known, what does ulcer treatment for horses look like? The acid pump in the horse’s stomach producing gastric juices needs to be suppressed.
Pasture and free access to hay is the most natural and least ulcerogenic environment. Forage consumption not only slows speed of feeding, but also stimulates saliva that acts as a protective buffering agent. This dietary ulcer treatment can be great for your horse.
Racehorses and performance horses generally heal faster if removed from training and competition.
Horses with documented gastric ulcers have responded to histamine H2-receptor antagonists, such as cimetidine and ranitidine, commonly known as H2 blockers. Although H2 blockers may provide limited, symptomatic relief, they block only one of several sites that stimulate acid production and may not heal the underlying gastric lesion.
Antacids need to be given every two to four hours in a volume of 200g at each treatment to be effective.
A newer approach to the treatment of gastric ulcers is the introduction of the proton-pump inhibitors, also referred to as the acid-pump inhibitors. This is the “gold standard” for ulcer treatment in humans and promises to be a cure for ulcers in horses. The major advantage is this treatment has the same active ingredient, omeprazole, as in human ulcer medication.
Does Succeed Cure Ulcers
If the horse has more major signs of ulceration in the digestive tract, we often will use Succeed. Succeed contains Oat Oil, which is rich in lipids and anti-oxidants. It also has Beta-glucan, which is a polysaccharide that moderates the release of sugars from the digestive system and stimulates the immune system.
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What Do You Recommend Feeding A Horse To Help Prevent Ulcers
- If possible, give your horse a slow feeder with hay in front of them all the time. This mimics horses’ natural grazing behavior and can help to prevent ulcers in the first place. We are fans of the Hay Pillow slow feeder bags and nets – and use them with our own horses.
- Horses who may have ulcers or are prone to ulcers do best with bucket feed that has fat , beet pulp and soaked hay pellets along with a buffer like CA-Mg, which Earth Song Ranch offers.
- What we have found over the last 10+ years is that your horse may need to avoid bag feed, such as Purina, Nutrena, or Triple Crown as there are too many chemicals and additives that can upset the already delicate digestive health of these horses. Instead, use soaked hay pellets like Timothy as a carrier for herbs and vitamins. When this change is made, we have found the horses improve greatly and better maintain their gut health.
- I also strongly recommend EquineZyme Plus with probiotics to keep your horses gut healthy and contains colostrum which will help soothe the acids in the stomach. .
- Always make sure that your horse has just eaten before you train or show.
Listen Now: Jessica Lynn’s interview on Fox’s The Horse Talk Show, Holistic Horse segment, where she talks about how to handle ulcers the natural way.
What Is The Best Ulcer Treatment For Horses
The most common and effective treatment for stomach ulcers in horses is a drug called omeprazole. Your veterinarian may also refer to this drug as AbPrazole®. This medication is very expensive, but in most cases, it will completely cure this painful condition.
Omeprazole comes in paste form and is given once per day. It works by reducing the high levels of acid in the stomach, giving the ulcers chance to heal. It is normal to repeat the gastroscopy examination after one month of treatment, to check that the ulcers are healing.
Once the omeprazole has begun to take effect, the clinical symptoms of EGUS should start to subside. This can take some time, however, it is vital to persist with the medication until your horse starts to show some improvement.
If your horse does not respond to treatment or if the symptoms are very bad your veterinarian may recommend other medications. The other main medication used in the treatment of EGUS is sucralfate. This medication coats the ulcers in a protective layer, helping them to heal.
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