Thursday, May 23, 2024

What To Give Horses With Ulcers

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What Causes Ulcers In Horses

How to Feed a Horse with Ulcers

The biggest cause of ulcers in horses are diet and feeding behaviour. Horses on pasture have the lowest incidence of ulcers compared to those athletes that need “high-energy” concentrates . Thus, it is believed the increased rate of ulcers in horses is due to a combination of factors including:

  • A high-concentrate diet with low-roughage intake .
  • Withholding feed during competitions.
  • Intensive exercise on an empty stomach. This can cause splashing of acid onto vulnerable parts of the stomach.
  • Stressful environments, including physical stress such as illness and behavioural stress such as stall confinement, long-distance transportation or unfamiliar environments.
  • Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

What To Feed Whilst Your Horse Is Recovering From Egus

Feeding your horse whilst they are recovering from EGUS is very similar to the way they should be fed to prevent EGUS and also whilst they are being treated for EGUS. If your horse has lost weight due to suffering from ulcers, a higher calorie diet may be required to help encourage weight gain and the use of a supplement such as Equi-Jewel could be beneficial. This will help to add a concentrated source of calories whilst ensuring meal sizes remain small.

Your horse may also have backed off their forage so employing a cafeteria style of feeding could help to encourage them to eat more forage. Maybe consider the way the forage is presented as well, if they are finding it hard work to eat from a hay net, could you feed from the floor? Equally, if they are eating their forage very quickly, could you find a way to slow down intake, increasing eating time such as using a hay net with smaller holes or a slow feeder so that there arent periods of time when no forage is available.

What Insurance Is There For Egus

As with all conditions, as long as the horse has not had any issues with ulcers previously, EGUS can be claimed for under the veterinary fee section of your horse insurance policy. Depending on the age and value of your horse, plus the activities you use him for, there are up to 8 different vet fee insurance options that cover gastric ulcers. With a range of incident limits and excess options available, theres a policy to suit you and your horse.

At KBIS, the 15 month claim period on Leisure and Competition policies, allows you longer to claim when you need it most.

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Unlimited Access To Forage

Horses evolved as grazing animals and are designed to have forage constantly moving through their digestive systems in fact, in the wild, horses eat for about 16-18 hours a day. Because of this, their stomachs constantly produce stomach acid . Chewing hay stimulates the production of saliva which is a natural antacid for horses. In order to counteract the amount of acid in the stomach, horses benefit from consistent access to free choice forage so they are frequently chewing and making saliva over the duration of the day.

Make sure that your horse constantly has access to forage, such as hay or chopped hay. In order to make the hay last throughout the day, particularly if you have a horse who eats quickly or you have an overweight horse who eats smaller amounts of hay, it is a great idea to feed meals every few hours or use a slow-feed hay net to slow your horses rate of consumption. If your horse is munching on hay 24/7, there will be plenty of saliva to protect the digestive tract. In your horses stall, the Gatsby Hay Bag Slow Feeder or the Shires 2 Tone Haynet are popular options, meanwhile, outside in the pasture, The NibbleNet Nibble-Go-Round or the Hay Chix Small Bale Net work well. If your horse is an easy keeper or has insulin resistance, you may want to try feeding lower-quality hay in higher quantities so that they still get the benefits of free-choice forage.

Gatsby All Natural Slow Hay Feeder

What Causes Equine Gastric Ulcers

Equine Ulcers 101

The stomach is divided into two parts separated by a band called the Margo Plicatus. The bottom two-thirds are the glandular region that secretes acid continually as part of the digestive process. In the glandular region, there is secretion of bicarbonate-rich mucous which protects the stomach lining. The top part, the non-glandular region, has a lining of squamous epithelium and lacks the bicarbonate-rich mucous which protects against the stomach acid. This means that the majority of ulcers occur in the non-glandular squamous region.

Gastric Ulceration occurs when the stomach becomes hyperacidic and/or contacts and damages the squamous mucosa that lines the stomach, but is not used to being in contact with the acid.

Due to the anatomical and physiological differences between the glandular and nonglandular regions of the stomach, EGGD and EGSD can have different causes. The causes of EGGD are not well understood, but is thought to involve breakdown of the normal defence mechanisms of the stomach lining.

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How To Feed A Horse With Ulcers

Ulcers â sores in the gastric lining of the stomach or colonic ulcers in the hindgut â can make feeding a horse a proper diet more challenging. With conscientious effort and thoughtful care, however, you can ensure your horse has the appropriate nutrition without aggravating this often painful condition.

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My Horse Is Prone To Ulcers What Should I Do

Good question! Here are my top tips on feeding a horse prone to ulcers:

  • Feed lucerne hay lucerne has been shown to buffer the stomach well and is protective against ulcers. It even seems to help them heal.
  • Feed lucerne as chaff or haylage with your grain based feeds this seems to help negate the possible negative effect of starch when it is fermented in the stomach.
  • Feed lucerne hay before you ride working horses on a full stomach is CRITICAL for preventing ulcers. The fibre stops the acid splashing around and the saliva created while chewing the hay helps to buffer the acid in the stomach. Using lucerne has the extra positive benefit with the buffering effect from the lucerne itself.
  • Feed lots of forage the more forage in the diet the better. It makes a horse chew longer, create more saliva and keeps the stomach full of fibre to help stop acid from the lower part of the stomach splashing up onto the top part and creating ulcers.
  • Dont allow more than 5 hours between meals the longer the intervals between meals, the higher the risk of ulcers5. So make sure your horse is eating at least every 5 hours. For horses particularly prone to ulcers, keeping time without food as short as possible is advisable.
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    Our Final Thoughts On Treating Ulcers In Horses

    If you own a performance horse, you need to be prepared to tackle some stomach ulcers. Unfortunately, the most alluring thing about performance horses is also the reason why they are so prone to ulcers their energy and agility. But, there are several remedies for tackling the condition.

    The home remedy thats most effective is rest and hay. Resting your horse ensures that the stress does not cause excess secretion of gastric acids. The hay makes sure that the animals stomach lining has protection from the acids. You can also try any of the supplements in this guide because they are some of the best ulcer treatment for horses. If you need a product for preventing stomach ulcers, you should try Ulcerguard Oral paste. Guard Ulcer treatment, on the other hand, is a great supplement for curing ulcers.

    Clinical Signs Your Horse May Have Ulcers

    Diagnostic and Treatment of Gastric Ulcers in Horses

    Clinical signs can be non-specific and are not unique to gastric ulcers. The signs of ulcers often match a range of common complaints experienced by horses. This highlights the need for proper diagnosis by a veterinarian to determine exactly what you are dealing with.

    In adult horses these include:

    Poor appetite, colic, decreased performance, attitude change, poor body condition and weight loss

    In foals these include:

    Intermittent nursing, poor appetite, intermittent colic, poor body condition, diarrhoea, teeth grinding, salivation, pot belly and rough hair/coat.

    However, owners and trainers should inquire about ulcer treatment for horses if any or all of the signs are observed or reported in the horse.

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    Should My Ulcer Prone Good Doer Have A Bucket Feed

    Whilst the large majority of any horses diet should be forage even good do-ers can benefit from a bucket feed for the following reasons:

    To provide a balanced diet UK pastures lack a number of key trace minerals including zinc, copper and selenium as well as vitamin E in conserved forage. Vitamins and minerals are important for many different functions such as energy breakdown and utilisation and as part of the bodys antioxidant defence system. Topping up these nutrients by adding a broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement or balancer to a low calorie chopped fibre feed to act as a carrier helps to ensure a balanced diet is supplied.

    As a lower calorie alternative to hay hay and haylage can easily supply more energy or calories than the good do-er requires and so the amount fed may need to be restricted. Alternatively, a proportion of the forage ration can be replaced with something even lower calorie such Dengie Hi-Fi Lite. Overall, this may mean the horse can have a larger amount to eat which increases chew time and fibre intake to help support digestive health.

    Gooseberry Ulcer Guard For Stomach Balance

    Gooseberry is a manufacturer of different kinds of horse supplements. They focus on specific diseases, like laminitis, and stomach ulcers. Ulcer Guard, in particular, is good for alleviating the symptoms that horses usually experience when they have ulcers. It basically protects the stomach lining from the gastric acids.

    Besides protecting against ulcer, this product also promotes a fuller coat, a healthier weight gain, and hood development. It addresses all the issues that ulcer might have caused in the horse. It is also great for preventing ulcers from ever developing in the first place. And, since ulcer is a very common condition in horses, Gooseberry is one of the equestrians best friends.

    As you might expect from a product called Gooseberry, it tastes remarkably well. The supplement was designed to be well tolerated by horses, as that improves the chances of their recovery. You can administer it orally, or mix it with their feed or water. The product is so concentrated that it can be mixed up to make 11 Gallons.

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    Provide Plenty Of Water

    One study showed that daily hay intake and body weight of horses fell significantly with increased water restriction during a 3 week period, and also the time spent eating decreased as less water was provided8. Decreased eating will lead to decreased saliva production and therefore less alkaline saliva to buffer the stomach acid. This increases the risk and severity of gastric ulcers. For horses in training, take care to avoid repeated oral administration of hypertonic electrolyte replacement pastes or solutions , as this has been shown to increase the number and severity of gastric ulcers9. If electrolytes need to be given after exercise, try to administer with a small meal to help avoid ulceration. Learn more about choosing the right electrolyte for your horse.


  • Murray MJ et al. 1996. Factors associated with gastric lesions in thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J 28: 368-374.
  • McClure SR et al. 2005. Gastric ulceration in horses exposed to training and activities typical for recreational showing. AAEP Proceedings Vol 51.
  • McClure SR et al. 1999. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in show horses. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 215: 1130-3.
  • Reese RE and Andrews FM 2009. Nutrition and dietary management of equine gastric ulcer syndrome. Vet Clin Equine 25: 79-92.
  • Vervuert I 2016. How to feed horses with gastric ulcer syndrome. AAEP Proceedings Vol 62.
  • Is Rice Bran Good For Horses With Ulcers

    The Best Treatment For Ulcers In Horses

    Introduce a high-fat supplement, such as stabilized rice bran, in lieu of larger amounts of starch. Stabilized rice bran reduces acid secretion and increases output of prostaglandins that help protect the stomach lining Allow pasture turnout as much as possible, even if a grazing muzzle needs to be used and.

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    Tips For Feeding Horses With Gastric Ulcers

    Gastric ulcers, are now recognised as a common disorder in horses and ponies and often be a huge concern for horse owners.

    But what can we do to help manage ulcers and keep our horses and ponies happy? Here are some of our top tips for managing your horses nutrition when prone to gastric ulcers:

    Ulcers In Horses Feed For Horses With Ulcers Order Now

    Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, often known as ulcers in horses, has been studied extensively over the last decade, and our understanding of the condition has grown significantly. Equine Squamous Gastric Disease and Equine Glandular Gastric Disease are two unique illnesses that affect different sections of the stomach, which have just recently been discovered . While we are familiar with the risk factors for ESGD, we are less familiar with the risk factors for EGGD.

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    Treatment For Equine Ulcers

    The only FDA-approved drug for treating equine ulcers is omeprazole. It is sold under the tradenames GastroGard and UlcerGard.

    Omeprazole is a proton-pump inhibitor that raises stomach pH and allows ulcers to heal.

    Other available treatment options that are not FDA-approved include Ranitidine or Cimetidine, which have antihistamine properties. Additionally, coating or binding agents, synthetic hormones, prokinetic agents, antibiotics, or a combination of several therapies may be used.

    Treating equine ulcers can be a long and costly commitment, and horses often experience high rates of recurrence. This makes it even more important to mitigate ulcer risk through feeding practices and management changes.

    If you believe your horse may be affected by ulcers, contact your veterinarian for a full diagnosis. Your veterinarian can help you better understand available treatment options, including omeprazole, and how to minimize the risk of ulcer rebound.

    Looking for help with feeding your ulcer-prone horse? Our nutritionist can help you designed a balance feeding program for your horse for free.

    Strictly Equine Gastric Shield

    Ask the Vet – Detection and treatment for ulcers in horses

    Strictly Equine provides treatment and prevention for gastric ulcers in this product. Its suppressive qualities make it perfect for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. In situations where your horse does have gastric ulcer, Strictly Equine can reduce the symptoms and discomfort experienced by the horse.

    Two of its active ingredients, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice and silica, have intense anti-inflammatory effects. They can promote the reduction of swelling in the gastric lining of your horse. They also promote healing of the gastric tissue. Another ingredient, Copper proteinate, is responsible for soothing the entire digestive tract.

    Other ingredients include Magnesium, Calcium, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. The Lactobacillus, in particular, is good bacteria, and it improves the overall health of the horses digestive tract. The product comes in a gallon that can last up to four months when you administer one to two ounces daily.

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    How Can Gastric Ulcers Be Prevented

    The following management techniques may assist in preventing ulcers:

    • Feed horses frequently or on a free choice basis . This helps to buffer the acid in the stomach and stimulate saliva production, natures best antacid.
    • Reduce the amount of grain and concentrates and/or add alfalfa hay to the diet. Discuss any feed changes with your veterinarian so that medical conditions may be considered.
    • Avoid or decrease the use of antiinflammatory drugs. If anti-inflammatory drugs must be given, use newer, safer ones such as firocoxib, if appropriate and under veterinary recommendations.
    • Limit stressful situations such as intense training and frequent transporting.
    • If horses must be stalled, allow them to see and socialize with other horses as well as have access to forage.

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    What Are Horse Stomach Ulcers

    Stomach ulcers in horses are a painful and debilitating health disorder. The correct name for this condition is equine gastric ulcer syndrome .

    Gastric ulcers are best described as sores that form on the stomach lining. If youve ever had a painful mouth ulcer, imagine that but on the inside of your stomach ouch!

    These painful ulcers are caused by the acidic fluid in the horses stomach. Normally, this acid sits in the lower half of the stomach and does not cause any problems. In EGUS, the acid splashes onto the upper half, where it causes painful sores.

    This condition is very common in horses, with at least half of all horses thought to suffer with them at some point in their lives. Stomach ulcers occur most frequently in athletic competition horses, such as racing and endurance riding.

    It is believed that during exercise, gastric acid production increases. This acidic fluid is then more likely to splash onto the delicate upper section of the stomach as the horse moves.

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