Help/ideas RE: ulcers

kayleighnic

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I know there's a lot of threads on here about ulcers at the minute but I'm at my wits end with my boy and am hoping someone will have some ideas that I haven't already thought of! This is gunna be a long thread as want to explain his full background so bear with me!!

Approx 8 weeks ago I started noticing my gelding kicking out whilst being girthed up, had saddle checked (no major issues) then other symptoms started to appear: off his hard feed, wind sucking on the fence in field very occasionally and he had very loose poos. Vet called and agreed he should be scoped for ulcers. Just got to explain at this stage that he is the least stereotypical ulcer prone horse you could imagine, he's ultra laid back, he's one I have to try and keep weight off rather than get it on, he gets fed no cereals at all, just chop and a gp supplement, and ad lib haylage/hay at all times (I'm very particular about all my horses not being left without roughage at any time!)

Anyway, vet scoped and found a few very very minor not even grade 1 ulcers, we discussed the fact that he may be suffering from some kind of hind gut discomfort/ colonic ulcers instead. Plan was to put him on a course of gastroguard and see if the symptoms persisted or stopped, as vet wanted to eliminate the very minor ulcers being the source of discomfort. We also tested his poo for infections such as salmonella etc but everything was clear.

After a four week course of gastroguard, all the symptoms had completely cleared, vet re scoped to find a perfectly healthy stomach, no signs of ulcers whatsoever, as the gastroguard would have helped any colonic ulcers too, we decided to see what happened when off the gastroguard, if the symptoms returned we could 90% assume we were dealing with colonic ulcers, so reduced dose of gastroguard for 8 days to 1/4 of a tube a day. After about 5 days I start to see slight return of symptoms, started kicking out again when being tacked up, by 10 days after the clear scope I called vet as I stood and watched him windsuck continually while turned out.

Rescoped 14 days after the clear scope and found huge ulcers, this time mainly top end of grade 2 some
Nastier grade 3 ones, I'm devestated. Now on a 8 week course of gastroguard and 3 weeks antibiotics.

We're at a complete loss as to what's caused them, knowing they've appeared in just 14 days and 8 days of that was on a reduced dose of gastroguard. In those 14 days there's been no causes of stress for him. No change in routine, we've been to two shows but he always travels well, and does his job so happily when we're there. They're also always given hay on the lorry both travelling and while we're at a show, he's also been absolutely fine when ridden. I'm heartbroken that there's obviously something going on that's stressing him out and I don't know what it is!!!! If anyone has any ideas at all is be very greatful, my main concern is that the gastroguard is always going to clear he ulcers but unless we find he cause theyre always going to return as soon as he's off it!

Thankyou for taking the time to read as I know it's very long winded!
 

be positive

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Ulcers are often a symptom of pain elsewhere, you may not see any signs of lameness or unsoundness but there is likely to be something underlying that is causing the ulcers and until that is found they will keep reoccurring.
 

kayleighnic

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Ulcers are often a symptom of pain elsewhere, you may not see any signs of lameness or unsoundness but there is likely to be something underlying that is causing the ulcers and until that is found they will keep reoccurring.

Maybe should of put his medical history in the original post. Last summer I noticed a drop in performance, he became heavy in front and found it difficult to come through from behind, saw vet had hocks xrayed and found some arthritis, was injected with steroids, felt amazing for around 4 weeks then back to how he was, referred for a full body bone scan on October, found to Jst have the inflammation in the hocks and then some SI pain which is thought to have come from the hock issues. Hocks and SI injected, two courses of tildren and a strict 12 week strengthening programme and he feels amazing, his whole body shape has changed and he's really using his behind now. Did mention to the vet that could he still be in pain when ridden and she doesn't seem to think so as he is going so well at the minute? Plus he didn't have any ulcer indicative symptoms prior to the lameness last year. It is something I am keeping in mind though
 

now_loves_mares

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I would search for SpottedCats various Ulcer threads and replies to threads. Going back 3-5 years now. She had a massive problem and there are loads of posts that can give you ideas. (Edit - sorry the search would be for SpottedCat. Not the plural)

Personally I'd not be ruling out hind gut ulcers yet either. Runny poo is a sign of a compromised hind gut.

Is your chop Alfa based?
 

JillA

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I would search for SpottedCats various Ulcer threads and replies to threads. Going back 3-5 years now. She had a massive problem and there are loads of posts that can give you ideas. (Edit - sorry the search would be for SpottedCat. Not the plural)

Personally I'd not be ruling out hind gut ulcers yet either. Runny poo is a sign of a compromised hind gut.

Is your chop Alfa based?

There was an article recently by Dr Kellon saying that there are no such things as a version of gastric ulcers in the intestines (hind gut) , any problems there have an entirely different origin and cause . https://uckeleequine.wordpress.com/2016/03/29/hind-gut-ulcer/
 
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Melody Grey

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I unfortunately have too much ulcer experience, to my knowledge GG is not active in the hindgut and in my experience can actually exacerbate hind gut issues- I'm not sure where this leaves you, but thought the info might be useful?

Definitely look elsewhere for pain- we never did manage to get to the root of the problem with my mare and the ulcers/ HG issues just kept on recurring.
 

Tangaroo

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Yes Melody Grey is right. GG can cause more problems in the hind gut it doesnt make them better. Its only for treating the foregut. I would imagine your horse is in pain somewhere but the problem is finding out where.
My boy had ulcers which cleared almost completely with GG but then they came back even worse. After 10 months of misdiagnosis he has been diagnosed with PSD in both hind legs. He had every lameness work up, xray, and full bone scan and it was all clear. I got fed up with vets telling me to beat him through the problem so i changed vet and he agreed with me there was a problem. We finally found the PSD and my boy is now turned away for a year.
The ulcers were the least of his problem and i dont even think about them now. If he recovers from the PSD the ulcers will sort themselves with time and relaxation. I certainly wont be giving him GG again
 

kayleighnic

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Thankyou everyone, I'm convinced that there is pain somewhere, however vet and physio both not and say he's the best they've seen him for a long time! The plan for now is to finish this course of gastroguard (6/8 weeks worth) and leave him off work for a few months. Then scope him again to check he's still clear before starting to work him and seeing if they reappear.
 
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