Stomach Ulcers

PuddingandElla

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28 November 2006
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Hi, Has anyone had any experince with stomach ulcers in horses. My mare was diagnosed a month ago with them. She has been on Gastroguard and Anseptin for a month now. She was re-scoped today and she is still not right. She is back on Gastrogusrd for another month and then the vet said he may want to do a biopsy.

He said she has a irregularity in the blood flow in the bottom part of her stomach. He also said it could take 2yrs to put right and it looks like she will always be prone them as well.

Has anyone else had this? I am feeling a bit down about it all. I just hate the thought of her being on medication for ever!

Any stories or experiences appreciated!

Helen
 

Llwyncwn

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My mare had perforated ulcer which caused peritonitis 9 years ago. At that stage the vets knew very little about them. Spillers sent me info and we went from there. At the time the vets were telling me to get as much feed down her as poss (wrong) causing colic 3/4 times a day. They prescribed 80 Cemetedine tablets a day (crushed and drenched), along with 1 ltr gaviscon, probiotics and antibios. It was touch and go at the time. In desperation I took advice from the owner of local health food shop, and we put her on Slippery Elm, Cava Cava and Valarian. I cut all hard feed out (apart from sugar beet with 1/2 pt veg oil a day) and gave her best hay I could find. She did get better and is going strong still, but I dont feed mixes as they do not digest as easily as cubes. Have read up alot since and 98% of raceshorses in training have ulcers. Hope this helps.
 

filly190

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Its good that you know about and can start treatment. Many race horses suffer and they say its down to being stabled, feeds etc.
 

Oaksflight

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It is down to not being trickled fed mainly. Racehorses tend to only get a small haynet in the morning and then nothing all day, especially if they're going to the races. Not good for the digestive system since that was designed for the horse to eat pretty much constantly. However, it's also been linked to the stress that racehorses and competition horses experience, so stressy horses therefore are thought to be more prone, and the stress of being exercised on an empty stomach (and one that has been empty for many hours prior). Basically the stomach constantly produces acid, and saliva acts as a buffer to the acid (neutralises it), therefore if the horse does not have available food except for two or three meals a day when it will get hard feed and a haynet, then no saliva will be produced for the rest of the day and night, which means the acid in the stomach being produced will not be neutralised, causing the gastric ulcers. So to prevent them occuring again, you need to be looking at your horses routine and diet. Hope that gives you a bit of an insight!
 

PuddingandElla

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THanks to all for your responses. Hi Sam yeah it's me with Ella.
The vet has given me loads of advice and i am being really careful with her, not excersing her on an empty stomach. Lots of different haynets in her stable and lots of piles of hay in the filed to try to keep her eating.
I'm feedign her D&H calm and condition, applechaff, happy dieter and sugar beat and oil at the moment, the vet doesn't want me to change it at the moment because she is eating it and likes it, she is so fussy but this is part of the illness.
I am just worried this wont go away, the vet thinks it could take two years to get her right and even then they may come back. Apparently she is an internal worrier! Which is the worst and makes her prone to the ulcers.
I am willing to try anything to make her better, some of the other forums i have been on give me no hope,everyone seems to end up putting them down and i just don't want to think about doing that!
 

Amymay

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Friends little eventer was diagnosed 18 months ago with ulcers. It has been totally managed with diet, rather than medication. She is fed a high fibre diet, and has a constant supply of forrage - except an hour before she competes. She picked up very quickly once the feeding regime was changed, and has not exhibeted any symptoms since.

She is competed of Spillers Slow Releast Cubes, chaff and oil - absolutely no sugar beet.

Red Mills horse feeds are also very good - and we are having particular success with one horse on Horse Care Cubes, which may be worth a look.

http://www.redmills.co.uk/products.php?id=54


Good luck with your little horse.
 

PuddingandElla

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Hi - why no sugar beat? Is it really bad for horses with ulcers. Mine is having two scoops a day! Shall i stop? I think i might try the Horse Care Cubes. I thinki might also start feeding her 3/4 feeds a day instead of 2 see if that helps.
Thanks for all the advice - it's much appricated!
 

Amymay

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Sugar Beet is just a bit too starchy. So in order to do the absolute best for the horse she's not fed it. However, you won't cause any damage by feeding it - it just won't particularly help your cause.
 
Joined
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Sugar beet does not contain any starch at all, on the contrary it contains good levels of pectin which is recommended for ulcers and included in several ulcer supplements for that reason! It is an excellent feed for horses with ulcers.

If you feed any sort of pellet they are better fed soaked as they are far less irritating to the stomach that way. You will be astonished to see that most of them double in volume in minutes.

Jackie
 

Amymay

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[ QUOTE ]
Sugar beet does not contain any starch at all, on the contrary it contains good levels of pectin which is recommended for ulcers and included in several ulcer supplements for that reason! It is an excellent feed for horses with ulcers

[/ QUOTE ]
Intersting - thanks.
 

PuddingandElla

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Thanks, i am feeding her D&H calm and condition, i do water them down a bit but i can't do it too much else she wont eat it!! Maybe i will contiue with the SB then....
 
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Though relatively uncommon in the UK, stomach ulcers are very common in the USA and due in the main to different management.

So exactly as ST88 said.

So this is a generalisation but .....

If your horse is getting good turnout and forage feeding and not getting huge portions of grain in a single feed then ulcers are pretty much absolutely unlikely.

Its important if a horse has ulcers to ensure forage feeding (trickle grazing) and turnout and aside from what's already been mentioned as treatment, if they're really bad and continue despite management changes then omeprazole can help - but its the change in management protocols that has maximum effect for long term prognosis.
 

GTs

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Being from the US I understand and agree with Tom. Horses here are fed 2-3 times a day and often go without food for 8-10+ hours straight. Those are ideal conditions for ulcers to form - in England your horses do not have the long spans without food - I can tell - most of them look FAT!
 

PuddingandElla

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Thanks for the advice, but i would like to say, my horse has 10hrs out per day in the winter and lives out full time in the summer. She has ad lib hay thoughout the day and at least two haynets at night. She has never been fat. The vet thinks the ulcers are caused my a bacteria called helicobacter i think he said it was.
I agree that some maybe caused by lack of turn out etc, but not the case with mine.
 
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