Up to 90 percent of racehorses and 60 percent of show horses, as well as non-performance horses and even foals are affected by equine gastric ulcers. These are the result of the erosion of the lining of the stomach due to a prolonged exposure to the normal acid in the stomach.
Why do horses get ulcers?
Equine gastric ulcers are caused because gastric acid (hydrochloric acid secreted by parts of the stomach lining), and, to a lesser degree, the digestive enzyme pepsin, irritating the lining of the stomach, causing ulceration. Gastric ulcers are common in horses.
How do you prevent ulcers in horses?
Prevention of ulcers is key!! Limiting stressful situations, frequent feedings and free-choice access to grass or hay is imperative. This provides a constant supply of feed to neutralize the acid and stimulate saliva production, which is nature’s best antacid.
Can you get rid of ulcers in horses?
Treatment with Omeprazole products, like GastroGard®, is the only way to cure gastric ulcers. After or during treatment, other products are available to continue to buffer the stomach and enhance healing of the damaged area.
What is the best treatment for ulcers in horses?
There is currently only one pharmaceutical treatment – omeprazole – approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for gastric ulcers in horses. Omeprazole is available as a paste formulation and has been very effective in preventing and treating gastric ulceration in all types of horses.
What is the best feed for a horse with ulcers?
Performance Fibre is ideal if you have a fussy feeder. Include alfalfa in the feed for horses with ulcers. Research has shown that alfalfa is a better buffer to acidity than other fibre sources due to its protein and calcium content.
Does stress cause ulcers in horses?
Stress (both environmental and physical) can also increase the likelihood of ulcers. Even typical training and recreational showing have been shown to induce ulcers within a five to seven day period. Hauling and mixing groups of horses as well as horses in training, can lead to ulcers.
How do you know if a horse has ulcers?
The most common symptom of ulcers is intermittent colic, especially if your horse exhibits signs of pain immediately following a meal. He’s likely to have a decrease in appetite, be fussy about his meals, and may have overall poor condition.
How do you treat ulcers in horses naturally?
There are a number of ways to aid in healing an ulcer such as giving your horse more roughage, feeding him more frequently in smaller quantities, and avoiding or decreasing the amount of grain he is given. The vitamins they get from those grains would then be supplemented, and the herbs added to aid in digestion.
Do probiotics help with ulcers in horses?
™ can help in the prevention and treatment of gastic ulcers. Some veterinarians also recommend giving probiotics as a way to assist digestion. Probiotics and horse supplements can be beneficial if your horse already has a history of digestive problems.
Can grass cause ulcers in horses?
An independent study at Texas A&M University showed that horses fed alfalfa compared to grass hay had a lower level of ulcer severity. In alfalfa-fed horses, 1 of 12 had ulcers whereas in horses on grass hay, 9 of 12 had ulcers.