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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ulcers in horses

Horses by nature are grazing animals. They are meant to eat all day long. The modern way that we keep horses does not allow this natural process, therefore the domestic horse suffers many different type of digestive disorders associated with this unnatural feeding process.

One such problem is ulcers. Studies have shown that 60% of horses suffer from ulcers.  A horse that is fed twice a day and stands in the stall all day long without any food is at high risk for developing ulcers. The symptoms of ulcers can vary and usually show as being girthy, picky eaters, nervousness, tucked up gut, back soreness, sensitivity to being groomed, mouthy, biting, hind end lameness, pinning of the ears when being saddled, loose or watery stools, hard keepers, pain and weight loss.

The health of the stomach and hind gut is crucial to your horse's health and soundness. Training issues may be caused from a horse that is in pain as a result of ulcers. Stress is a contributing factor and when a horse travels from barn to barn for shows, is relocated, or pressured to perform, or even losing a horse buddy causes distress and therefore puts your horse more at risk for developing ulcers. Environmental factors play a big role in the health of your horse's digestive system. Nervous horses are at highest risk of developing ulcers.

Ulcers occur in the stomach and the hind gut. The hind gut is often overlooked. It consists of the cecum and the colon and is vital to the health of the digestive system. Horses are hind gut fermenters. What this means is most of its energy and nutrients are obtained by the fermenting process in the hind gut.

Extensive research has been done to confirm that ulcers of the hind gut do exist. How does a horse get hind gut ulcers? The most common cause is the use of NSAIDs like the common anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone, or Bute. NSAIDs work to reduce pain and inflammation by blocking certain chemicals called prostaglandins. Damaged tissue and healthy tissue both have prostaglandins and NSAIDs do not differentiate. The healthy tissues of the hind gut are responsible for the mucus production and blood flow, when the prostaglandins are blocked by the use of bute, ulcers develop in the right dorsal colon due the destruction of the mucus lining of the intestinal tract. A horse with ulcers in the right dorsal colon will be more sensitive on the right side below or around the loins and flank area and can exhibit an off beat with the right hind leg. Medications such as NSAIDs, antibiotics, wormers and other prescribed medicines can interrupt the natural friendly microbial population of the hind gut and create a myriad of digestive upsets including ulcers.

Hindgut Acidosis can cause hind gut ulcers. The overload of starch and sugar and processed feeds in the modern equine diet causes the bacteria to produce lactic acid. This raises the acidity of the hind gut by lowering the pH. This condition allows the bad bacteria to multiply leading to ulcers. Hindgut acidosis is caused by modern feeding practices and can be prevented by eliminating sweet feeds and other processed grains from the diet.

Parasites are another cause of ulcers although with a good worming program this is not usually a problem. Using natural wormers such as Wormcheck and getting fecal counts on a regular basis so you do not overworm is a good practice.

Exercising a horse on an empty stomach can also contribute to gastric ulcers. It has been discovered that during exercise the stomach acids will splash onto the upper 1/3 of the stomach which causes irritation and can cause ulcers. Your horse should never be ridden on an empty stomach. Give them a handful of cubes or pellets before tacking up. It absorbs the acids and makes your horse more willing to work.

There are many products on the market today to help prevent or heal ulcers. Most of them address gastric ulcers which are of the stomach. Colonic or hind gut ulcers are equally as important. I have used just about every product out there in regards to digestive health. Most of them did nothing. There are some that worked with great results. Some the things I found that work well are listed below.

1. Oat Bran or Oat Flour. Feed 1/2 cup of oat bran or oat flour mixing it with some pellets and adding water. The oat bran coats and heals the hind gut and provides beta glucans which support the immune system. This can be given before riding.

2. Cabbage powder. 1/2 tablespoon 2 - 3 times a day. Cabbage is high in the amino acid L-Glutamine. This amino acid has been proven to heal the lining of the stomach and intestinal tract.

3. Pumpkin Seeds. Feed 2 ounces a day. These little miraculous seeds are high in nitric oxide which is what the body needs to heal and repair anything that needs to be healed. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are useful with arthritis and other joint discomforts. They are high in minerals that help to increase bone density. They support the immune system and are an anti-parasitic.

4. Fenugreek seed powder. 1/2 tablespoon twice a day. Fenugreek improves digestion, reduces inflammation, lowers blood glucose levels making it good for diabetic conditions, soothes and heals the intestinal tract and has cardiovascular benefits.

5. Hemp Seed Oil. 1/2 to 1 ounce daily. Hemp seed Oil is a source of both LA (Omega 6) and LNA (Omega 3) essential fatty acids and essential amino acids in balanced proportions. Benefits include increased stamina, speeds healing, calmness, reduces inflammation, enhances immune functions, reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, improve concentration and increases the availability of nutrients.

6. Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. 2 ounces daily. Raw unpasturized apple cider vinegar is high in enzymes which help to flush toxins from the body. Enzymes are responsible for all cellular functions. Apple cider vinegar promotes healthy joints, boosts the immune system, helps dissolve calcium deposits, improves urinary tract health, stimulates proper digestion, helps the horse improve resistance to parasites. It must be raw and unpasturized to get the benefits.

7. Probiotics. Fed according to manufacturer directions. These are extremely important to maintain the proper intestinal flora. Should be used after any type of stress or medications, including worming. It is safe to use on a daily basis. Probiotics help populate the friendly microflora to support a healthy digestive system and immune system. There are many on the market. The best ones I have found are Advanced Biological Concepts Pro-bi and ABC, Earthsong Ranch,  Vitaflex Micro Balance, Bio Mos and Yea-Sacc from Oak Creek services

8. Rapid Response. This product is packed full of glyconutrients, is fast acting and works extremely well. Contains Anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, glucosamines and glyconutrients. Speeds recovery of injuries, excellent for joint pain, arthritis, ulcers, and more. Recommended by veterinarians to provide advanced nutritional support for the special dietary needs of animals in maintaining the health of skeletal structure, tendons and soft tissues particularly following trauma induced injuries. Visit website

9. Herbal blends such as Ulcerase from Advanced Biological concepts.

10. Chamomile. This herb aids digestion, is calming to the digestive system and soothes the intestinal lining. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial and antifungal properties.

11. Succeed Digestive Conditioning program.  This program works very extremely well.   It is well worth it.

12. Lecithin granules.  Lecithin is derived from soy and is a naturally occurring group of phospholipids that's found in nearly every living cell.   Research has shown that lecithin cures equine gastric ulcers.  It does this by making the stomach lining stronger at the cellular membrane level and enhances the rest of the digestive system as well.  

13. Apple Pectin.   Pectin is a fiber found in all plant cell walls and tissue.  Apples contain a high amount of pectin providing a soluble fiber which means it can disperse or spread in water .  It's use as natural remedy for digestive disorders is well documented.  The latest research indicates that when given with Lecithin acts to stabilize the lecithin making it more effective.  It is recommended to give 1/2 cup of lecithin granules with 1 tablespoon of apple pectin for best results.   There is a product called Starting Gate that offers stabilized lecithin in this form.  

To keep your horse healthy, sound and free of ulcers the correct feeding program is of utmost importance. A horse who has gastric ulcers will not eat that well despite being give hay 24/7. This is because their stomach hurts. You must first address the ulcers and then your horse will enjoy eating and you will find they will not be as finicky. If your horse is stabled and does not have access to pastures, good quality grass hays should be available for them all day long. A small amount of alfalfa is acceptable because it is higher in calcium. The calcium helps absorb the excess acids. It doesn't matter whether your horse has ulcers or is ulcer prone, they should have access to free choice hay all day.

If you treat the symptom without making dietary changes by giving antacids this disturbs the natural digestive process and actually causes the stomach to produce more acid.  You get results, it appears that your horse is better but in a few weeks or even a few days, the symptoms return again.  You treat again and the cycle continues on.  It is important to heal the stomach and/or hind gut ulcers for a complete and healthy recovery. 

228 comments:

  1. Gastric (or stomach) ulcers could be caused by your horse's diet, training program and lifestyle. Here's how to assess your horse's risk for gastroint.Glyconutrients

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  2. yes, absolutely. Training causes a certain level of stress and some horses cope better than others. Diet,training, riding and environmental factors such as lifestyle play a major role in whether or not a horse gets ulcers.

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  3. I have curently been dealing with my young thoroughbreds ulcers and this has been an amazing website i concur with all the above remedies and am very impressed with the add ons you have listed in which i will be giving to him now that you informed me of others! thank you so much....i hate giving a 'mystery supplement' in a jug or bucket because i want to know EXACTLY what is in there and i have yet to find one ulcer supplement that contains all of the vital ingredients it SHOULD have! .....i am resorting to buying all he powders, extracts and seeds and making baggies every week for my barn....he is being treated for ulcers now with gasrto gard and once finished, i want a solid feeding program - no grain, hay all day, turnout, probiotics, salt to ensure water consumption, and herbal remedies to keep him on his way to being healthy and stable.....i fear them occurring again =(

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  4. Glad to help. Another effective remedy is to feed one cup of flax seed daily. It must be raw and you must soak it for at least 20 minutes, the oat bran, probiotics and any herbs can be added to this mixture also after it has been soaked. It will get slimy and that is what you want. That slimy part of the flax is full of essential fatty acids and will coat, soothe and heal the intestinal track. You can soak it longer that is okay, but not longer than one hour. Feed right away, do not let it sit overnight it will go rancid. It can be mixed on top of some cubes or pellets. Most horses love it. This is a good preventive measure.

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  5. Psyllium also works well. I've been using it in my horses diet for a year now with great results.

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  6. The cause of ulcers in horses is multifactorial. Stress is one of the reason why performance horses got ulcers.

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  7. How much Lecithin granules would you feed a day? Do you also know where the best price is for them on the internet?

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    1. 1/2 cup per day for a horse 1100 lbs or less. 1 cup per day for larger horses. You can get it from bulkfoods.com

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  8. Can you tell me how much Lecithin granules to feed?

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    1. 1/2 cup per day for a horse 1100 lbs or less. 1 cup per day for larger horses. Sorry I didn't see this post until now.

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  9. Hi wondered if you could help me, My tb has been scoped for ulcers and has none in his stomach. Hes currently poor condition and I am wondering if he possible has hindgut ulcers. I currently feed him on pure feeds pure condition, from the above what would be useful to add to his diet as a supplement?

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  10. What other symptoms does your horse have besides poor condition? Has he been wormed? Is he girthy? It is possible he could have hindgut ulcers. There are several things you can do. The first thing I would try to see if he shows improvement is lecithin granules. You can get these at http://www.bulkfoods.com/whole-foods.asp?wholesale=4730. Start him on half a cup twice a day. If he is over 16H give him a cup and half daily. His condition should start to improve pretty quick on this.

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  11. Hello:) We are currently implementing several of your idea with great success. A horse that was on Gastroguard for months without significant improvement, is now off of all meds and thriving. We have also used Succeed, and are keeping it handy, just in case. At this time our TB mare is getting pumpkin seeds, cabbage powder and lecithin granules on a daily basis We are now adding the hemp seed oil, as she was just xrayed and diagnosed with mild arthritis in her knee. However, we are concerned because she will be (hopefully) racing in approximately 1 1/2 to 2 months. No one can tell us if the hemp seed oil will cause a positive test for THC . Do you know or have any idea how we could find out? We'd hate to be treating her naturally, and yet have a bad test result on race day. Thank you:):)

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    1. I'm happy to hear you are getting good results. As far as I know she should not test positive because it is an essential fatty acid and is derived from a different species of hemp but I'm not sure how you would find out for sure.

      To be on the safe side, stop the hemp seed oil and increase the lecithin by 1/2 cup. She will still get the same benefit from doing this. In addition, you can also make an oat bran mash to help support the digestive system and calm the nerves. Half a cup of oat bran mixed with water and put on top of pellets or cubes or sometimes they like to eat it from the bowl. This can be given on occasion, does not have to be on a regular basis since you are doing the lecithin.

      For her arthritis I would highly recommend a product called Rapid Response. http://www.rapidresponseamerdon.com/rapidresponseequine.html
      We have several clients using it at the track with great success.

      Hope all goes well!!

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    2. Thanks so much!! We feel like we can see an improvement with the hemp oil already. We'll probably stop the hemp oil prior to racing, just to be safe. Any ideas how far out you would recommend stopping?

      We're checking out the rapid response and will definitely try the oat bran as well.

      Thanks again:)

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    3. To be safe at least 3 weeks.

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  12. Melissa MaitlandApril 6, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Hello- I have a new Warmblood gelding that I've had for about 3 months. Recently, he has become very agitated during grooming and handling. He pins his ears, tries to nip at times and will occasionally kick up at his stomach. I had the vet out and we ruled out any lameness or back issues. Thinking it likely could be an ulcer he had me start him on Ranitidine to see if improvement followed. We are doing this in pill form...10 pills ground up in feed 2x daily. After several days I noticed improvement so I have ordered a month's worth of Gastroguard (gasp at the cost) to go ahead and treat him. Will start treatment in a few days. However, tonight we are back to the same behavior issues and he's on day 12 of the Ranitidine..almost done with it. I've also added 1 cup 2x daily of Aloe Vera Juice...mixing meds and Juice in bran so he'll eat. Is it possible that the Ranitidine is just no longer working...or maybe not dealing with an ulcer at all? I understand per the vet it is just a Band-Aid and the Gastroguard would be needed to heal the ulcer. Any advice you could give would be much appreciated :)

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  13. Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of stomach acid. If there is an existing ulcer this does not heal it. Long term use can have more serious side effects. You want to focus on healing the ulcers. There is a good chance that your gelding does not have stomach ulcers but instead has hindgut ulcers. These medications do not address the hindgut.

    To work on healing the gut, you might want to start with one cup of lecithin divided into 2 doses of half a cup each. You can get the lecithin granules from bulkfoods.com.

    With this add biomos and yeasacc. This can be purchased from Oak Creek at this link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Horse-DIGESTIVE-ULCeR-IMMuNe-Supplement-1-Lb-BIO-MOS-9-Lbs-YEA-SACC-Live-Yeast-/370634070779?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564b831afb

    I recommend this because medications throw the natural intestinal flora out of balance and this will help to restore and heal this.

    Give 1/2 cup of oat bran mixed with water twice a day. This can be added on top of cubes or pellets. Stay away from any feeds that contain molasses or sweeteners. Also do not feed any grains. This will cause fermentation and hindgut acidosis which can lead to ulcers. Your horse needs a high fiber diet.

    This is a good place to start and see if you get some improvement. Once you do, your horse is on the road to recovery.

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  14. Hi. I found your article very interesting. I suspect my horse has ulcers. I bough him in January this year. He came from a sand only paddock (they had him for a year) and was fed oaten hay and muesli twice a day. His coat was relatively dull and he was a bit Robby. I wormed him, drenched him, had his teeth done. He is a lovely horse except he either tries to bite me or a pole when I do up his girth. He does show resistance transitioning to trot and I really struggle to canter him and keep him going with him often picking up the wrong lead. There would be no harm in trying some of your suggestions, prior to getting a vet out would there? Can ulcers be healed without medication?

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  15. There is no harm in trying some of the suggestions. There are no side effects other than good health for your horse! Yes ulcers can be healed without medications. It's important to make necessary dietary changes and reduce the amount of stress for your horse to increase your chances of success. Is he an easy keeper or has a hard time keeping weight on?

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    1. Thanks for your reply. In the five months that I've had him I have had him in a full board agistment where he has only had hay twice a day (again on a sand paddock). He does have free access to meadow roll but he doesn't seem to like it. I take him to our own five acres in a week so I will finally be able to feed him and monitor his habits myself. I would say he's a little on the underweight side .
      I am planning on providing oaten hay roll (is that okay) in his paddock while U am trying to establish pasture (kikyui) and supplementing with wheaten chaff, Lucerne chaff, lecithin (1/2cup to start) and maybe a tablespoon of flaxseed oil with a few carrots (he loves carrots) and as he is an Arab he does tend to be a little bit "hot" with pony nuts. Also, I was wondering if I could add in some of L gluitimine powder and if so how much? (I have a container from a weight training program I was following). I also have apple cider vinigar. What do you suggest I start with?

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  16. I don't know what type of grass hay you have available but try to get something like orchard, timothy, bermuda, etc. Stick to grass hay only. Don't give the oaten chaff or the wheaten chaff. These can cause problems. The lucerne or alfalfa is okay but not too much. No carrots. These are too sweet and can aggravate the condition. Stay away from any sweet feed including snacks like carrots and apples and other fruits. For snacks give a couple of alfalfa cubes. Start him on 1/2 cup of lecithin and let him have as much grass hay as he wants. Keep hay available 24/7. The flax oil is okay to add with the lecithin but better than that is to get raw flaxseed, put 1/2 cup in water and soak it for at least 20 minutes. It will get slimy. This is what you want. Then pour it on top of a pelleted grass feed. Don't let the soaked flaxseed sit any longer than one hour before feeding or it will go rancid. You can add the L-glutamine that you have, just be sure it is not sweetened. He would need about 10,000 mg - 30,000 mg twice a day. Not sure how you can figure that with the one you have. Should be about a tablespoon. That's a good start. Stick to it and keep his eating times a consistent as possible. You should start to see results rather quickly.

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  17. Hi, Have you heard of giving omeprazole to treat ulcers? Can there be any side effects? Or do you prefer natural treatments, if my horses are getting soy bean is this as good as giving Lecithin or I still need to obtain lecithin? Looking forward to hearing from you.

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    1. Omeprazole is often the standard treatment prescribed to treat ulcers. It is a proton pump inhibitor which means it works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Limiting the amount of acid the stomach produces can temporarily allow the ulcer to heal but this does not treat the cause of the ulcers. There are many causes such as improper feeding schedule, high stress environment, overwork, confinement and more which must be addressed or the ulcers will return.

      There can be long term side effects with this drug in which it can actually cause ulcerations because it changes the ph of the stomach lining causing damage to the protective mucosa. Other side effects are colic, anemia, and diarreha. Allergic reactions can be fatal, such as seizures, shock, coma, hives, and itchy skin.

      I prefer to treat the horse naturally by finding the cause and make positive changes in their lifestyle along with proper nutrition to allow the ulcers to heal. This is a safe and natural approach and offers healing of the whole horse.

      Soybean meal does have some lecitin in it but not in the concentrated amounts to provide relief. It is best to give lecithin.

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  18. Hi. I have a 6yr old tb. Pretty sure he has ulcers. He is very nervy and takes time to settle. I have put him on gastrocoat and has settled down and have seen huge changes. Im wondering what I can give him to neutralize the acid in his gut as the gastrocoat really on just lines the stomach. Also on the container it says its 93% psyillium. Is it worth just giving him plain psyillium? His ulcers really bother him and want to get them under control properly not just mask them.
    Thanks

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    1. Since you have been getting good results with the gastrocoat stick to that and add Lecithin granules. If he is under 16H he would need half a cup a day. Over 16h give half a cup twice a day. That should help calm him and heal the ulcers. Don't add anymore psyllium. Another important aspect to healing the ulcers is to not exercise him on an empty stomach. This will only aggravate the condition. You don't want to give him a full meal before working just something small, like a handful of alfalfa cubes or some grass hay. this will prevent the stomach acids from splashing on the upper part of the stomach and making it's way into the gut. If he is still having problems after being on the lecithin for 3 weeks, then add soaked flax seed. Give him half a cup a day soaked for 20 minutes in enough water to cover them. They will get thick and slimy. Pour them on top of cubes or grass pellets and give daily.

      Do not give him any grains or sweet feeds and snacks that are sweetened, this includes carrots and apples.

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  19. I have been looking everywhere for all natural ingredients to treat stomach and hindgut ulcers. My horse have stage 3 (out of 3) ulcers and my vet wants to put him on something called IGA. I'm not sure of what that is but I'd rather be safe and use natural ingredients. I just found out 3 weeks ago about all this and it has taken some time to get around the fact that I might lose my buddy to colic since that is an issue with ulcers. I will use you hints and get back to you on how its working in a few months. Thanks for posting this helpful info. If you have any other advice, please email me. isaddleup20@yahoo.com Thanks Brittany

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    1. Start giving him oat bran mashes asap. Also get flax seed, soak half a cup in water for at least 20 to 30 minutes until it gets slimy and poor over alfalfa or grass pellets or cubes. Add a little water to the pellets or cubes also.

      Once he starts to show improvement, you can stop the flax and switch to lecithin granules. Be sure he has hay 24/7. Don't feed him any sweet feeds. Give him the oat bran mash and the flax seed mix twice a day. Get him bio mos and yea-sacc. Both can be purchased from: http://www.oakcreeks.com/home/biomos-about.html Follow the recommended dosage for both and mix in with the oat bran and flax seed mix. Stay positive, there is hope for recovery.

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  20. I have an 8 yr old warmblood gelding that I attempt to train in dressage. I've had him for about one year. He now lives at our farmette where we have two paddocks that have mixed fescue and bermudagrass. He is out 24/7 with 2 miniature donkeys. He has a run in shed so that he can come and go as he pleases. He has hay in a bin in the shed that I replenish every am and pm (it is never left to run out)- the hay is orchard grass. I feed him 2 x day- 2 qts alfalfa pellets and 1 1/2 qts purina 10% pellet. I had been adding a handful of flax seed to his pellets but it made him really gassy so I stopped. He is in excellent weight and body condition. He eats all of his meals readily. He has awesome barefeet. I have a saddle that has been fitted specifically for him. The problem is when I ride him...he is agitated when I girth him up. He sometimes refuses to go forward- even at the trot. The right side is worse. If he picks up the wrong canter lead-it's always to the right side. (ie he will choose the left lead). When I lunge him, he is perfectly fine- sometimes he'll get "bronc-y" cantering to the right but it goes away. But when I get on he will balk, kick out and if I push him he will buck- majorly! He is not safe to ride. He has gotten increasingly nervous. The vet thinks it is not likley that he has ulcers bc of his lifestyle. I've ended up paying for hock injections and NSAID meds and mscle relaxers- but none of this ever made any difference. He's super tense when I ride him, pins his ears and gets really pissy. I've given him 1/2 cc - 1 cc Ace orally before riding a couple of times and he's much better on that- I can ride im w/t/c both ways w/o incident. I stopped giving that bc it's not a fix plus I can't show on it. What are your thoughts on this horse? I'm pretty frustrated!!!

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    1. I would suggest stopping the purina 10%, I believe that has grain by products and molasses in it. This will agitate the gut and cause him discomfort, making him gassy. I like everything else you are doing. I would suggest adding lecithin granules. If he is over 16 hands give him 1/2 cup twice a day. This not only helps soothe the gut but it calms the mind and helps him to relax.

      From what you have described I don't think ulcers are the problem. What this sounds like is girth pain syndrome. It can be caused by pain in the ribcage. Read my post on it. If a rib is out of alignment this can be very painful when he is girthed up putting pressure on the sensitive nerves around the wither area. If you have access to a good equine chiropractor this could be an option. If not then, find an acupuncturist. Chances are that if you touch him around his wither, shoulders and also near the pelvic sacroiliac joint he may show signs of sensitivity and want to kick out.

      Check his stifles, he could also have a loose stifle which he compensates through his back causing the ribcage to misalign. If he has ever slipped and fell or cast himself this too can cause some issues in this area.

      If it is girth pain syndrome, be sure not cinch the girth tight right away. Keep it one or two holes loose and then lunge him a few minutes and then go tighter with it once he is warmed up. Once his back is more warmed up he may respond better when sitting on him.

      The other area to look into is the bridle and the bit. Please read my post on the bitless bridle. I would suggest investing in Dr. Cook's and giving it a try. I have a dressage warmblood gelding who did very similar to what you are describing. He would not go forward and do a bucking bronco act if I insisted. I switched him to the bitless bridle and after a few days of lungeing him in it he improved tremedously. He rarely does the bronco act and only on occassion if I have not warmed him up enough before getting on he will not want to go forward.

      If it is girth pain syndrome, warm up is very important for him. To keep it safe I would suggest doing only groundwork and lungeing with him in the bitless bridle in an enclosed area like a round pen. In the smaller area he will be less inclined to act out. Because it has now become a learned behavior to get away from the discomfort and also out of working he will have to relearn that it is not acceptable.

      To do this, you can not allow him to do his bronco act and he must go forward. It can be controlled more in a roundpen. When you have consistent improvement in this way then you can try to get on him in the roundpen only.

      Keep him forward and lower in his frame. If you collect him too much there will be resistance because the tightness or discomfort is through his topline. It's important be light with your aids and try not to use spurs because this will agitate the condition. Get him responding politely to your leg aids.

      He must track straight. Crookedness is usually an issue with this type of symptoms. It is probably painful when bending right so he will get more resistant to avoid the pain. Strengthening exercises and stretching him to get him traveling straight so he can work through it should help him.

      You may be pleasantly surprised at the changes in him if you try the bitless bridle. The reason it works so well is that it frees up his back allowing him to move more comfortably. Get the lungeing strap attachment with it.

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    2. The other thing I would suggest is Lysine. This amino acid is very helpful with relaxing the topline muscles. Rapid Response is an excellent joint, muscle supplement that improves their mood by making them feel better all over, removing the aches and pains. This is well worth trying also. I have a post on Rapid response and Lysine and where to get it.

      Get a frictionless saddle pad. Horses with girth pain syndrome are highly sensitive to any friction in the saddle area. A good one is by Oglvy. Mary's tack has it: http://www.marystack.com/ogilvy-dressage-friction-free-pad.html

      Be sure not to ride him on an empty stomach, which it doesn't sound like is happening if he has hay all the time.

      I can relate to your frustration but there is hope for improvement. Don't give up on him. I think you can make some progress once some of these additions and changes are in place. Let me know how it goes or if you have any other questions. Don't rush it. It can take some time to resolve.

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  21. I had to post my response in two replies, read both posts below

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  22. How do you feel about feeding Papaya?

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  23. Papaya is beneficial because of the digestive enzymes in it and can soothe the stomach but it is very sweet so I don't recommend it as an ulcer remedy.

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  24. I am currently fostering a 16 yr off the track thoroughbred for the past 3 months who has had a history of poor condition and being very underweight ( 2 out of 9). The horse was kept on pasture some lush some not for the past 2 1/2 years prior to coming to my house. He had dropped weight a year ago and underwent a refeeding program with another foster using purina senrior and probiotic and did put on weight but no top line but then dropped all of the weight over the course of the winter when on pasture only. When he came to me he was approx 300 lbs under weight with a multitude of other medical issues, ulceration on the eye, sores that did not heal, rain rot, very poor teeth, very poor top line, skin problems and an old swollen knee. Although he eats his grain aggressively, even licked the mats he would stand with his hind legs so close together that he would step on his own hooves while he was constantly shifting his weight. In addition, he was slow to eat his hay and spent a majority of his time in the field head tossing and touching his chest with his nose. I suspected ulcers and the blood work seemed to confirm this as well as showing other signs of malnutrition. He has very low protein levels, high muscle enzymes, and trace mineral levels that are out of specks. We began re feeding him with a high fiber, high fat grain along with 25 pounds of 2nd cut no steam grass hay and 14 hours of lush pasture time. We started very slow with the grain beginning with .75 pounds a day and now up to 10 pounds per day. His blood levels were taken every 2 weeks and he continued to drop protein levels even though he put on 100 pounds over the next month and his mood improved but behaviors continued . We began treatment of gastroguard (generic) and gastrafate (Like succlifate) for the past 6 weeks and he improved in his behavior and began to put weight on the top line. We slowly reduced all meds to avoid rebound but after a week of being off of them he began to show signs of discomfort again ie hind leg position and not grazing, placing his hind end on his bucket and trees without rubbing. About a week ago I began giving slipperly elm root ( 2 tsp 2 x per day) along with 2 oz of aloe juice 2x per day. I have now doubled the aloe juice. He did seem better for a day of 2 and does better when it is giving at least 1 hour prior to a meal but I still think he is starting to decline as he is not interested in grazing today. He is currently out 24 hours and only comes in for meal times. Over the course of the past three weeks he has also suffered an episode of choke from a biscuit style horse treat and the vet felt there was some previous insult to the esophagus; he has recovered nicely but I have observed fluid coming from his nose after eating. As we have dealt with the ulcers with meds we have also needed to give antibiotics for this and a skin infection that would not resolve. He has not been on bute or banamine for over 30 days but was initially given at high dose to address eye pain now he is on a normal does of equioxx and he has not had any antiboitics for the past 2 1/2 weekd. The last lab done 1 month ago showed improvement in the protein level to just making inside the normal level but this was taking when he was still being treated and prior to antibotics being given. I am interested in addressing this abdominal pain, lack of muscle/low protein levels, skin issues as well as continue to re-feed him the calories he needs. He is a big boy, 18 hands and am concerned about not feeding any concentrates at all. My vet recommends that we continue to increase his grain but I am looking for another way .Please help I am dedicated to save this boy

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    1. This is challenging but I think you can make some good progress with him by making some changes to his diet. First I need to know, What type of grain are you feeding? you mentioned high fiber/high fat. I need to know what it is. What type of hay are you feeding? Is he still on any meds? Is he still getting the aloe and slippery elm? Is he fed twice a day and the rest of the time out in pasture? Any other supplements that he is getting?

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  25. Hi. I want to try pumkin seeds for my mare but i have afew question.should i feed her the seeds with the shell? How long should i feed them her for? It no problem to make it apart of her daily diet.

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    1. Feed pumpkin seeds with no shell. She can be fed them indefinitely. They are very nutritious and good for them.

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    2. Thanks! I Was curious in your opinion if i try feeding her the seeds and give her some oat bran b4 i work her. It's that a good start to try to relive the hind gut discomfort? Our should i try another one of your suggestions first?thank you for all your advice!

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    3. That is a good start. It may be enough to help. Be sure to add water to the oat bran.

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  26. Hi Wingedwolf, Your advice is brilliant thank you! Sadly I am in the UK and sourcing some of the things you suggest is a touch problematic!
    I have a 16hh 18 year old Trakehner mare, I have owned her for just under 8 years, she was diagnosed with stomach ulcers about 7 years ago, she cribs and has always been a fussy eater and hates to be touched anywhere from the neck back! Her nickname at the barn is Princess Brat! She is not ridden at the moment we go walking on long lines and are generally building her muscle strength up after having 4 babies. She is a fantastic mother and still has her last son who is 18 months old as her stable and field buddy! He is weaned before you ask that
    Apart from when she was at stud (4 years) she has been fed a sugar starch and cereal free diet. Mainly hi fibre Lucerne and grass nuts with micronized linseed (I believe you call this flax seed) a mix called Healthy Tummy made by Dengie horse feeds (she has completely gone off this at the moment) The nuts and linseed I get from Simple System Horse feeds. I add Chamomile, Fenugreek, Fennel, Seaweed, Spearmint and Brewer’s Yeast to this. She has adlib hay which is a mix of rye meadow and timothy grasses, when in her stable. They have 3 acres of pasture that she shares with her son, the pasture grass is a mix of meadow, timothy and rye grasses (The hay comes from the pastures) her stomach ulcers have been quiet for years now and I put her attitude down to habit.
    She is a very fussy eater in the sense that she will eat her forage or bucket meals for a few days/weeks/months then suddenly go meh not eating that anymore it’s boring! I have to resort to feeding her Haylage at those times as it is literally the only thing she will eat but not good at all for her already compromised stomach health! She does actually starve herself picks at things but eats no more than a couple of kg in total a day I weigh everything that goes in and out of her stable. I have resorted to syringing linseed oil into her mouth before just to get some calories in her she is that bad! Needless to say if I don’t give in and feed the Haylage I get a vet bill for colic instead…………..Rock and a Hard Place!
    A couple of days ago I noticed a small amount of blood and around her droppings, not a lot but combined with her refusal to eat right now and hard droppings due to this! I thought that was the cause. Larger amounts in the bed yesterday morning so called the vet out! She has been diagnosed with hind gut ulcers not a surprise but a blow anyway. The evidence of the blood her history and general behaviour the vet is very sure it is what we are dealing with and has put her on Succeed Digestive Conditioning!
    What would you suggest removing or adding without compromising the Succeed or her health to try and ease her a bit more or help things along? The Lecithin granules might be a problem as I cannot seem to find a bulk supplier in the UK, largest amount I can source at the moment is 500g :-/
    Many thanks
    Leasa
    Email:- leasadane@hotmail.com

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    1. thanks for history on your horse. As I was reading my first thought was that she needed succeed and then as i read further your vet put he on this so I am happy hear this. I think she will start to feel better on this. I think Lecithin would make a good addition if you can get it. bulkfoods.com will ship to you. worth checking into. They have good shipping rates. here is the link to their lecithin. http://www.bulkfoods.com/health-foods/4297-lecithin-granules.html. If you can't get that then stick to the micronized linseed. Increase the dosage and add warm water to it to make it into a mash this will help release the healing oils. If you feed her cubes or pelleted hay add water to them and you can mix the linseed with it. If you can get cabbage powder I would suggest adding at least 2 tbs twice a day to the mix. I think you are on the right track and I like the regime you have her on.

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    2. I already soak the Linseed in warm water for around 20mins to get the oils out and all her feeds are made into a mash. I am looking for a supplier for the cabbage powder and will look at your link for the Lecithin. Thank you so much it is nice to have someone back up what I already think she needs. At the moment she is inhaling the Succeed so fingers crossed it is something she will continue to eat without a fuss!

      Many thanks for your speedy reply

      Leasa

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  27. My horse is girthy and sore in his back and has tight hamstrings. He kicks up at his tummy at times and if I rub my hand down where his girth lies he kicks out and attepmts to bite me. He has an area on his back that is very warm to touch. Vet said could be ulcers or bad back or both. Reluctant to scope as he would find the starving period before hand very distressing. Have others experienced sore backs secondary to ulcers? What do people suggest to start him on feed wise? He is currently having alfa a oil linseed oil topspec joint balancer and hay. Gets turned out minimum 4 hours daily. Any help and advice much appreciated. Thanks

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  28. Sounds like ulcers. Yes I have seen sore backs with ulcers because the discomfort and pain in the abdomen causes them to tighten the back muscles. Based on the symptoms you described he is probably in a lot of pain from them. Be sure he has grass hay 24/7. Use a hay bag or slow feeder if he is stalled. What is the name of your joint balancer? Some of the joint supplements can aggrevate ulcers. The alfafa is okay and the linseed oil.

    I would suggest adding one cup of lecithin divided into 2 doses of half a cup each. You can get the lecithin granules from bulkfoods.com.

    In addition I would also suggest 1/2 cup oat bran mixed with water twice a day. This can be added on top of cubes or pellets. You can get oat bran from a local health food store that carries bulk food items. this can all be top dressed with the lecithin.

    Last thing I would recommend to this mix is a product called Ul-cerase. It can purchased at : http://www.abcplus.biz/abc2.aspx?Id=Equine_Specialty_Ul-Cerase this is a combination of herbs that help to heal the gut.

    These products have worked on some tough cases. It is a good place to start.

    Stay away from any feeds or supplements that contain molasses or sweeteners. Stay away from grain. Check your saddle fit. this can be contributing to the issue.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps him!

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  29. Thanks for your reply. When you say half a cup do you mean normal size drinking cup for a human? Im from the uk so not sure if bulk foods supply to uk? Is it the same as soya lecithin? Thats whats coming up when I google it. Does it come in powder form or granule form? Thanks again for your help. Rachael

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    1. yes, half cup which would be 4 ounces. Bulkfoods.com does ship to you but not sure if it is cost effective. Yes it is the same as soya lecitthin and is in a granule form.

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  30. I just found your site.....Thank you for all the information. I have a quarter horse mare that I have been dealing with ulcers for over a year. Plan to try many of your suggestions. Thanks again!!!

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  31. I have a new horse that developed ulcers-colicky at meals, girthy (more irritable for the saddle pad and saddle going on than the girth; saddle fit has been checked by vet and saddle fitter)-and responded immediately to Gastrogard. We did 4 weeks of treatment and 2 weeks tapering off to find the ulcer-y girthiness coming back about 4 weeks later. I started him on generic omeprazole, increased his bermuda grass hay to 24/7 in a slow feed haynet, added 1/2 flake alfalfa 2x per day, reduced his grain to zero and added a small amount of beet pulp, a mineral pellet and changed his powdered biotin supplement to a pelleted one. In trying to taper off the omeprazole after 6 weeks, he is getting girthy again. I have him back on omeprazole and need to find what I can add so I can get him off the medication long term. I stopped his mineral pellets, beet pulp and biotin supplement in case they were causing him any trouble. He is very picky so whatever I give him has to be palatable with soaked alfalfa cubes. He's been eating 1tbsp slippery elm in his soaked alfalfa cubes for about a month. What do you think is the highest priority to add? It seems like my reading comes up frequently with pumpkin seeds and dried cabbage with oat flour if hindgut ulcers are suspected, which I have no idea if he has.

    Thanks for your help!

    Rae

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    1. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which means it works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Limiting the amount of acid the stomach produces can temporarily allow the ulcer to heal but this does not treat the cause of the ulcers. This is probably why you got results for a short while and then the symptoms returned.

      Pumpkin seeds, oat flour and cabbage are a good addition and help with healing the gut. Based on what you have said adding 1/2 cup of lecithin granules twice a day will give quicker and long term results. Nothing wrong with doing the pumpkin seeds, cabbage and oat flour with the lecithin.

      Stop the omeprazole as soon as possible. Since he has been on the medications it would also be a good idea to add Bio Mos and Yeasacc for at least one month to help re-establish the intestinal flora.

      You said you stopped the beet pulp. Good, keep him off of it. Keep up the slippery elm. If he lives in a box stall be sure he has plenty of turn out time.

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  32. Thanks so much for the help! I've been overwhelmed dealing with this an appreciate you opinion. I hear you saying there is nothing wrong with the pumpkin seeds, cabbage and oat flour but do you think they are necessary? I have one opportunity per day to give him supplements with soaked alfalfa cubes and he is picky so the less I have to put in the better. I'll start the lecithin for long-term and look into the Bio Mos or Yeasacc to add for a shorter period. Do I need the others?

    Rae

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    1. If you have to start with one, then I would go with the lecithin. If he needs something more than you can add the pumpkin seeds, cabbage and oat flour. You can get the bio mos and yeasacc from Oak creek services: http://horsesupplementsstore.com/

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    2. I started the lecithin Tuesday with a 1/4 cup in the evening and increased a little each day to 1/2 cup yesterday. He produced a manure pile after we rode last night and it was more pungent-smelling than it's been before. Would that be related to the lecithin?

      Thanks again for your help!
      Rae

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    3. It should not do that. I have not heard of any issues with it like that. Let me know if it continues.

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    4. Just wanted to give you a quick update. My horse seems to be doing fine at the moment. (fingers crossed since he's had some colics along the way with the ulcers and omeprazole). I haven't had him poop while I'm tacking or untacking him again so I don't know if the smell has continued and in hindsight, he hadn't pooped around me for a couple of weeks prior to starting the lecithin so it might not have been related at all. He's only willing to eat about 1/3 cup of lecithin and I can only give it once per day. He is still getting 1tbsp slippery elm, 1 scoop of his BioMeth hoof supplement (2 scoops is the regular dose but he'll only eat 1) and alfalfa 3x a day and before riding plus bermuda hay.

      I've started weaning him off the omeprazole by slowly decreasing with a schedule I read people use when having a hard time getting off the drug; alternating a reduced dose with the current dose for 1 week, then the reduced dose for 1 week, then another dose reduction alternated with the new current dose for one week then the reduced dose for one week. With the dose reduction I noticed an increase in him being gassy, which makes me want to go slow with the titration since he got really gassy when I reduced the dose mid-December then coliced a couple weeks later (I'd also added SmartHoof, which has "good" yeast and bacteria so I don't know if the two together is what caused gas and the colic, or something entirely different).

      I don't own the horse and am taking care of him for a friend and she really doesn't want me to add anything else (or change anything) to his diet for a few months.

      I changed his turnout from a paddock to a large field and he's really enjoying being out there and running around more so maybe he wasn't moving around enough in the paddock.

      I'll let you know how it goes getting him weaned off the omeprazole. Thanks again for your help!

      Rae

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    5. thanks for the update. It sounds like you're moving in the right direction. If you can get him up to 1/2 of lecithin once a day that would be good. The hoof supplements are fine, I don't think they should cause the gas. The best thing for gas is peppermint oil or peppermint dried herb added to the feed. There is a product called stop colic that has peppermint oil in it and is effective. http://stopscolic.com/ You are taking the right approach in weaning him off the omeprazole. It would be a good idea to have the stopcolic on hand. As a preventive you might want to add dried peppermint to his feed.

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    6. Would it be better to feed the dried peppermint (if so how much?) or make a tea? I could use the tea with the water I soak his alfalfa cubes in.

      Thanks for the help. I'll keep the digestive supplements in mind for when the owner is more comfortable with me adding to his diet. I think the peppermint won't cause her any concern.

      Rae

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    7. Tea is a good idea but you need to use about 24 -32 ounces. You could use this in place of the water you are soaking the cubes in. If you do the dried he would need 1/2 cup at each feeding.

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    8. Just wanted to give you another update. I reduced my horse's omprazole further so he's now in 1/2 the maintenance dose, which is 1/4 the treatment dose. I added in the dried peppermint, 1/2 cup, with this dose reduction from 3/4 to 1/2 the maintenance dose, and he's not been as gassy. Thanks for the help!

      Rae

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    9. Another update and question. My horse is now off omeprazole. I've noticed his gassiness has subsided so I am trying to go without the peppermint. He is still getting 1/2 cup lecithin and 1 tbsp slippery elm bark powder each day with his alfalfa cubes plus a half dose (all he'll eat) of BioMeth hoof supplement. I want to try BioFlax for his hooves but fear changing anything right now and it has yeast in it I think which concerns me with his gassy issues this year. For how long should I keep up the lecithin and slippery elm and is there anything else I should add as a preventative? He has free choice hay in a slow feed haynet, 1/2 flake alfalfa 3x per day and the soaked alfalfa cubes I feed once per day.

      Thanks for your help!

      Rae

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    10. Stick to what you are doing. Don't add the bioflax yet. He can stay on the lecithin and slippery elm indefinately. If you want to eliminate one of them, it would be slippery elm. He will need to stay on the lecithin for about 6 months to establish a good gut mucosus. If after that time he still doing well you can decrease the amount and continue to decrease as long as his symptoms do not return.

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    11. Good to know how long I need to give the lecithin and also that I can keep giving it. I stopped the 1/2 cup peppermint but he's gotten gassy again this week. I started it back tonight. Is this something he'll also need long term? He wasn't gassy before the uclers or when he first developed them. He also wasn't gassy on omeprazole until I started reducing his dose. He's been off omeprazole for almost 3 weeks.

      Thanks again!
      Rae

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    12. Keep him on the peppermint for about 6 months so his gut can return to normal. Since he is prone to colic this will help. There could be something in one of the supplements that can be causing this or his intestinal flora needs to get re-established. If it continues you could add the biomos and yeassacc. this may help to reestablish the beneficial flora and aid in digestion.

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    13. He was on the slippery elm for a few months without being gassy and he was already gassy when he started the lecithin. He was on the BioMeth for a year. So I don't think anything I am giving him is likely the cause, unless in combination they are causing a problem. I will keep him on the peppermint and talk to his owner about adding biomos and yeassacc. The vet told me he is not comfortable that he is not on a vitamin/mineral supplement since all he eats is coastal hay and alfalfa. Do you have one you'd recommend?

      Rae

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    14. Horse Tech makes a daily vitamin/mineral supplement to balance out a grass or alfalfa diet. It is called high point grass or high point alfalfa. He the majority of his diet is grass and less alfalfa then go with the high point grass.
      http://horsetech.com/high-point-grass.html

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    15. Sorry for all the questions! Why would I need to feed both Biomos and Yeasacc when they look to have the same ingredient? Would I still need those with the High Point Grass, which also looks to have digestive aids? Will any of these exacerbate his gassiness?

      Thanks so much!

      Rae

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    16. no problem. the digestive aids in most supplements are not concentrated enough to offer a therapeutic dose. they are mostly for maintenance. the difference between bio mos and yeas sacc is that bio mos is pre biotic and yeassacc is a pro biotic these are different types of digestive flora that replenish and rebalance the intestinal tract. it is inexpensive and they both work synergistically. they should help eliminate the gassiness.

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    17. Ok thanks for clarifying. A couple more questions.

      I don't want to change too much at once. I am guessing you'd prioritize the yeasacc and biomos over the high point grass. At what point would you think the high point needs to be added? He's been on hay only since November of 2013.

      Previously you suggested giving him the yeasacc and biomos for a month. It looks like those are good to give in times of stress too and I know he often colics when he's dewormed. I was advised to give him Equioxx the day before, day of, and day after deworming but maybe the biomos and yeasacc would be better. For how many days should I give it before and after deworming and should I not give the Equioxx?

      Thanks again!
      Rae

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    18. Yes, biomos and yeassacc needs to be given in order to normalize the gut. The high point grass can wait. Since you want to make additions to his diet slowly it would be best to wait at least 3 months of him being on biomos and yeasssacc before adding the highpoint grass. that will allow enough time for his gut to heal.

      Stop the equioxx. This can cause him problems. If he is on the biomos and yeassacc on a regular basis then you can increase the dosage 2 days before worming and continue 2 days after worming and then drop back to the regular dosage.

      On the biomos, he will need more than the recommended dosage until he gets improvement. He may need a tablespoon twice a day and then reduce as his symptoms improve. The dosage recommended is a maintenance dose. since he has some issues to resolve you can give up to 2X the recommended dosage of both the biomos and the yeassacc as a therapeutic dose.

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    19. Update on my horse and a question on the vitamin/mineral supplement. He's doing well (knock on wood). He's on the yeasacc, biomos, soy lecithin, dried peppermint (down to 1/8 cup and very little gassiness), BioMeth biotin (but only 1/2 dose because he won't eat more) and I just recently added the High Point grass supplement. He is picky and I can't seem to get him to eat more than 3/4 scoop of the High Point and he supposed to get 2 scoops. His feet have really broken up in the last 203 months, are very bad now-farrier had to use filler-and I wonder if it's because he's not gotten anything but hay, alfalfa and the limited supplements listed above since December. I have some StayStrong mineral pellets that he was willing to eat last year. I had started those after stopping the grain but then stopped those when I was still having colic issues, reducing him on the minimum "stuff" absolutely necessary. What do you think about adding a 1/2 cup of the mineral pellets (he was getting 1 cup last year) to the High Point? I really can't give him anything twice a day so the amount of High Point he will eat at one time is all I can do. I soak alfalfa cubes and mix everything in and the staff won't do that for me to get it done twice a day. I know the mineral pellets have extra stuff he doesn't need but maybe that is still preferable to not getting enough vitamins and minerals? I also have BioFlax I could give but you'd suggested holding off on trading that for the BioMeth. I was hoping it would be more palatable, allowing me to get him the full dose of the supplement, and doesn't have as much "stuff" as a lot of the biotin supplements.

      Thanks for your help!
      Rae

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    20. What he is on now should not cause his hooves to break up. There could be something else going on. Is he shod or is he barefoot? That can make a big difference. The StayStrong Minerals should be okay to add but do a little at a time since he is prone to colic. He seems to be getting a balanced diet so I don't think that is why his hooves are a problem. What is the footing like that he lives in the most? Is it sand, dirt, grass and is it wet or dry? If he is shod I would suspect that is the problem. If not then we can look at other causes. I will explain more once I hear back from you as to whether or not he is shod.

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    21. He is shod. His owner had a lot of trouble keeping shoes on him and tried to go barefoot all around for about 6 months. He came to me with shoes in front and barefoot behind. He is 17h and 1400lb and his hind feet were so short! The walls were all broken and jagged around the outside and he was bearing most of the weight on his frog, which had gotten oversized. Not at all like the two horses I ride that are barefoot and have good, strong feet that look like a regular hoof, just not with shoes.

      The ground is very dry here. He is ridden in a sand arena and turned out in a grass field, but the ground in the field is very hard most of the year. His stall is rubber mat bedded with shavings. I discovered this spring he was peeing in one spot in his stall and the staff was not doing a good job of cleaning so that is now remedied with better stall cleaning and me cleaning in the evening as well. I was putting Keratex Hoof Hardener on the outside of his hooves 1 or 2x per week and that helped at first. His walls did not peel away or break up below the nails near the end of the shoeing cycle. That was in the winter. Now that it is summer the breaking up is worse. I rarely get his feet wet, which helps but not enough anymore. I have a new farrier; the old one was able to nail higher into the stronger wall without quicking him. I think the new farrier, while good, is not able to to what the old one did. But aside from the farrier change, something has gotten worse in the last 2-3 months.

      Rae

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    22. It's been proven that shoes impair circulation to the hoof within one hour. Thermal testing was done showing a hoof without a shoe and then the same hoof with the shoe and the circulation was affected dramatically. Your horse has a good diet. It sounds like the shoes are the problem.

      I worked on a case in which a horse had a similar problem with his feet constantly breaking up and very weak hoof walls. Once the owner removed the shoes and we got the hoof balanced properly within a few months the hoof wall so was so strong and thick it was quite a transformation. Yet the farrier kept insisting that the horse needed shoes because the hoof walls were so thin and weak. They were practically crumbling apart. His diet was not changed only removed the shoes. He grew a hoof wall that was almost a 1/4" thick! Before removing the shoes the hoof wall was about 1/16 of an inch. The farrier can keep fixing it but it is not treating the problem, just like putting a bandaid on it for a quick fix. What I would recommend is finding a trimmer that specializes in bare hooves trimming and have a consultation with them. It can be quite informative. If you can send me some photos of his hooves, all 4, take a lateral (side) view on each one and then take a shot while holding his hoof up and looking down at the sole. I can make a better assessment of it that way.

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  33. I cannot tell you how pleased I am to have found your site! There is such a huge amount of information here that I think will help me with my new horse.

    Nick is a 12 year old Appaloosa gelding. He was given to me in October, 2013. He has been a show horse for many years and a lesson horse. Great guy but I immediately noticed some things about him that were not "just" right.

    First, he is very touchy on his sides. I suspect that is why when ridden he tends to be antsy. Grooming him brings on pinned back ears and kicking at me with his hind legs. His sides are often damp from what I assume is him chewing at them.

    The good thing is that he eats very well so I don't think it's gastric but am definitely leaning toward hind gut.

    Prior to each of his meals I give him a couple of pounds of Lucerne Farms chopped alfalfa without the molasses. Lucerne Farms operates a facility about 10 minutes from my home and puts this up special for me. He also gets a huge bucket of this at night when I tuck him in.

    He is fed 2 cups of soaked molasses free beet pulp twice a day along with 2 cups of timothy & alfalfa pellets mixed in. I add 1 tablespoon of table salt, Vitamin E and Selenium and his Grand Digest. He gets this twice per day along with all of the timothy hay that he will eat.

    I just started the Grand Digest yesterday so perhaps I will see some results from that but wondered if you might have something that you would add to this mix. Would the oat bran be better for him than the beet pulp?

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    1. It does sound like it could be hindgut. I would suggest stopping the beet pulp and add 1/2 cup of oat bran instead. Be sure to wet the mix. Add enough water and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the pellets absorb some of the water. make sure the pellets you are feeding do not have molasses in it.

      I'm not crazy about Grand Digest but use it up and then if he is still having the same issues after adding the oat bran and finishing the grand digest, I would add 1/2 cup of lecithin granules twice a day. If you can get free choice minerals to offer him that would be good especially copper to see if he eats it. Don't force feed it.

      Be sure he has plenty of turnout time and exercise. Don't exercise him on an empty stomach. Give him a cup of pellets with some oat bran, add water to it, before riding. Or give him 1/2 cup of oat bran with water to make a mash before riding or exercising him.

      Hope it helps him.

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  34. I live in very Northern Maine so there is no grass right now but his turnout is good and he has access to a beautiful round bale at all time. It's been really cold the last week or so so he's only getting out a few hours per day but I guess that's better than not getting out at all.

    I do feed him Blue Seal's Min A Vit...forgot that part. He gets an ounce each feeding and 2 ounces of Omegahorseshine each feeding as well.

    He gets nothing with molasses in it at all. I will pick up some oat bran today and start him on it in the AM. My pellets are made by Standlee and the ingredients are just sun dried timothy and alfalfa.

    I won't be riding until April so hopefully he'll get some time to heal up between now and then. I will make sure to feed him something prior to riding and trailering though.

    What about apple cider vinegar? How does it affect the hind gut? When I got him he was having difficulty peeing. My old racehorse trainer used to put some ACV in the horses water buckets to change the pH so I've been doing the same...about 1/4 cup at a time. His urine does seem to me more normal looking...not so dark and concentrated but he still pees often.

    Joy

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    1. Blue Seal minerals has molasses in it. So stop using that one. For free choice minerals I like Advanced biological concepts free choice system. There website: http://www.abcplus.biz/home1.aspx?Id=Equine

      I like the Omega Shine. I would increase it to 3 ounces each feeding. I like Standlee pellets. These are good ones.

      Be sure the apple cider vinegar you are using is Braggs raw unpasturized. It is the only one that is effective. Much of the apple cider vinegar sold in the grocery stores has either apple flavor and is white distilled or may be ACV but it is pasturized. When they do this it takes out all the beneficial enzymes which are what helps the gut. I"m surprised he drinks the water with it in it. That's great.

      To help the peeing issue there is a good herbal kidney support that may help by silver lining herbs. http://www.silverliningherbs.com/store/products/37_Kidney_Support-2-1.html
      I would suggest starting him on this as well.

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  35. I started the oat bran last night and he LOVES it. I picked up some lovely organic stuff at our health food store. Smells good enough for ME to eat..:).

    I'm definitely using the Bragg's ACV for him. I don't use anything else for myself so that's what he gets too...:). He has no issue with it in his water and drinks A LOT.

    I will stop the Min A Vit and will check into the two products that you have suggested re: Vitamins and kidney support.

    I'm curious as to why not to use beet pulp? Is there still sugar in it? Harder for him to digest maybe? I feed it to my other three horses who do not have any issues along with oats and the timothy/alfalfa pellets....just want to make sure it's ok for them too. I buy Poulin's beet pulp without molasses and added soy oil. They love it and it's a great way to fill their bellies before I put them out into the cold in the morning.

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    1. Beet pulp may be harder for him to digest and cause fermentation and excess gas in the hind gut. I want to see how he does if you stop it and switched to the oat bran which is more soothing to the hind gut. For some horses, beet pulp does not agree with them. At this point you want to eliminate anything that could be causing gut irritation and digestive issues.

      For your other horses you might want to stop the soy oil. It is very difficult for horses to digest and is high in the wrong fatty acids. A better alternative is flax oil. Platinum Performance has a gallon of it for horses that is good quality, cold pressed. http://www.platinumperformance.com/Equine-Healthy-Weight0153/productinfo/EHEAL1/

      Flax oil has a good ratio of Omega 3 to 6. You want more Omega 3's which are anti-inflammatory fatty acids that benefit your horse.

      Glad to hear you are using Braggs!!

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  36. I think I'm going to switch his pellets to straight timothy instead of the timothy/alfalfa. He's acting a big more FRESH than usual. I will continue with the Lucerne alfalfa in small amounts prior to meals and at bed check.

    I am worried about him dropping weight though. Would the pumpkin seeds help with that?

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    1. He should be fine unless he is a hard keeper. The pumpkin seeds won't keep the weight up. Best is to use the flax oil from platinum performance or coconut oil in the form of powerstance which is powdered so it doesn't freeze. Both work very well at keeping weight on and also supplying the needed essential fatty acids and help soothe the hind gut.

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  37. He is a hard keeper...at least right now anyway. Sometimes it looks like he drops weight overnight. So....I will look into the flax or coconut oil for him and will adjust accordingly.

    He seems to be biting at his sides less and less so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

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  38. That would make sense as most horses with hindgut ulcers can be hard keepers. Of the two oils the coconunt oil will probably increase the weight faster and keep him more stable. Either one is good if on is more cost effective for you.

    That is good news to hear that he is biting at his sides less!! Great. Let's hope he continues to improve.

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    1. We're still plugging along. Nick is still a bit uncomfortable about being brushed but not as bothered as in the past. It may be my imagination but his belly seems to not be as "tucked up" looking as before. Maybe he's more comfortable now so he's not as guarded? I will keep watching.

      He also seems to be holding his weight right now as well with the diet that he's on. I stepped the Omega Horseshine up to the 3 oz. per feeding so perhaps that is helping. He's eating well and looks pretty happy. I will research the minerals this week and get him going on those too.

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    2. It takes time to for all of the symptoms to go away. You are getting some results already so that is great. One of the first things you will notice is the belly not looking so tucked up. This is a positive thing meaning what you are giving him is starting to work.

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    3. Ok.....trying to wrap my mind around all of this and be ready for the next step.

      Do I need to be feeding all of the ingredients above (lecithin granules, cabbage powder, fenugreek, biomos, Yesaac, etc.) along with the oat bran? And quit the Grand Digest? Or would Succeed take care of all of the above?

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    4. No you don't need to feed all of them. Each horse has different needs, sometimes what works for one doesn't work for the other. In most cases I have found the lecithin and the oat bran to always work. Succeed is a great product a but pricey but it does give results. If you wanted to feed succeed you would not need to do the oat bran or the lecithin. Just use succeed and see how he does. I have had worked with several horses in the past in which succeed did not help them but then I have also seen some great results with it also.

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    5. Ok. I'm continuing with the oat bran. We had a little set back and Nick started chewing at his sides again. It was so bitter cold here last week and the horses ended up in the barn for almost 2 straight days. I'm thinking that may have set things back a bit.

      I did add some pumpkin seeds to his mix, 2 ounces per feeding. They are high in fat, supposed to help with healing so I didn't think it would hurt anything.

      I am going to order the Bio-Mos and Yea-Sacc today and am toying with this product http://www.vitaminseaseaweed.com/seanutrients-for-horses-overall-health/ for his minerals. I used to feed this years ago to my racehorses and they loved it.....always looked great on it too.

      What do you think?

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    6. Sounds good. The seanutrients are a good idea. that one is just kelp. There is a better one that is called Source micronutrients. It is a combination of several different types of seaweed. This is a good addition to provide the needed minerals. http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e06fbe-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5

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    7. The Source is on it's way and I dare say that I am seeing some progress here. His manure is finally starting to look "normal". Not too soft, not too hard and actually shaped like a ball like the other horses. I'm not seeing the chewing toward his flank like before and the desire to kick me when grooming is GONE! :) Thanks so much for all of your help.

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    8. Update: All is well right now with Nick. I ditched the Grand Digest and started him on Smart Digest Ultra. WOW! What a difference that made. He is currently eating Blue Seal's Sentinel L/S, his supplement and Lucerne Farms Chris Cox Forage Blend and seems very content. Very minimal grouchiness right now....MUCH better than before so I'm hoping that with time everything will continue to get better. :)

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  39. This is great information! My story - my horse got very ill - almost two years ago; wouldn't eat or drink, didn't have normal colic signs and urine was very dark in color??? Spent a full day at vets - many tests, flushed with several bags of fluids, etc. Nothing specific every diagnosed. Brought him home; I was sure he was going to die! Someone suggested he might have ulcers - tried Omeprazole and he was eating within 24 hours. Vet thinks ulcers might have been secondary to something else - poison plant in pasture??? No idea? I kept him on a maintenance dose of Omeprazole for several months - no ulcer problems when I took him off. We feed Bermuda and kept feeding that but removed all grain - currently feeding him a mixture of Standlee Alfalfa pellets and Purina Ultium and Healthy Coat Oil (Soy/Flax Oil containing Lecithin, etc.) and antacids. I tried Standlee Beet Pulp but he doesn't eat it well. I just ordered Lecithin and Powerstance based on your blog. I'm sure you're going to suggest I remove the Ultium but he hasn't had another incident and needs calories - he's a hard keeper. Also, I give him Omeprazole every time I worm him or if he needs Bute or Banamine for other issues. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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    1. That is quite an ordeal. Glad your horse got through it. As I'm reading your post and I got the part where you said I am probably going to tell you stop the Ultium, well you are right! I think once you start him on the lecithin and powerstance, he will keep his weight on because his gut is going to start healing. There are too many ingredients in Ultium that causes hindgut acidosis which could cause him to have problems keeping weight on besides ulcers.

      Be sure he has Bermuda or Timothy hay throughout the day. If you can try to stop the antacids gradually also so his gut can start healing. You should not have to give him omeprazole each time your worm him. He needs to get the intestinal flora balanced so i would also suggest adding to his regime BioMos and YeaSacc. You can get this from Barbara at oak Creek Services. Her link: http://horsesupplementsstore.com/

      Whenever you worm him, you want to make sure he has the biomos and yeasacc. Any type of medication can cause the gut flora to get out of balance. It's important for the immune system to control inflammation to keep this normalized.

      Also read my post on Bute, posted under December 2010. This can give him ulcers. If you were giving him bute before his illness this could have brought it on causings kidneys to have difficulty.

      Hope you get some great results!

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  40. Thank you. Sorry, I forgot to mention I do keep him on a Probiotic. I get it from Valley Vet - (Brookside Command Probiotic Supreme). It also has vitamins that I thought he might need?? I assume you still think I need to replace with the BioMos and YeaSacc? And I was NOT giving him Bute before he became ill. He was normal that morning and when I went to feed in the evening, he was down (we bring our horses in twice daily year round). It was summer and he was on pasture at the time but we were having a bit of a drought. That's why we think he may have eaten something toxic that he normally wouldn't have??? Once he became ill, we did give him Banamine. That's most likely why the Vet thinks ulcers were probably secondary?? Obviously, I never want to go through that again, but because he hasn't had anymore incidents, I don't want to overdo it either. Thanks again.

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    1. Command Probiotic is good but he will still need the biomos and yeasacc. It is different bacteria. I'm happy to hear he was not getting bute at that time. Thanks for clarifying that.

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  41. Hi I have a 13yr old gelding that has coliced twice in 3 months. If he eats very much hay he gets a sore belly and will kick if I touch him. He's also been very sore in his withers and girth area. I've been trying everything and Im so frustrated that I can't seem to help him. I asked the vet if he could have ulcers and he just said no because he's eating good. I just don't know what else it could be and wondered what u thought. Thank you in advance

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  42. Give half cup lecithin and only grass hay some alfalfa is ok. If you get improvement then it probably is hind gut

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  43. Hi I have a 15 yr old Arab cross who was diagnosed with Grade 1 ulcers about 2 months ago for the second time in two years. His temperment has improved a lot on Gastrogard which I am reducing and he is on a quarter dose now. He was on 24/7 hay until the vet said he is too fat and he went onto a reduced amount of hay that is now soaked. As he is at livery its difficult to know exactly but I think he only has a couple of breaks without hay and he is out most of the day in his paddock which has a little grass. I have just started riding him again after a break so that will help his weight, but he does still have a gassy stomach and can still be really grumpy in the arena. I have him on twice daily doses of Equine America Ulser Gard liquid and a herbal gut restore powder which includes slippery elm and liquirice etc which all seems to help. He also has cooked linseed, rosehip shells and milk thistle for his liver and timothy chaff. So I tried an oat bran mash last night before I rode and he was calm on it but it did have a bit of a laxitive effect and then after riding he was ravenous eating his hay like there was no tomorrow - which is actually quite common for him since I changed to soaked hay. Should I continue the Oat Bran mash daily or just give only occasionally. I finish the gastrogard soon so I need him to stay clear of ulcers. He has a very sensitive stomach and things have be introduced very gradually. He can be very fizzy and will the Oat bran make him fatter.

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    1. Try the oat bran mash a few more times. If it still has a laxative effect then stop it and try adding lecithin granules. he would need half a cup daily. Now that you are riding again this will help with his weight. While riding, don't stay focused on one thing over and over again or push him beyond what he is capable. This will cause him stress. Keep his environment as consistent as possible. Be sure your tack fits him properly. If he is having pain in his mouth from the bit or bridle, or pain from the saddle or girth, he will become very agitated. These type of stresses can cause ulcers to return.

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  44. I am finding all your information very helpful. I have been dealing with a mare for about a year who has ulcer type behavior. She is grouchy, hates having the saddle put on her back (custom fit by saddle fitter) and has a chronic sore back. I have been through omeprazole which helped and most recently ranitidine, thinking I might need to treat hind gut. A month after stopping the ranitidine, all the behaviors are back. I have purchased yea sacc, bio mos, freeze dried cabbage, pumpkin seeds and oat flour. The only thing she will tolerate in her feed is a very small amount of the oat flour. She just stops eating if I try to use any of the other things. She gets a 1/2 lb of a ration balancer and one pound of a high fat and fiber peller, with soaked alfalfa cubes twice a day, with lots of orchard grass. She is currently out all day with hay.Problem is she doesn't like applesauce or anything else I have tried to mix in the supplements. The soaked alfalfa cubes don't work for mixing the supplements. Questions: is the oat bran better than oat flour? And secondly, how can I get her to eat all these supplements? Thanks.

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  45. The oat bran is little bit better than the oat flour because it has more fiber but if all she will eat is the oat flour that is fine. What is the name of the ration balancer and the high fat, high fiber pellet you are feeding? There could be something in either of these that may aggravate the condition. Since she is a picky eater you will need to introduce each supplement one at a time and in very small amounts. Get alfalfa pellets or alfalfa timothy pellets. Be sure they have no molasses in them, just alfalfa the timothy mix. Use these to mix the supplements in. You will start with only a quarter of the recommended dose of one supplement first. Mix that in with the pellets and add water. Let them soak a few minutes to absorb the water. If she eats all of that then the next day add another quarter of the same supplement nothing more. Keep doing this each day until you are up to the recommended dosage of the one supplement. Then repeat this procedure with the next supplement, adding it to the mix with the first supplement that she is already eating. Since she is eating some of the oat flour you can do this procedure with oat flour also and gradually increase that amount mixing it with the alfalfa pellets.

    Some horses with ulcers can be very picky eaters. Once the gut starts to heal they get better about eating. If you are still having problems with her eating the supplements, try half a cup of flax seed, soaked for 20 - 30 minutes in enough water to cover them. Wait until the water is absorbed and the flax seed gets thick and slimy. Pour this mix over the alfalfa pellets and mix. You might need to start with a little less flax seed at first and then increase. If you can get her eating the flax like this she should get some good improvement.

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  46. Wow! So much information. Trying to take it all in and see how it might all apply to my horse. He's a 14 year old, 16h American Paint horse, that I do basic dressage and trails with. He is pastured in a lovely big paddock, with trees, a creek and grass. He has a round bale in there for most of the year, too. I ride him with mild to moderate intensity about 5 times a week. He is kind, solid, consistent and trustworthy. He is also prone to lethargy and he is quite stubborn, argues with me and attempts to evade aids. He comes into line eventually but really make me struggle sometimes. I have had him for about a year, and the first part of that year, I wasn't doing much more that walking on him, due to a back injury. He has recently become a bit girthy from time to time. He has a good appetite, a nice coat and well formed stools. Despite that, I am wondering if there might be the beginning of ulcers with him... He is so mellow and relaxed that it seems a long shot, but his uncooperative attitude and the occasional girthiness has me wondering. His saddle has been fitted and his teeth are alright too. I do give him a bit of "dinner" after I ride. Usually a couple cups of horse ration pellets and oats, a handful of ground flax and and a couple cups of beet pulp. I sprinkle a scoop of equine vitamin mix on top that a local equine nutritionist makes up and sells at the tack shops here. I was wondering about the lecithin and the flax seeds or oat bran.... Any thoughts that you have would be greatly appreciated. I love this boy so much and the thought of him in pain or difficulty is awful. Thanks in advance...

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  47. Happy to help. Your horse sounds like a good guy. I would suggest stopping the beet pulp and adding the lecithin. Half a cup a day should be enough. If he is at the beginning stages you can head off quickly. Oat bran made into a mash by adding water also works well but from the sounds of he may benefit from the lecithin. What is in the horse ration pellets you are feeding? You might want to switch to just timothy pellets or timothy/alfalfa pellets. If neither are availabe in your area then do alfalfa pellets and make sure there is no molasses in it. Add water to the pellets and mix up with all the other supplements.

    You might want to not tighten his girth all at once. Lunge him for about 15 minutes then tighten up the girth more before you get on. See if this helps him. Work him long and low and make sure he is forward and off the forehand. Let him really stretch out and then start to collect him up once you have him really forward in front of your leg aids. If you take the contact to abruptly he may back off from the aids and suck back into the wither and not actually coming through his topline. If you feel this let him stretch again and be sure you keep your leg on saying going forward as you collect him. I get the sense he may be tight in his back. this should help also. Are you using a loose ring snaffle?

    Get him active to your leg and seat aids. This can be done by doing more transitions. If he tends to be lazy then do canter trot transitons this should get him more active behind. Don't ride him on an empty stomach. You can give him a half cup of oat bran mash or half cup of alfalfa pellets or cubes. This will help keep the stomach acids from splashing into the gut.

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  48. My horse underwent surgery and was on stall rest for a LONG time! Unfortunately he developed ulcers. I was shocked at the price of Gastrogard and Ulcergard (same product, different dosages/tube). I did some research and found an INEXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO GASTROGARD AND ULCERGARD: Here's the website I bought it at:

    http://store.bonvivantequine.com/p/gastromax3-paste-equine-ulcer-prevention-and-treatment/equine-ulcer-prevention-treatment

    The product is called Gastromax3 and here is how I cured my horse of Ulcers with it: I gave one full tube per day for 35 days. TaDa! Ulcers completely healed at a fraction of the price of Gastrogard or Ulcergard.

    Gastromax3 has the same amount of Omeprazole as Ulcergard. By giving one full tube per day, it is the equivalent of giving one dose of GastroGard or one tube of Ulcergard. Note: Omeprazole is the active ingredient in Ulcergard and Gastrogard. Gastromax3 is the same product only, Gastromax3 had an additional ingredient called L-Glutamine (helps with stomach lining healing and found in cabbage).

    The price tag of Gastromax3 costs like $21/tube but if you buy qty 30, you get a lower price of around $18/tube. YOU ARE WELCOME! GLAD I COULD SAVE YOU SOME MONEY! I think the reason why it is so much cheaper is because the large Pharmaceutical companies who make the brand name products have lots of marketing dollars $$$ built into their price tags. It is understandable, but I'm glad to have found an inexpensive alternative. My vet told me that lots of people, turn down proper equine ulcer treatment for their horse simply because they cannot afford the GastroGard/Ulcergard. Shame...wonder how many horses have suffered with Ulcers because of the high cost. At any rate, glad to know there is an alternate product that truly does the same thing at a fraction of the price.



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  49. Great information! I had my horse scoped and am currently treating her with gastrogard. I am trying to figure out why she got them in the first place. She lives outside, but doesn't have free choice hay. I recently found out the barn owner was feeding her her grain in the morning without giving her hay first. Is it possible that grain on an empty stomach could cause this?

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  50. Yes it is possible that the grain was the problem Stop all grain. Grass hay or alfalfa/grass mix only. If her cycles cause discomfort this stresses her and can also be a cause of ulcers. Best to not keep her on gastrogard too long. Succeed digestive conditioning would help her. Give her a hay net so she has hay to munch on throughout the day.

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  51. Thank you for your generosity in sharing you wealth of knowledge so freely. I have my two horses in work, arena training and trail riding, and a third horse which is aggisted here. Mine do not appear to have any gut issues, however horse three which belongs to a friend has been diagnosed with mild laminitis and appears to have symptoms of ulcers - he is about to start on your regime for the ulcers. As background, my horses are grass fed all year round, given grass hay if conditions require it, not stabled or rugged and kept barefoot. They are fed a scoop of oaten chaff twice daily, only because they need mg supplemented as Australian soils are mg deficient. I am interested in why you prefer alfalfa (which we call lucerne). I was feeding an oaten/lucerne chaff mix, but swapped to straight oaten chaff after reading information on 'gravelproofhoof' website and speaking to the author, who has a great deal of credibility here with us bare footers! Also, although I do not detect any issues with my two horses, do you suggest I add lecithin to their daily feed? Thanks in advance for satisfying my curiosity about the chaff, and for your general advice on maintaining a healthy gut. :)

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  52. Alfalfa has a higher calcium content, so for horses with ulcers the calcium acts to absorb the stomach acids giving the ulcers a chance to heal. Alfalfa should not be more than 30 % of the feed given. Best to give grass hays in addition to the alfalfa or if the condition is not severe just grass hay.

    Yes I would recommend lecithin. It provides the fatty acids that help not only with ulcers but with their performance. The fatty acids create a calming effect and the horses seem to become more level headed. Plus it will keep their digestive system working more efficiently and act as a preventive for ulcers.

    I want to thank you for mentioning the website gravelproofhoof. It is excellent and well put together covering the dietary needs very thoroughly. On the site there is a mention of Mastica for ulcers. This is a very good alternative. I have found Mastica to be highly effective. The problem with it is the cost effectiveness for horses, but it appears that there is some available in Australia. That would be a good preventive instead of Lecithin.

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  53. have an 11 yr old show horse with ulcers, after ALOT of reading I found some relief here today. I have ground up pumpkinseeds today and bought flax seed to start today ordered cabbage powder, lethicin granuals, fenugreek so where do I start, I do feed bran mash every day should I just start mixing in all or start small and add slowly? He is on grass and alfalfa . thanks for all help.

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  54. What type of bran mash? If it is wheat I would recommend stopping that. Make a mash with oat bran. It works wonders for ulcers and the entire digestive system. You can mix the other supplements in with the oat bran mash. All of the ingredients can be started at the same time just in small amounts and then increase daily to get up to the recommended dosing. On the flax seed you need to soak it for 20 minutes before feeding. It will get thick in consistency. Then mix it with the other ingredients. Give no more than 1/2cup of the flaxseed. The lecithin granules can be given 1/2 cup twice a day or once a day depending on need. You will notice a big difference usually within a week depending on the severity of the ulcers. Be sure he has grass hay to eat 24/7. Before exercising or showing him be sure to give him either some hay cubes, about 5 or a bit of grass hay. Don't exercise him on an empty stomach this makes it worse. Just a small handful is all that is needed to keep the stomach acids from causing discomfort.

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    1. been feeding rice bran, what do u think? thx so much

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    2. also how long should we feed these?

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  55. These supplements can be fed indefinitely. They not only heal but act as a preventive.

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  56. Hi
    Have been reading all your posts and following your tips for my 5 year old horse, i have a question about the pumpkin seed, can you buy them without the shells on? I am in the uk and struggle to locate some of your suggestions

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  57. You can get them without the shell. Another option is pumpkin seed powder . this company sells it, but don't know if they ship to you. http://www.nuts.com/snacks/pumpkinseeds/powder.html What may be easier for your to find and to start with is lecithin granules. It is very effective and works fast. these can be bought through http://www.bulkfoods.com/wholesale-health-foods/4023-lecithin-powder-5-pounds.html
    You can also check with a local health food store about getting the lecithin in bulk as a special order or perhaps oat bran. I used to order mine from my local health food store in 20lb bags. Oat bran is also very effective when mixed with water and made into a mass.

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  58. Hello! I have been doing some research on ulcers because I am at wits end with my thoroughbred mare. I've had her for 4 years now (she is 8). She is a hot, reactive, opinionated type and often works up during our rides and ends up being more uptight by the end of the ride. She has gone through phases where she refuses to go forward (usually at a trot), she will stop, pin her ears, grunt and kick out if I ask her to move forward. When jumping, she often bucks on landing. At the canter, she has a hard time picking up the right lead canter and if she does, she likes to swap. This has gotten progressively worse. Lately she has been extra spooky on hacks out on the road, she will scoot forward at the drop of a pin. On the ground she is witchy about being groomed, and girthy. As far as feed goes, she gets 1 cup of beet pulp with a magnesium supplement mixed in, and as much 2nd cut orchard grass hay as she will eat. That being said... she is not like the other horses in the barn, she often won't touch her hay, or she will eat a few bites and then walk away for a while. I do self board and feed her at 3pm but often she has most of her breakfast hay left so I will not even give her extra. She is a good weight, probably because the hay is such high quality. I've ordered an omeprazole product which should be here in the next week, I was planning to put her on it for 10 days and start a supplement called Excel a few days in. After reading your article ...I am hesitant to use it. I do not want to make things worse. Excel which has aloe vera powder, slippery elm bark, and marshmallow root in it.. but again, after reading your article am not quite sure what the best course of action would be! I would so appreciate your advice if you have the time. Thank you!

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    1. Most likely your mare has pain and it could very well be from ulcers from the sounds of it. Excel is a good product and that would be very good to use. In addition to Excel I would recommend lecithin granules at a dose of 1/2 cup twice a day. These can be purchased through http://www.bulkfoods.com/health-food-distributor/1615-lecithin-granules-22-pounds.html Stop the beet pulp. It can be irritating the problem. Get timothy/alfalfa cubes or pellets. If you can't find the blend, then either timothy or alfalfa cubes or pellets. Be sure they have no molasses in them. Read the fine print actual ingredient label. Standlee is a good brand if they are available in your part of the country.

      Mix the lecithin and excel with either the pellets or cubes and add water to mix it together. Those two would be good to start with. The lecithin works pretty fast to help heal the gut.

      I would also recommend Chaste Berry and red raspberry for her. She may have more than just ulcers going on. These two products are good and have both in it. One is called Levelor by MVP

      http://www.unitedvetequine.com/equine-calm/Levelorequine-calming-supplement.asp?CAWELAID=120126050000002395&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=120126050000023837&cadevice=c&gclid=CJLc7b7_-8MCFRBffgodbbYAVQ

      The other one is by Smartpak, called SmartMare Harmony. Levelor has more red raspberry which may be the better choice for her. This can be mixed with the other supplements. SInce Levelor has magnesium in it, stop the one you are giving her.

      I would not recommend the Omeprazole. Do not give her any carrots, apples, fruit etc. No grains. Only the grass hay and the timothy/alfalfa pellets or cubes with the supplements. Keep me posted on her progress. If this doesn't do the trick there are a few other options. Be sure her tack fits her properly including the bridle and bit. She also needs turn out time if she is stalled.

      Delete
  59. I have never visited or asked a question on a site like this before but am very interested in getting some help with an ulcer prone horse. For the second time in 4 years I am dealing with ulcers. We will be starting Gastroguard again but I am very interested in starting the Lecithin, cabbage and pumpkin seed at the appropriate time to hopefully keep this from happening again. I am already feeding several small feeding through out the day, I do not feed any grain but instead feed a handful of shredded alfalfa cubes with his NW Supplement and Assure Guard for his hindgut.. He has 24/7 turnout, not on lush pasture but enough to keep him occupied and moving about. I have just had him for 4 years but I believe this has been a chronic problem for him. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated. Thank You

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  60. Perhaps before starting gastrguard start him on the lecithin granules. Half a cup daily. You can feed up to one cup a day if his condition is severe or he is a large horse. He may not need the gastroguard .the lecithin may do the trick. He can remain on the lecithin indefinitely to prevent future problems

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  61. I am now about 14 days into the gastroguard, so my question would be can I start the lecithin at any point or wait until finished with the 28day course.. I would really like to have something in place to pick up where the GG leaves off without causing any additional problems. Once established on the lecithin I will probably add some thing in addition. Any suggestions. Thank You for any help you might offer.

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    Replies
    1. It would be good to start the lecithin now it will offer extra protection and make the transition smooth.

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    2. Thank you so much

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  62. We have a 12 yr old Palomino mare with a very high motor. She performs breakaway roping and goat tying. We recently found out she had bleeding ulcers from having her scoped. She was on 3 weeks of full dose Ulcer Guard and now she's on 1/2 dose for another week. We put her on the probiotic CSR Gold DFM powder a couple of weeks ago as well. My plan was to start all 3 of my horses on Exeed 6-way because it has everything coveres5: digestive, joints, coat, hooves etc. I want to simplify what I have to feed them and of course keep the mare frim getting bleeding ulcers again. What do u think? Thanks, Hope.

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    1. Exceed 6 way will not prevent ulcers but it is a good all around supplement. What I would suggest is to put her on 1/2 cup lecithin granules daily in addition to Exceed 6 way. If the ulcers are healed that should work as a preventative while still keeping it simple.

      Be sure she has a haynet with grass hay 24/7 unless she has access to pasture all day. This will also help to prevent ulcers. Make sure she has enough turn out time if stalled.

      Her diet should be mainly grass hay. Some alfalfa is okay but not a 100% alfalfa diet. Eliminate grains. If feeding cubes or pellets be sure they do not contain molasses.

      Before exercising her give her a hand full of either alfalfa/timothy cubes or pellets so that she is not being exercised on an empty stomach. Her work is high stress. These small changes can make a big difference to prevent ulcers and improve performance.

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  63. Thank you for your quick response. I have a few more questions. We feed Total Equine which is an alfalfa based pelleted feed. Their website says that it " is derived from alfalfa,rice bran, and natural oil meal. It also contains the added amino acids methionine and lysine, which insures an adequate balance of the essential amino acids required by the horse." and that "Due to the combination of nutrients and the extrusion process the roughage fed is more digestible." We have reduced her feed to just a small amount in the scoop, enough to add whatever supplements to her diet. Is that ok or what should we change to something else? Also, I read a very in-depth article by Dr. Kerry Ridgeway on ulcers that inferred that I should only by stabalized Lecithin. He said ".It is also important to note that the pharmaceutical company Boeringher-Ingelheim researchers say that some lecithins must be stabilized with a hydrophilic polymer to prevent excess breakdown into another compound called lyso-lecithin. Lyso-lecithin is harmful to mucosal cells. For this reason pure lecithin, such as one can buy from the health store is, according to their research, contraindicated in the therapy of GI ulceration." I'm not trying to argue, I'm just trying to do the right thing, buy the right stuff. From his statement, it would seem like buying from bulk foods would not be recommended.....not sure, though. Do you know of a source that offers the stabalized lethicin? Finally, I'm wanting to confirm my thoughts....the Lethacin will specifically help the stomach and probiotics are mostly for the hindgut. Correct? Thank you so much!

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    1. Total Equine is okay to feed.

      That is interesting about the lecithin. I did read a very good article on Kerry Ridgeway's site called Equine Ulcers, You really need to know more. Is that the article you are referring to? I did not see any mention about stabilized lecithin in this article.

      Kerry does recommend lecithin and the company you mentioned Boeringher-Ingelheim produces a lecithin product with the addition of pectin. Send me the link to that article that talks about the lyso lecithin. I would like to read it.

      There is a product called Starting Gate http://www.horsehealthusa.com/details/Starting-Gate-Granules/398-501.html#fragment-1 which Kerry recommends in the article, although it does not have pectin, it is lecithin for horses.

      Adding pectin to the lecithin would stabilize it because pectin is considered a hydrophilic polymer, which basically means it is water soluable and swells or absorbs the water.

      I have used pectin with lecithin. You can get apple pectin and add to the lecithin. I have used straight lecithin without any problem and always good results.

      I have also gotten good results with the pectin and both. I don't know of a product that uses both other than the one in Europe, but you can always get the pectin and add it to the lecithin. There is always more research being done on this subject which is great.

      The lecithin will help the stomach and the hind gut and the probiotics are for the hindgut.

      Another option if you are hesitant to use the lecithin is to use soaked flax seed. The flaxseed should be kept refrigerated to prevent it from going rancid. Use 1/2 cup soaked in enough water to cover them. They need to soak for at least 20 minutes or until most of the liquid becomes thick. It will get slimy. This mix can be added to the other supplements and mixed in with pellets or cubes. The flax can heal and prevent the ulcers if given this way.

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  64. Yes, the quotes I gave you are from that article "Equine Ulcers - You Really Need To Know More!" The part about the lecithin needing to be stablized was in the 4th paragraph under Coating Agents. I contacted SBS Equine about their Starting Gate product. They sent me their label information. It does say that it has "Food grade apple pectin E440
    and soy lecithin/mixed phospholipids E322 tri-calcium
    phosphate E341. It is recognized as a safe food additive
    for humans and animals by US Food and Drug
    Administration, European Union, and World Health
    Organization. Made in USA." So I'm thinking things have changed since Dr. Ridgeway's article in 2010 and they do make products now with both Lecithin and Pectin. I can email you the label if you would like. Finally, was the small amount of Total Equine feed I mentioned ok to keep giving to her so I can add the supplements or do I need to find something else? Thank you!

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    1. This is good news. I will keep this in mind and recommend Starting Gate. Over the past 10 years they have been doing much more research on this subject as it has finally been recognized as a serious problem affecting a large majority of horses.

      Thank you for pointing this out. About the Total Equine, yes the amount you are giving is good to continue on.

      Email me the label info they sent you. I looked on their website but didn't see it listed apple pectin.

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  65. I saw the same thing...the ingredients are not listed on their website. Strange. That is why I emailed them. I think I will reply recommending that they get that on there! What is your email? I don't have Outlook, so just clicking on the link doesn't work for me. I'll send you the label right away! Thanks for all the feedback. Appreciate it a lot!

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    1. email: whitehorse@mtecom.net Thanks! Hope it works out for you and your horse

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  66. Hi there :)

    I have a 9 year old Arab gelding who has both stomach and hind gut ulcers. The vet wanted me to start him on omeprazole, but I haven't and instead started him on the lecithin, oat bran, pumpkin seeds and acv with some dried chamomile and marshmallow root. I am mixing all of this with plain Lucerne chaff (alfalfa?). He was previously being fed flaked barley with Lucerne and oaten chaff, but have stopped the oaten chaff and barley. What can I use now to bulk his feed and keep the weight on as he has lost some condition. He also gets oaten or pasture hay and lives in a paddock 24/7. How much Lucerne chaff can he have in the mix? I thought I read earlier no more than 30% of his feed. I'm in Australia, hence the different terminology.

    Many thanks :)

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  67. I like what you are giving him so far. If you have timothy or other grass hay available to you, add more of the grass hay and cut the lucerne back to about 50%. Right now he would be okay on about that much. Be sure he is getting about 1/2 cup lecithin and add to that apple pectin, one tablespoon. Add water to the oat bran, don't feed it dry. Use 1/2 cup of oat bran.

    For his weight add flax seed oil. http://www.platinumperformance.com/Healthy-Weight/productinfo/EHEAL1/
    Read the ingredients of the oil. Many times it may say flax seed oil but it will be mixed with other oils. make sure it is only flax seed oil. If that is not available to you, you can use rice bran oil. Same on the rice bran oil, make sure it is only rice bran oil and not other oils mixed with it. McCauley's is a good one. https://www.mccauleybros.com/supplements/products/rice-bran-oil.aspx?catID=ricebran

    If neither of these are available to you, coconut oil is another good option. PowerStance is a powdered form that works well. Not Copra.

    Since he lives in his paddock be sure he has a haynet so he has access to free choice hay all day. Horses with ulcers get worse if they don't have food in their stomach for several hours.

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    1. He has pasture in the paddock (we are on 100acres), so has all day access to feed, so his stomach is never empty. I purchased some organic hemp seed oil yesterday, will that keep the weight on? Otherwise I have coconut oil. I will get some apple pectin today to add. I do wet it all as a mash with 2 scoops of Lucerne chaff - hoping that is not too much.

      He had a really bad accident a while ago, and was on bute for around 6 weeks, hence the ulcers I guess. If only I knew better then! We are due to compete in a marathon at the end of October, am I being hopeful on this healing regime that he might be better by then? It is okay of not, there is always next year :)

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    2. Oh, and is rice bran okay to feed as well?

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    3. Ok, I misunderstood you when you said he was in a paddock That is great. The hemp seed oil is great. if you have that use it and if he seems like he needs a bit more then you can always add the coconut oil.

      Usually within a few weeks you will notice a difference, so by the end of October hopefully he should be good to go.

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    4. About rice bran. It is okay to give on a short term basis. I don't like it long term because it can throw the calcium balance off. In some horses I have also found that it makes them hot and crazy.

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  68. Okay then, so as grains are out, and rice bran is no good long term, what would be a good option to add to his feed when he is feeling better? I am also asking on behalf of a friends horse who had laminitis before she got him and we are trying to heal his gut, he is a 16.2h appaloosa, and it is hard to keep the weight on him. Sorry about all the questions, I am very grateful :)

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    1. If you can, get HyGain Zero, this is an excellent product. They are an Australia based Company. It has no grains and no sweeteners but is full of good nutrients

      Delete
  69. Your blog is AMAZING! I started at the top and wow, it continues to just yesterday. Thank you so much for all the knowledge you have shared with so many people.

    My guy, an OTTB (grandson of Affirmed, LOL, had to brag...), age 6 has been retired for 1 1/2 years. The first year he lived in TX on full pasture and was "grained" with Nutrena Safe Choice Original (low starch feed). He also received alfalfa hay alongside his 24/7 pasture.

    I adopted him in January 2015 and brought him home to our ranch in New Mexico. (He has a bone chip above each front ankle so will be only a walk/trot horse if I ever ride him. Now he is a companion horse for my 3 miniatures.) Here he continues to get Nutrena Safe Choice Original twice a day, alfalfa hay 3 x a day, and a sprinkle of table salt on his pellets. During the fly season he gets Simplifly pellets. He does not have a grass pasture, just a large "corral" with junipers and dirt, about an acre. (We are at 6600 ft. in the high mountain desert. Once the grass is eaten it is gone.)

    I originally adopted him to be a companion horse for my large horse gelding. They got along famously until some food aggression started the older gelding to put lots of "mental pressure" on the OTTB. I finally separated them and moved the OTTB in with the minis when the OTTB colicked mildly 3 times in 3 weeks. The first two times did not require a vet's opinion, the third time the vet recommended Banamine which relaxed the OTTB right away and all was good. Since then (about 6 weeks ago) he has been fine.

    Since then I have added these items: 1 bottle of English ale (Newcastle Brown), twice a week, on the recommendation of an older fellow from England who used to race steeplechasers. He said the gut looses many "good bugs" during the pain of colic and a good European ale or stout can replace a lot of them (plus the OTTB LOVES it over his pellets).

    I have also added aloe vera juice, 2 ounces twice a day over pellets.

    Lastly, because of his feet getting SO dry and his coat being very poor I have added Farrier's Formula to his daily diet.

    I have heard over 90% of OTTBs have ulcers. The person who owned him for the first year after he retired saw NO indication of ulcers. The more I describe his condition, the mild colics...horse friends immediately say, "Oh for sure he has ulcers."

    I am retired and cannot afford very expensive scoping procedures. I would rather put good food in his body and help heal him...if that food will do no harm. I also don't want to waste money giving him something that will not address his needs.

    Can you recommend specifically what you would do with this lovely OTTB? I do have grass hay and was feeding that to him when he colicked. I decided to go back to exactly the same diet he was on when we got him, minus the pasture I do not have.....so he is back on alfalfa 3 times a day and the Nutrena Safe Choics and the above mentions "extras". But I could put him back to a grass/alfalfa hay mixture is that would be better.

    Thank you SO much for any ideas.

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    1. Glad you like my blog!

      Okay about your OTTB. There are several changes to his diet that I see are needed. Safe Choice has molasses in it and can cause hindgut acidosis which can lead to ulcers and colic. SimpliFly feed through fly control can cause colic. I would suggest stopping both of them.

      Keep him on grass hay and alfalfa only. If using pellets be sure they only have either a grass hay such as timothy or alfalfa in them with no additives other than bentonite. No molasses added. Many of the cheaper brands add molasses and other unwanted ingredients. Standlee and Andersons is good if available in your area.

      Now about the ale. I was planning to write a blog on this old tradition of giving beer to horses. It is upcoming. Please stop giving him beer. This is folklore and is not beneficial for him regardless of whether he likes it.

      There are several reason not to feed beer. First is beer is not natural for a horse to eat, second it has carbonation which causes stomach irritation and increases pressure and can cause colic. A horse with ulcers this can be very painful. Third, it has alcohol. Alcohol is damaging to the liver and causes dehydration and ulcers. Beer also contains purines which increases the level of uric acid. This may collect in the joints and cause kidney problems.

      To restore the beneficial bacteria of the gut there are better options. I would suggest BioMos and Yeasacc. You can get them through Barbara at Oak Creek Services: http://horsesupplementsstore.com/about-us/

      If his bacteria balance is off, and most likely is, it can cause colic. Using the biomos and yeasacc is the best way to restore the balance without causing more problems like the beer does.

      The aloe is good and can help heal the stomach and gut. Anytime you change the feed do it slowly. If he is prone to colic changes can throw off the gut bacteria too quickly.

      Farriers Formula is good. It does have the Omega's in it but I would suggest also flaxseed oil. Platinum Performance has a good quality one and it will help him with his weight also, give his coat a shine and help to heal his gut. http://www.platinumperformance.com/Equine-Healthy-Weight0153/productinfo/EHEAL1/

      Add an oat bran mash. 1/2 cup of oat bran with water to make a mash. It can be mixed with his other supplements and poured over alfalfa or timothy pellets.

      Add dried chopped peppermint leaves. You can get this from Starwest Botanicals. http://www.starwest-botanicals.com/category/peppermint-leaf/

      One more thing to add: Advanced Biological Concepts ABC Plus. http://www.abcplus.biz/abc2.aspx?Id=Organic_Equine_ABC_Plus
      This will help tune up his digestive system so he benefits from the nutrients.

      Start him with these things and let me know how he does. He may need lecithin but right now I'm hoping the flax and the oat bran does the trick. I can tell his system is sensitive and needs some help getting restored.

      Also, anytime you have to give him a medication be sure to increase the biomos and yeasacc to help quickly restore the balance.


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    2. Thank you SO much. This (Sunday) morning's 4th episode of mild colic in 7 weeks prompts me to get started on your recommendations right away. To make this easier to understand, my horse's name, the 6 year old OTTB, is "Easy". ;-) No more Simplifly, no more ale.

      Questions, if you don't mind: "Keep him on grass hay and alfalfa only" --- he has always been fed alfalfa since he was retired in Feb. 2014. I do have grass hay I feed to the miniature horses. Should I mix the two species? If so, what proportion? He is fed three times a day, separate from other horses and on a stall mat or out of a wooden box that "tries" to keep all hay off the sandy SW ground.

      I have Standlee alfalfa pellets and have been adding them very gradually to replace the Nutrena Safe Choice Original over the last 4 days. (Strangely when I started to replace Nutrena last time, with the Standlee alfalfa pellets, is the last time he coliced. Could I be removing the needed pro and prebiotics that are in the Nutrena enough so his gut suffers? Good reason to start the BioMos and Yeasacc?) As soon as I receive the BioMos and Yeasacc should I start them at the recommended dose...not gradually, right? Should I completely drop the Nutrena Safe Choice then..or now? (I worry about not having any pro or prebiotics going into him if I drop the Nutrena Safe Choice "cold turkey".)

      Which do you recommend, pellet-wise? Alfalfa---lower sugar, higher protein, good digestible fiber OR timothy--about mid-range on everything? or Standlee even has a timothy/alfalfa mix pellet. Your ideas?

      NO more beer....done, thanks!

      Farrier's Formula continues and I've order Flaxseed oil from Platinum Performance. Do I have to add it gradually when I get it or can I just start out with the recommended dose?

      I continue to give aloe vera juice twice daily. You're recommended amount?

      I have never prepared a mash. You recommend oat bran mash, 1/2 cup with water. Temperature of water? Amount of water? Is this once or twice a day...poured over his supplements....like the Farrier's Formula, etc.?

      I also feed psyllium one week of the month...OK? Vet today had me do some sand/manure tests. One showed some sand, the second movement none. Should I consider doing the psyllium for a month? I would guess he has never been on it in his former race track life.

      May I paste worm him? I do have an "Eggzamin" microscope setup where I can do my own fecal exams. I don't worm on any schedule as I realize 20% of a herd harbors 80% of the worms....very selective about who/when any wormer is used. High desert (6600 ft.) southwest here, very little parasite infestation. Dry "pastures" are picked daily and spread 10s of acres away.

      Thank you again for answering my new questions. Easy says thanks too.


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    3. About the alfalfa and grass, mix the timothy with alfalfa half, half to start. Each day give him less alfalfa and more timothy. Eventually you want him to be on timothy hay. He will get the alfalfa from the standlee pellets. Finish up the alfalfa pellets you have and then switch to the alfalfa/timothy pellets. So his eventual diet will be timothy grass and alfalfa/timothy pellets.

      Don't stop the Safe Choice cold turkey. Do what you have been doing by slowly reducing the amount and replacing it with either the alfalfa pellets or eventually when you get the alfalfa timothy pellets.

      Once you get the biomos and yeasacc you can start on the recommended dosages right away. Same for the Flaxseed Oil, you can start the recommended dosage right away.

      Two ounces twice a day for the Aloe is good. On the oat bran mash, give him 1/2 cup twice a day. Mix with room temperature water, enough to make it creamy, if it is a little runny that is okay too. You can mix all of his supplements in the oat bran mash and pour it over the pellets.

      Which brand psyllium are using? Is it pelleted or loose? Stick to one week of the month for the psyllium, it could bulk him up too much if he does not drink enough water.

      About the worming, if you do fecal exams and he tests negative then no need to worm him. This is the best way to monitor it. If there is a bad infestation then you can paste worm him if needed.

      Preferably as a preventive there is a product called Wormcheck. http://www.thenaturalvet.net/Worm-Check_c_28.html
      This will not cause him to colic yet it is effective.

      Because he is prone to colic you need to be careful with wormers and if he has ulcers they will make things worse for him. I have used Wormcheck along with regular fecal exams on my horses for years and rarely have I had to use a regular paste wormer. I like what you are doing in that regards so keep it up.

      Because Easy used to race his digestive system will need some conditioning but you are making the right changes to his diet to help him. Be sure to get the peppermint leaves. It can help prevent colic. If he seems a bit colicky you can give him a handful of them to eat if he will eat them straight, or make a strong tea with them and syringe it in.

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    4. Thank you! When I asked which species of hay to feed...alfalfa or grass, or both...I failed to mention the "grass" hay is orchard grass and matua (a New Zealand grass that is being planted more here in New Mexico, a drought state, because it's more drought-resistant and also has higher protein than most grass hays.) I wish it was timothy (as I used to feed 50 years ago as a teenager in PA)....but I prefer to buy from a local hay producer rather than pay as much for shipping as the hay if I buy from Arizona. So...should I follow your directions by using my orchard/matua mix hay in lieu of timothy in the "equation"?

      The oat bran mash should be about the consistency of applesauce?

      My psyllium is EQUUS Psyllium pellets, I buy from horse.com. I have been using them for all the horses (2 big, 2 mini) for years. My vet in WA recommend psyllium 5 years ago when we saw an extraordinary amount of sand in one of the colicky minis who had been in a sacrifice area during the spring to keep him off the spring grass. We have used it monthly since then with great success.

      Interesting you mention bulking Easy up too much with psyllium if I use it too long and he doesn't drink enough. That may have been what happened last night. It was warm...low 70s with an incredible summer wind blowing all night. Dust everywhere. With the horses outside they had to drink from stock tanks that got pretty yucky overnight with dust and debris. This morning, after the mild colic and Banamine and comfort eventually, Easy went to the fresh water I provided and drank half a 5 gallon bucket in almost one draw. Thirsty horse who had had psyllium last night---day 3 of his week regimen.

      Will do a fecal check. I almost would rather him have a low infestation of worms right now (as most horses have anyway....can't get rid of all of them) rather than subject his gut to the wormer, whatever kind.

      Thank you for supporting me, and Easy, while we transition him to a safer and healthier diet.

      A handful of peppermint leaves? I have big hands....could you provide an approximate volume measurement? A half cup? Less/more?

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    5. The Orchard Grass and Matua is good. Yes the oat bran mash about the consistency of applesauce is good. That is interesting about what happened last night. It could have been that he didn't drink enough.

      Half a cup of peppermint leaves is good. Can give more in a second dose is he does not show relief. Otherwise for daily use, give him 3 ounces twice a day mixed with his daily supplements.

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    6. Hmmm, at 6 oz. a day for peppermint leaves a pound would last me less than 3 days. One pound of the non-organic leaves with the least expensive shipping runs almost $20. Is there a way to provide peppermint less expensively than almost $7/day? Essential oils maybe? Don't want to sound cheap, just retired now. Lots of things to order....;-)

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    7. For some reason I couldn't post your recent question about the peppermint leaves so I pasted into my reply so you can follow the post.

      Ok to answer your question. To make it more affordable you can get 5 lbs of peppermint leaf for $36.59 at bulkfoods.com here is the link: http://www.bulkfoods.com/wholesale-dried-herbs/1045-Peppermint-Flakes-5-pounds.html

      you can adjust the dosage according to his symptoms. If he acts a little colicky then give him more peppermint. Instead of giving him 3 ounces twice a day, give him 1 dry ounce twice a day so he is getting 2 ounces daily. Increase when he needs it based on how he is doing. Perhaps during the transition period of switching him off the safe choice give him 3 ounces a day until he is off the safe choice. Then go to the maintenance dose of 1 ounce twice a day.

      Essential oil is ok but it is very strong and not for daily use. It can be used in an emergency colic mixed with applesauce and syringed in.

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    8. Thanks....whew.....that will work. Can you recommend a way of measuring a dry ounce? (I was thinking you would not recommend essential oils in this case.) He LOVES actual peppermints, they are used a lot at the track for treats/rewards. I think he will like the leaves. Thanks!

      Delete
    9. For treats use only alfalfa/timothy pellets or cubes. No candy, no apples, no carrots etc. These can cause him to colic. For the dry ounce, do you have the scoopers that come with supplements or if you use protein powder there is usually a scooper in the container. Those scoopers are usually in grams, so a 30 gram scooper is one ounce. I think two tablespoons equals one ounce so you can use a tablespoon and measure it out and then use a scooper that is equivalent.

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    10. Yes....NO candy here, or apples or carrots. TOO sweet. I only use pellets for treats and they are considered rewards when I do positive reinforcement training. ;-) Thanks for the clues on measuring a dry ounce!

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    11. wingedwolf....I just reviewed what you recommended for hay for Easy and noticed (duh) you said to eventually take the 50/50 alfalfa-orchard/matua grass mixture and get it moved to 100% grass hay. Whew...THAT is what we put over $2600 worth of in our barn for this year.

      SO --- he's "about" a 1000 pound 16 hand TB. Right now he is getting 18 pounds of loose hay and 6 pounds of the Safe Choice/alfalfa pellet mix, moving to 100% pellets.

      Should I keep those amounts or that ratio when I eventually get to 100% grass hay and 100% alfalfa/timothy Standlee pellets? Or less of something?

      I did something else last night...we will see how it works. All summer all the horses have been eating manure...primarily Easy's as it's maybe "tastier" since it WAS 100% alfalfa. They are on turnout all the time, dirt and trees as we don't have grass growing in NM....but they have turnout.

      I was told the manure eating was primarily from boredom. I don't think so. So I read an article where the author had the same problem and it "fixed" itself one winter when the weather was seriously bad and she fed more to help keep the horses warm, via digestion. Zap....no more manure eating because their tummies were finally really full. No stomach acid irritating them from empty bellies.

      So last night after everyone ate what they were supposed to eat I put out free choice grass hay. They gobbled....and gobbled and dozed off. Today I did the same and they are happier...minis are still eating manure late this afternoon but not Easy. Hmmm, this may cost more in hay but it will be worth it if everyone feels better and their tummies are more full more of the time, ala "grazing". I hope, hope that the minis do not blimp out....that will be just as bad for them as eating manure I would guess.

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    12. That amount of hay and pellets is good. About them eating the manure, sometimes they eat it when there is nothing else to eat but they also eat it when they are looking to rebuild the intestinal flora. Once you get him on the biomos and yeasacc that should improve. You can put all of your horses on it.

      Since there is no grazing it is important to make sure they have free choice hay available to them throughout the day. You can do this by using hay nets in various areas of their turnout area or slow feeders.

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    13. Sounds great! I have many "Nibble Nets" and will find places to put them around the turnout area so they can get some walking in too. My husband has built three big plywood boxes...about 2 x 8 by 18 inches tall, with drain holes and we are using them right now for the free choice grass hay.

      LOL...the minis don't know what to think about all the hay. They were hardly interested in dinner tonight as they munched off and on all afternoon.

      Thanks again....BioMos and Yeasacc and flaxseed oil all arrive Thursday. Now to track down some oat bran. ;-)

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    14. Great! You are going to have some happy horses.

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    15. Oh my...yes happy now. Quite a bit rounder on the minis, hope that balances out soon.

      My problem is: finding oat bran. Wow, yesterday I checked Tractor Supply and two other local feed stores outside of Albuquerque, NM. No go. Everyone has wheat bran of course, most of them had never heard of oat bran. I still have some other stores to check around the area...but if I cannot find any, what are my options? The flaxseed oil and BioMos and Yeasacc arrive today. I can use them WITHOUT the oat bran mash....correct?

      Thanks again....I can't believe the changes in Easy and the rest of his little mini herd in the last couples day. Mellow....happy. ;-)

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    16. You will need to get the oat bran from a local health food store. Most of them carry it in the bulk bins and they usually will special order a 20lb bag if you need. If they don't have it you can get it through bulkfoods.com. They sell it in 50 and 25 lbs as well as smaller sizes.

      Delete
    17. Ohhhhhh! Thanks, that makes it much easier! ;-) OK to the start the other stuff mentioned above before the oat bran...or wait til I have it?

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    18. You don't have to wait. You can start the other stuff as soon as you get it. Add water to the pellets with the supplements, enough to dampen everything.

      Delete
    19. Thank you for ALL your help and education! Easy is now on Bio-Mos, Yeasacc, (Barb is the nicest lady!) flaxseed oil (from Platinum Performance), oat bran mash (found at our Sprouts Natural Market for $1.49 a pound - will get peppermint there next time) along with his almost 100% grass hay diet (working down to no alfalfa, should be there in the next few days) fed FREE choice. (The minis are also loving munching all day too!)

      He is still getting his Farrier's Formula and the 2TB/twice a day of aloe vera juice. Everything is poured over his 3.2 pounds of timothy/alfalfa pellets from Standlee twice daily. (The weird weight being what the 3 quart mark weighs on my feed scoop). I enjoy mixing everything up for him each feeding, watching him languish while he eats. No panicked look anymore, just YUM, more food.

      Question: It's time to buy a new salt block for him and the minis. I routinely sprinkle "people" table salt on his pellets once a day. That has been recommended by many vets to encourage more drinking here in the high desert SW. But in case I don't get that done I like to have a salt block available to them. Do you recommend the white salt block, just salt....or the reddish ones that say "trace mineral"? The one at TSC is called "Big Six" and features 6 important minerals along with the salt...

      Thank you for your advice!

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    20. Yes Barb is great! Everything sounds good, I'm sure they all have happy tummys now. On the salt, Big Six is ok, just be sure it does not have molasses it. Sometimes the trace mineral/salt blocks have sweeteners. If it does, then just use the plain salt block. It is better to offer a salt block instead of force feeding the salt.

      Delete
    21. "Easy" is doing great...as are his little mini friends. I just started using a Freedom Feeder extended day slow feeder bag today and after an hour or so of munching....all four of them walked away, satisfied!

      Question: it is the time of the month now that I give all the horses a 7-day regimen of psyllium as we live in the desert southwest and they often end up eating off the soil ground and could pick up sand. Can Easy still be fed psyllium? I will not do it if there is a chance of it irritating the possible ulcer he may have from being an OTTB....thanks again!

      Oh....'nother. No one seems interested in the red mineral salt block I have provided. I have learned the red blocks don't provide iodine either. Since most everyone is just on the orchard grass/matua hay free choice....can or should I feed iodized granulated salt from the grocery store in a bucket for them, free choice? Thanks! ;-)

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    22. I'm happy to hear this! The 7 day regime of psyllium is ok, but only do it once a month. Easy should be okay with it now.

      On the salt block, that is okay if they are not interested. That is a good sign meaning they don't need it. Do not force feed iodized salt. This can overload the kidneys. It is always better to offer it free choice. If they don't eat it, that is okay, means they don't need it. Better than iodized salt is to get celtic sea salt free choice or redmonds salt, free choice. You can get redmonds through advanced biological concepts. Here is the link: http://www.abcplus.biz/abc2.aspx?Id=Equine_Specialty_Redmond_Salt

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  70. I've just read through the comments and excellent advice and can see lots of similarities with my pony. She is a 13hh New Forest and the vet suspected ulcers because she became reluctant to go forwards and put her ears back and ground to a halt when asked to trot. She was also touchy when groomed and had slight right hind lameness. I treated her with Ranitidine 3 x a day for 30 days and she improved. She has been off it for a few days and I still don't think she is quite right. She lives out except is in at night during winter and is only usually fed grass and hay. She is a stressy mare but is prone to laminitis and probably insulin resistant so I have to be careful with the grass. What do you recommened I give her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would suggest starting her on lecithin granules and apple pectin. Use 1/4 cup lecithin and 1 teaspoon apple pectin twice a day. She should show improvement on this, if not add 1/4 cup oat bran mixed with water to make a mash. I would also recommend Chaste Berrry. This will help balance her hormones.

      Delete
  71. Hello there

    Thank you for a great post with lots of information.

    I have a mare who I have only had 3 1/2 months so still getting to know. After having her a month she was very reluctant to go forward and would stop and kick her belly. I am just regaining my confidence from a bad fall and at first people thought she may have been sizing me up. I wasn't convinced I thought there was something wrong as she was kicking her belly. I had her saddle checked and over a course of 5-6days she got worse and couldn't go forward at all not even on the lunge. I had her scoped she had grade 3/4 ulcers. We did a month of peptizole and had a rescope she still had one ulcer at the entrance of the intestines. So she had another 4 weeks of peptizole. After that I put her on a feed Dengie healthy tummy which is just fiber alfalfa with protexin and herbs, equinox supplement yea sacc and linseed. I didn't have her rescoped due to personal issues at the time. I sent her away for schooling for 2 weeks whilst i had this issues and she was doing well but at the end of the two weeks she just had a couple of days where she didn't seem comfortable and the napping and kicking has started again. Ive had her back a week and ive giveb her a few days off, Yesterday I worked her and on the lunge she's fine but when I get on she starts not wanting to go forward. Really difficult as I'm getting to know her. I have also just put her on a supplement oestress as I'm not sure if she is seasonal as she has been quite moody just recently yet she's not been a really Marish girl.
    Are you able to help is there anything I'm doing wrong or something that maybe better. She just doesn't seem quite comfy. I don't think she's had the best start to life I found some pictures of her on Facebook with her last owner which was quite disturbing. She's a very anxious horse when ridden her neck and poll are very tense she nashes her teeth to. I just want her to be Comfortable so she can learn to relax. She's only young I bought her as 7 but two vets think she's 5.

    I am in the UK so not sure if I can purchase some of these items here?

    I look forward to your reply

    Many thanks

    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a few questions about your mare so I can give you a more thorough evaluation. What discipline do you ride? Do you plan on showing her? Does she live in a stall, paddock or pasture? Is Dengie Healthy Tummy the only type of feed she gets or is she on a grass hay or pasture too? What is her breed? What type of bit are you using? If you can send a photo of her that would be great. I will wait to hear back from you.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for coming back to me. At present I just do schooling and hacking and have done clear round but only cross poles. To be honest she struggles in the school with bending contact and can get anxious and nappy. If I did showing it would only be low level she's a coloured cob X connamara I believe. She is currently out over night on grass and in for a few hours in the day where she has access to hay,feed, ball with grass nuts and a lucerne brick. I give her healthy tummy, equinox,linseed,yeasacc and oestress for her feed. She has access to grass over night and hay in her stable and has 2 feeds a day. We don't have a shortage of grass as the stables I'm at is a working farm. I'm currently riding her in a full cheek snaffle but I'm not 100% if that's right as she's fussy with her mouth. I'm just looking at getting a myler baucher bit as I tried her in it at instructors and she seemed better. I'm not sure if this is relevant but she is being quite naughty with picking up and picking out her front feet at the moment shes walking through me, leaping, snatching and leaning on me to let go. I did find pictures of her where a previous owners farrier tied her legs up to shoe her the pictures where horrific so not sure if its connected to that or is from the ulcers. Do you have an email I could send a picture to as not sure how to attach it here.

      Many thanks for your help its much appreciated.

      Thanks

      Lisa

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    3. Send the photo to : whitehorse@mtecom.net

      Is she shod or barefoot?

      Based on what I can tell, your mare has a couple of issues going on. She is an emotional girl. What this means is she is highly sensitive and perhaps not always understood.

      When it comes to riding her she needs clear communication and does not do well if she feels pressured. These reactions are all symptoms of the imbalances in her gut and her stress coping mechanism.

      I like the supplements you are feeding her. Stick to them. Add an oat bran mash with it. You can get the oat bran from your local health food store or it can be ordered online at bulkfoods.com. They do ship to the UK. Give her 1/2 cup daily mixed with water to make the consistency of applesauce or thinner. This can be mixed with her other supplements.

      It's going to take some time for the gut to heal but once you start her on the oat bran with the other supplements you should start to see some improvement.

      Keep her on the oestress. She needs this. On the linseed, if you are feeding the whole seed, you need to soak it for about 20 minutes in enough water to cover it before feeding. It will start to get thick and goopy. This is what you want. That can be mixed with the oat bran and other supplements.

      Add to this chopped peppermint leaves. You may have to order them at bulkfoods.com. Give her a tablespoon with each feeding. This will help her digestive system and calm any gas buildup.

      She has a lot of tension through her topline which seems to be coming from the gut and her mouth. Have her teeth checked for any sharp edges. I would recommend eventually switching her to a bitless bridle. Dr. Cook's is a good one and very effective. See my post of the bitless bridle to understand why. Until then switch your bit to the myler baucher.

      She has difficulty bending and taking contact because she is not happy in her mouth and she cannot travel through her topline into a forward contact because of the pain. The pain from her mouth could also cause her to have ulcers. The ulcers in turn make it hard for her to bend. And vice versa, the ulcers make it hard for her to go forward and take contact without having pain. It's a cycle for her.

      To help break the cycle, give her a handful of feed before riding. Don't exercise her on an empty stomach, it can make it worse. Allow her a chance to stretch long and low before asking for contact. Keep a light contact and steady hands. She has to learn to trust the contact which she can't do until there is no pain from it. Be patient with her and stay consistent in what you ask. She needs consistency to know what is expected of her and to trust you.



      Delete
    4. I have an 18 yr old QH gelding that I bought 4 months ago. He is an old show horse that is just wonderful for my 5 yr old daughter. I think that many years of serious showing has taken a toll on the big sweetie. First off, he is a cribber. The more reading that I did (and his other behaviors) had me convinced that this was not only a bad habit, but also a serious digestive problem of some sort.

      It was an 8 hour trailer ride to get him home. This obviously didn't sit well with him. For the next 2 weeks I wondered if I had bought an old horse on his death bed! He looked nauseous at all times. He would eat his grain very slowly, crib after every bite or two, seldom finish his grain, and then drool profusely and lay down.

      I also have an Insulin Resistant Arab gelding, so I started feeding them similarly. I use slow feed hay bags so they have hay in front of them at all times and always test my hay to make sure it is low in starch and sugar. For grain I feed Triple Crown 30% Ration Balancer and Triple Crown Senior feed. These are also low in starch/sugar and a great source of protein/amino acids/probiotics. I also started giving this guy Progressive's Soothing Pink.




      This has all seemed to make a huge difference. He has put on weight and muscle, slowed up on his cribbing, and looks way more content.

      My question is, with the changes that I have made with slow grazing and great protein/amino acids/probiotics, can I stop the expensive Soothing Pink? Is there something that I should add to his new diet that could replace what would be missing by stopping the Soothing Pink? Or maybe I should just stick to what seems to work...

      Delete
    5. When you finish the soothing pink, stop using it, also stop using the senior feed. Continuing using the ration balancer, that should not cause a problem. The senior feed will ferment in the hind gut and cause him to crib and also to colic. It is full of molasses and can cause some serious digestive upset. Stick to grass hay. No grains. Alfalfa/timothy pellets or cubes are okay, just be sure they do not have molasses in them. Make changes to his diet gradually.

      Add lecithin granules and apple pectin. Give him 1/2 cup of lecithin and 1 tablespoon of apple pectin daily. It can be mixed with the ration balancer. Add some water to make it stick to the pellets. You can get both of them at bulkfoods.com

      Delete
  72. This is a LOT of great information! Thank you! I have a mare that hasn't been truly happy the whole time I've had her (1 1/2 yrs.). She's kicked at her belly, nips at riders feet, pins ears, swishes tail, throws head, refuses to gait or sometimes just even move and hints that rearing and bucking are her next response to my requests. She is a picky eater and mouthy. I've been trying various things like changing saddles, bits, chiropractic/acupuncture, teeth floated, hoof work, routines, cortisone hock injections (a guess of the vet) and things have sometimes improved a little, but then she'll have a day when it is worse than ever. The hock injections were about a week ago and I was instructed to give her 1.5 mg Bute daily for a week. Yesterday, after 5 days of Bute, she was saddled and was worse than ever. Tried a different saddle and she started bucking. Pressing on various locations seems to have uncovered an ulcer. Stopped Bute. I had taken her a couple days ago to a ranch to make it easier to get back to training, but today I'll bring her home. I plan to start with aloe vera-soaked alfalfa pellets and soaked flax seeds and free-feed grass hay (these are what I have on hand until I can get to town). I also have raw kombucha vinegar and Fastrack probiotics. I will get the lecithin granules and oat bran mash going asap and cabbage powder sounds helpful. Is this the best place to start? She's 900 lbs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you stopped the bute, it will make it worse. You're plan sounds good. Give her 1/2 cup of lecithin granules with 1 tablespoon of apple pectin and 1/2 cup oat bran mash mixed with water. Do not feed her any grains. The alfalfa pellets are okay but make sure they don't have molasses in them. She should start to feel better once you get her on this. I like the soaked flax seed also. The probiotics are good. You may not need the vinegar.

      Delete
    2. Thanks again! Apple pectin isn't in your article, as it appears someone sent you info about it after you posted the article. Can you add it to your article or write a blip of what makes it good? Does it supersede cabbage powder or any of the other things listed? I got the lecithin granules and oat bran. I will be getting alfalfa cubes and maybe grass pellets. So the recipe should be 1/2 c. lecithin granules, 1 T. apple pectin, 1/2 c. oat bran mash (made with water), ___ flaxseeds soaked 20 mins. in water, Fastrack Probiotic (according to package), served over alfalfa pellets or alfalfa cubes without anything sweet added? I am so thankful that you are helping so many people with healthy alternatives for their horses.

      Delete
    3. Thank you for reminding me to add apple pectin to the article. I will work on that. Apple Pectin is mainly needed when using lecithin based on the latest research. It's action is different than the other items listed so no it does not supersede the supplements listed.

      Yes your recipe is perfect. She should start feeling better soon.

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    4. Great! You have mentioned that aloe vera is good, but it isn't in your recommended list either. Is there a reason? Also, I wonder if you have a blog that addresses what a daily feeding regimen should be when a horse is healthy. I really appreciate all your help!!!

      Delete
    5. Aloe is known to heal stomach and intestinal ulcers. The reason I don't list it is because for some horses it can make their manure watery or give them diarrhea. I have not had as quick results with it like I have with lecithin and some of the other ingredients listed. Some horses it works great on and others who are more sensitive get the diarrhea. If it works well for your horse it is great to use.

      Thank you for the suggestion on writing a blog on daily feeding for healthy horses. I will work on that shortly. I did add apple pectin to the list.

      Delete
    6. I see that apple pectin has been added. Good info. Do you have a possible preliminary guideline on feed for a healthy horse? I just got a 2nd horse and she has just been on grass hay. I want her to be as healthy as possible from the start.

      Delete
    7. I just posted a blog on guidelines to feeding a healthy horse. thank you for the suggestion. Hope it helps.

      Delete
    8. Thank you SO much! I've been watching for it. =D

      Delete
  73. Hello,
    I have an 8 year old TB/Percheron cross mare. She has possible PSSM, which is not tested positive, but she reacted positive to the diet change. She is currently on 0.5 qt Triple crown lite and her supplements, magnesium, vit E and Alcar. Flax seed 0.5 cup a day and table salt. She was managed well, with exercise and consistent life style. She had an accident in her stall last May, I don't know what exactly happened, but we assume she got cased. She was standing on three legs with her left hind swollen and up in the air. After now 5 month of taking it slow, handwalking, rest, turnout limited ect. I had to move her to a different boarding facility. This was a mistake i guess, she is since I moved her crumpy, miserable and not herself. In this new place she was not turned out the way she was before, she did only get hay very inconsistent and was standing in her stall for long periods of time with nothing in front of her. because of these things, I moved her back to her old barn, where she has now her life back she is used to. But her behavior did not change so far, she is girthy, is not willing to go forward and she all in all does not want to be ridden. I am assuming she has ulcers now from all she went through. I was reading your blog with big interest and have already ordered the Lecithin granules. Is there anything else I can do? She had the chiropractor looking at her and adjusting a displaced pelvis. She appears lame with short, stiff strides more to the right. I am wndering if I can do something else in order to make her better. She gets hay in small portions over the day, grass hay, because of her PSSM, should I ad something to her diet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Add 1tablespoon Apple pectin twice a day with the lecithin. Add selenium 2000mg daily. Platinum performance has a good one. Vitamin e 5000 mg daily, increase the flax to 1 cup, offer the salt free choice and add seaweed granules the Source original micronutrients

      Delete
    2. Hello, thank u very much for your advise. I was just wondering about the Selenium, my mare gets 2 pounds of Triple crown lite a day, with this amount she gets already 2mg of selenium. The recommended dosage a day is 2-3mg. I am not so sure if that would be not too much?! My Vit E is too low, that I will address, also the seaweed granules and the flax seeds. I will give it all a try. For how long should I feed them, and the Lecithin, indefinitely?

      Delete
    3. That is enough selenium that is in the triple crown so you won't need more. She may need to stay on the supplements indefinitely and monitor her progress making adjustments based her condition. If she does have pssm you need to keep it consistent

      Delete
  74. is there any advise how to feed the Lecithin because my mare is not eating it mixed in her grain. She usually eats anything, that was a surprise to me......;-)

    ReplyDelete
  75. Is it granules? She needs half a cup daily. Split the dose in half for two servings and add water to the mix. That way she is not getting it all at once maybe then she will like it better. When mixed with water the flavors blend together. That may help.

    ReplyDelete
  76. yes, it is granules. I will give it a try with the water. ...thank u!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I have a mini mare. She has shown signs of colic-- Ulcers-- She is not eating --I am having a problems getting any medication in her that is made of any powder form. I am starting with ulcer guard --what can I do to help the pain so she will start to eat again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Get her Rapid Response Formula F ASAP. Here is the link: http://www.rapidresponseamerdon.com/index.html

      RR will improve her appetite, decrease inflammation and pain and get her healing quicker.

      It is in liquid form and can be mixed with cubes or pellets. If she won't eat it, put it in a syringe and give it to her. She will need about 4 ounces until there is some relief and then you can gradually cut back to a maintenance dose as long as her symptoms don't return.

      What is her diet? Is she getting any grain or senior feed? If so, this needs to be gradually discontinued.

      Delete
  78. Hi,

    Please can you help. I have owned my 4 yo QH mare for just over a year now. This time last year, she bit me really hard, lucky I had lots of layers on. All the usual comments were made, she's grumpy, dominant etc. She went off and had some training and we have had a lovely summer and things have been great. She loves attention, doing lots of different stuff, ridden and groundwork, then she bit me again really badly about 6/7 weeks ago. A couple of days later she was bad having her back feet trimmed, particularly the right hind. The farrier said he had seen this before with her horse who had hind gut ulcers.
    She is very possessive about her under belly and I have to be very careful doing up the straps on her rugs. She would just lunge and bite if I did not have her tied up.
    I can't pinpoint the trigger, except for it being the same time that it happened last year, just after I had got her. Some people suggest it may be the difference in grass or weather.
    Anyway, please can you advise me, I am getting a little confused with all the slightly different advice.
    She is currently stabled at night with more grass haylage than she can eat and two blocks of alfafa tied up in a net. She has two feeds a day which comprise of alfafa chop, fibre cubes, 1 scoop of DDA (which I get from US... I live in UK) mixed with a soaked mix of fibre nuts.
    She was given a months course of Gastroplus (also sourced from US), this seemed to make a slight difference but as soon as she went on the maintenance, she has gone backwards even more.

    I have ordered pumpkin seeds and lecithin granules.

    I want to stay away from veterinary medications as all my research says they are unhealthy to the gut.

    I read a post that you suggested to feed an oat bran mash with flax seed mix, adding bio mos and yea-sacc twice daily. Once improvement was seen, stop flax and switch to lecithin granules.

    This should be fed over either alfafa cubes or grass pellets, also with water added.

    Is this right for my mare? I can't cope with the aggression anymore, it's getting really dangerous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One question I have is on the fibre nuts you mentioned. What are these?

      I would suggest starting her on 1/2 cup of soaked flax seed. Soak for 20 minutes, it will get thicker and slimy. This is what you want. Then add it to oat bran mash (made by mixing 1 cup of oat bran to water enough to make it slightly thick). This can be fed over gras/alfalfa pellets or cubes and add water to the mix.

      See how she responds on this. If you get good results, keep her on it for about one month and then you can switch her to the lecithin granules. She would need 1/2 cup of lecithin daily along with 1 TB apple pectin. If she continues to do well, keep her on the lecithin/apple pectin regularly.

      Mix the lecithin and apple pectin with her pellets or cubes and add water.

      You can give her the pumpkin seeds on a regular basis.

      I would also suggest Chaste Tree berry. It will help her cope better and balance her hormones. It has been proven to help calm aggressive behavior.

      If you can't get it in the UK, here is a link: http://www.depaoloequineconcepts.com/products/chaste-tree-berry-powder

      Your mare is obviously experiencing pain. Once she starts to feel better she should stop the aggressiveness. In the meantime be extra careful and look for any signs that indicate she may try to bite or act aggressive and keep yourself safe.

      Be sure she has plenty of turnout time. She needs this and if there is another horse she has bonded with, give her time to be near that horse if possible. She seems to be missing a horse friend, perhaps from where she came from before you got her.

      Delete
  79. Fibre nuts are made from grasses but I found out also contain oat and wheat by products so I have stopped feeding them.
    I have sourced flax seeds and have been soaking them til slimy and adding them to feed along with pumpkin seeds...overnight she had her nose deep into her bucket on her morning feed and seemed to love it. She is definitely calmer in herself but still unhappy when she thought I was going to undo the belly straps on her rug tonight.
    She is turned out all day with my other horse and pony both geldings. She dominates the pony but respects the other horse and they mutually groom each other.
    I bought her when she was advertised for sale by her breeder along with her half sister. I assume they had been together since birth.
    My heart breaks...this must be the horse she misses although we met at two shows this year. Her half sister was very vocal but my mare seemed to ignore her.
    How can I help her? I would never have thought of ulcers in a million years and the vet made no connection either.
    I am so sad, without meaning too I've caused her emotional distress taking her away from her sister and physical pain by grooming and riding, not to mention training.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm happy to hear you stopped the fibre nuts. I had suspicions that they may not be good for her. I got the photo. She is beautiful.

      Give her some time on the supplements. Little by little she should start to show improvement once her tummy starts to feel better.

      Are you able to get the Chaste Tree berry? I think that should really help her also.

      That is good news that she is turned out all day and has a companion that she has bonded with. That should help her release the emotional energy.

      Once she starts to show signs of improvement you will need to help her desensitize the areas that were touchy for her. It becomes a conditioned response after so long of doing it that when the pain is gone sometimes the behavior continues.

      You can do this by gently placing your hand on the area and not moving it. Just be calm and hold it there until she stops fussing about it. Once she stops, tell her good girl, give her a pat and remove your hand. Do this daily and eventually she will learn to trust that you are not going to cause her pain when working around those areas of her body.

      Of course at all times be sure to be standing in a safe place out of her reach. Do this with her cross tied so she cannot bite you.

      You are on the right track and hopefully soon she will start to feel better.

      Delete
  80. HI there

    I’d love your advice on my dressage horse who I continue to have issues with after I bought him about a year ago now. He is a 7 year old 1/4 WB 3/4 TB, His symptoms are girthy, sensitive to touch around belly area, sore back muscles, dislikes grooming in these areas. Can be nervy at times, internalising his stress. Doesn’t gain weight easily. Has watery discharge after passing fairly normal droppings, sometimes heaps of liquid comes out other times not much at all.

    He is not the most supple horse and steps inside front hoof print with near hind foot and swings his bum to the right when he moves. These factors could also be due to body issues obviously but I wonder if they are related to gut issues somehow too?

    Currently he is fed 3 kg sprouted oats, 3/4 cup freshly ground flax seeds, 1kg Equi-jewel (Kentucky Feeds), Full mineral supplement, Salt, Magnesium, MSM as well as a product called 'Gastro Go' - see below for list of ingredients:

    Ingredients:
    Calcium Carbonate 5000mg
    Pro Biotic Blend 5000mg
    Methyl Sulphonyl Methane 2500mg
    Ascorbic Acid 1000mg
    Slippery Elm Inner Bark 400mg
    L-Glycine 350mg
    L-Glutamine2 50mg
    Gamma Oryzanol 250mg
    Nicotinic Acid 200mg
    Thiamine Mononitrate 200mg
    Chlorophyll 150mg
    Marshmallow Root 150mg
    Ginger Root 50mg
    Organic Zinc Glycinate 25mg
    Pre-gelatinised Maize Starch 4272mg
    Pancosma Molasweet 60mg

    He is turned out to pasture during the day and is brought in to small grass free paddock at night with ad lib hay and has another horse for company. He is in moderate work 6 days week, schooling and hacking/ hill work sessions.

    In the past I have tried I have tried feeding him a no grain diet, high dose magnesium, Mastic Gum, Charcoal, Chia Seeds, Toxin binder, but non of these have had any effect. I have had an Equine Osteo look at him several times and does some work with him although my feeling is he is not 100% happy in his guts.

    Do you have any further suggestions? I don’t want to go down the traditional medicine way as you say I don’t think it’s a good long term solution.

    Thanks for any help you can give!
    Christina

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    1. There are a few changes I would make to his diet. Try to soak the flax seed for at least 20 minutes instead of grinding it. It will get thick and slimy. This is what you want. Feed him 1/2 cup twice a day if possible.

      Stop the Equi Jewel. I have seen horses that have been on rice bran too long get mineral imbalances and I have also seen it make them hot.

      The sprouted oats are okay, but perhaps try 1/2 of oat bran twice day. Mix with water and add to either hay cubes or pellets along with the soaked flax.

      Also Add 1/2 cup of lecithin granules twice a day or get Starting Gate Granules.

      About the watery discharge. This is challenging. I am currently doing some testing with different supplements to find what can help.

      The cause can be any number of things, including sand in the gut, parasites, imbalance of bacteria, leaky gut, ulcers, heavy metals etc. It is a difficult issue to pinpoint and each horse is unique. What works for one horse doesn't work for another.

      Something can work one time to clear it and the next time it doesn't work. I have realized this is something that plagues our horses.

      I plan to write an article about it once I find something that works consistently and I can get a better understanding of it. I have consulted many vets about the watery discharge and tried tons of different protocols that were recommended and none of them yet have yielded long lasting results.

      In the meantime I have had good results with the oat bran and lecithin. It has not cleared it completely but it slows it to almost nothing. It is one of the few combinations that I have found that helps.

      In place of the Equi Jewel, if you were concerned about weight loss, you can use Powerstance. http://www.stanceequine.com/product-powerstance

      I have found this to work very well on hard keepers and nervous horses without the unwanted imbalances of rice bran.

      If you don't get results with these changes I would recommend a hair analysis. Go through Dr. Mark DePaolo
      http://www.depaoloequineconcepts.com/pages/horse-hair-analysis.
      He will design a custom supplement for your horse based on the findings of the analysis.

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