Studies show that up to 60% of all performance horses have stomach ulcer. This stomach ulcer is also referred to as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS). Ulcers can cause several symptoms in the horse, including pain and discomfort, as well as reduced performance. As a result, finding the best ulcer treatment for horses is essential if you’re going to take good care of your horse. Performance horses are very susceptible to stomach ulcers because of their high levels of physical activity. In this post, we’ll be discussing some of the things you need to know to take proper care of your horse if it develops stomach ulcers.
- 1 Guide on Choosing the Proper Treatment for Ulcers in Horses
- 2 8 of the Best Ulcer Treatment for Horses
- 3 Our final thoughts on treating ulcers in horses
Guide on Choosing the Proper Treatment for Ulcers in Horses
In this segment, we’ll discuss some of the key points in caring for horses with ulcer. We’ll discuss the symptoms and risk factors of ulcers, as well as home remedies you can try.
What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors of Stomach Ulcer in Horses
The symptoms of stomach ulcer can be easily recognized because they are a result of lack of digestion and absorption of food. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Poor performance
- Irritability and poor attitude
- Teeth grinding
- Abdominal pain
If you notice any of these sings in your otherwise healthy horse, it may have stomach ulcer.
Concerning the risk factors, we already discussed that most performance horses are prone to developing stomach ulcers. This alone is a major risk factor. If you own a performance horse, you should take precautionary measures early enough to protect it from ulcers. Some of the other risk factors include:
- Infrequent feeding
- Meals made of large grains
- Low hay/pasture in diet
- Prolonged use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
How Is Stomach Ulcer Diagnosed?
Since ulcer is a gastric problem, the only way diagnose it is to perform an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, the veterinarian inserts a scope into the horse’s stomach to see if ulcers are on the stomach wall. In some cases, an endoscopy procedure might not be possible. In these scenarios, the veterinarian may simply treat the horse for ulcer and see if the symptoms grow better over time.
How Is Stomach Ulcer Treated?
The most effective treatments for stomach ulcer are supplements that address the ulcer itself. They can reduce the effect of the stomach acids on the GI tract. They can also promote healing and regeneration of the stomach lining. However, besides these supplements, some home remedies can be quite effective in managing ulcer in horses. The most important of these remedies are rest and hay.
Rest is very important for horses that have stomach ulcers because stress can aggravate the condition. In many cases, stress is even a major cause of the condition. Agitation and increased activity can put pressure on the stomach, which can then promote acid reflux. If you’re going to care for a horse with stomach ulcers, you should begin by resting it for a sufficient amount of time. At least a week.
Next, ensure that the horse has lots of hay in its bin. The acids that cause the symptoms of ulcer are secreted in a cyclic manner. At some times, the acidity in the horse’s stomach will be high, and that will aggravate the symptoms. However, if your horse’s hay bin is always full, it will always have hay in its stomach. A full stomach can then protect your horse’s stomach lining from the acids that cause the symptoms of ulcer.
8 of the Best Ulcer Treatment for Horses
Even though home remedies are good, sometimes, you need a good supplement to truly take care of your horse. Here are 8 of the best supplements for treating ulcers available today.
Ulcerguard Oral Paste Syringe
This product does exactly what the name suggests – guards your horse against ulcers. It is great as a preventive prescription for the condition. However, if your horse has already developed ulcer, it is also great as a preventive treatment.
The product comes in easy to use syringes that are designed for single-use. The main solution is cinnamon flavored, which is a taste that most horses love. The active ingredient in Ulcerguard is Omeprazole, which acts by suppressing the production of acid in a horse’s stomach.
If you purchase a pack of 6 products, you save money on two of them. This goes to show how much the company cares for horses and their gastric health. The only problem you might have with purchasing the product is that it’s so effective, you might not need all the syringes!
Med-vet Pharmaceuticals Gastro-plex Paste
Med-Vet is a brand name when it comes to horse care and health. They have outdone themselves with this new ulcer treatment for horses. Gastro-Plex is easy to administer and is very quick in action.
The product supports healthy gut health and function through its incredibly potent active ingredients. It is especially good for horses that have to undergo rigorous physical activity like hauling, horse shows, and so on. Some of the active ingredients include Gelatin, Glycine, Mannose, and L-Glutamine.
The product pack comes with five smaller packs of two syringes each. You can administer it once or twice daily, depending on the needs of your horse. If your horse is going to do barrel races or any of the other activities mentioned, administer one to two hours before the race.
Gut Health Horse Ulcer Supplement
This product has so many different benefits rolled up into one. It’s on this list because it is an excellent treatment for ulcer in horses. It protects the stomach lining from the gastric acid, giving horses relief from the pains of ulcer. It comes in a liquid formula that can be easily mixed with the horse’s drinking water.
This product also improves gut health by increasing the rate of nutrient uptake and efficiency of action of vitamins. Some of the other benefits of Gut Health Horse Ulcer Supplement include healthy weight gain, improved hoof growth, the promotion of a fuller, healthier coat.
Gut Health is manufactured using the best ingredients. The product is Aloe Vera-based, which means it has a very soothing effect on the horse’s gut. It also contains pH-stabilizing crystals. These reduce the symptoms felt by the horse, and that results in improved digestion, weight gain, and all the other benefits listed. Gut health is perfect for reducing the symptoms of ulcer in horses that already have the condition.
Strictly Equine Gastric Shield
Strictly Equine provides treatment and prevention for gastric ulcers in this product. Its suppressive qualities make it perfect for the prevention of gastric ulcers in horses. In situations where your horse does have gastric ulcer, Strictly Equine can reduce the symptoms and discomfort experienced by the horse.
Two of its active ingredients, Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice and silica, have intense anti-inflammatory effects. They can promote the reduction of swelling in the gastric lining of your horse. They also promote healing of the gastric tissue. Another ingredient, Copper proteinate, is responsible for soothing the entire digestive tract.
Other ingredients include Magnesium, Calcium, and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. The Lactobacillus, in particular, is good bacteria, and it improves the overall health of the horse’s digestive tract. The product comes in a gallon that can last up to four months when you administer one to two ounces daily.
Equine Edge G.I Ulcer Support
Equine Edge is another big name in the world of horse health. They have products that extend to every category, from natural supplements and herbs to kidney and immune system support. This particular product focuses on ulcer and its effects on the horse. Besides relieving the symptoms, it also helps the horse’s temperament, performance, and general appearance.
Equine Edge, the manufacturers, recommend that you give your horse G.I Ulcer Support after you’ve administered another one of their products, GastroPLUS. GastroPLUS isn’t strictly an ulcer treatment supplement. However, it does everything from improving the digestion and absorption of the horse, to treating diarrhea.
G.I Ulcer Support also helps prevent recurrent ulcers in a horse. It contains active ingredients like Papaya, Aloe, L-Glutamine, Turmeric and others. These ingredients don’t just address the ulcer. They also provide the horse with essential nutrition that it might have been lacking.
U-guard Ulcer Treatment
U-GUARD is a product with an actual promise. The manufactures claim that it actually heals ulcers in horses and not just its symptoms. And, from the reviews by users, the product is as effective as the makers claim. Healing the ulcer leads to incredible benefits like improved digestion and absorption, track performance, and overall health.
U-GUARD also stimulates appetite in horses, stimulating them to recover vital nutrients that might have been lost due to the ulcer. One of the ways that U-GUARD treats ulcers in horses is by improving the mood of the horse. Very often, agitation and stress can cause overproduction of stomach acids and even gastric reflux.
By calming the animal, U-GUARD prevents this reflux. It also actively heals the animal’s stomach lining. It comes in half-pint bottles that can last up to 30 days during full treatment. The product is fast-acting and it offers relief in a matter of days after beginning the treatment.
Gooseberry Ulcer Guard for Stomach Balance
Gooseberry is a manufacturer of different kinds of horse supplements. They focus on specific diseases, like laminitis, and stomach ulcers. Ulcer Guard, in particular, is good for alleviating the symptoms that horses usually experience when they have ulcers. It basically protects the stomach lining from the gastric acids.
Besides protecting against ulcer, this product also promotes a fuller coat, a healthier weight gain, and hood development. It addresses all the issues that ulcer might have caused in the horse. It is also great for preventing ulcers from ever developing in the first place. And, since ulcer is a very common condition in horses, Gooseberry is one of the equestrian’s best friends.
As you might expect from a product called Gooseberry, it tastes remarkably well. The supplement was designed to be well tolerated by horses, as that improves the chances of their recovery. You can administer it orally, or mix it with their feed or water. The product is so concentrated that it can be mixed up to make 11 Gallons.
Perfect Company Gastroease Eq
This is the first product on this list that’s available in powdered form. The rest have been either liquid or paste. However, don’t think that it’s any less effective because it’s a powder. GastroEase EQ was developed by the Perfect products, the same people that manufacture hoof repair and joint support supplements.
Perfect products bring their experience to the field in creating this product. It is specifically designed to treat ulcer and keep it at bay. With a daily maintenance dosage, it supports the animal’s GI Tract from the inside out. It is recommended for show and travel horses that are often subjected to a great deal of stress.
The product works at the tissue level, and it interacts with the horse’s natural flora. It also provides probiotics and prebiotics for extra GI Tract support. At the beginning of the treatment, you should give your horse 1 scoop twice daily as a loading dose. This will suppress all the ulcer symptoms. Subsequently, you can reduce to 1 scoop a day as a maintenance dose.
Our final thoughts on treating ulcers in horses
If you own a performance horse, you need to be prepared to tackle some stomach ulcers. Unfortunately, the most alluring thing about performance horses is also the reason why they are so prone to ulcers – their energy and agility. But, there are several remedies for tackling the condition.
The home remedy that’s most effective is rest and hay. Resting your horse ensures that the stress does not cause excess secretion of gastric acids. The hay makes sure that the animal’s stomach lining has protection from the acids. You can also try any of the supplements in this guide because they are some of the best ulcer treatment for horses. If you need a product for preventing stomach ulcers, you should try Ulcerguard Oral paste. Guard Ulcer treatment, on the other hand, is a great supplement for curing ulcers.