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Friday, 14 July 2017

Get Your Horse Tested For Gastric Ulcers Now - Horse Health

What is gastric Ulcers?

A gastric ulcer in horses in a painful ulcer, usually in the upper part of the stomach which will cause them to be in pain, be depressed and cause them to lack the energy and strength to perform well. 

How is gastric Ulcers Caused?

Horses product gastric acid whether they eat or not.  A horse's stomach is sectioned into two parts, the upper and lower.  The lower part of the stomach is responsible for producing hydrochloric acid and is much less likely to be attacked by gastric acid.  The upper part of the stomach is lined by squamous mucosa which is more vulnerable to be attack by acid.  Gastric ulcers will usually be caused with the upper part of stomach is exposed to acid for and extended period of time.
There are multiple ways that a horse can get gastric ulcers.  This includes restricted eating, over training, traveling and more! 
Restricted eating is something that has been around for a long time, usually in horses that are in training and are stabled.  A horse that is in training to become much fit will usually be restricted to the amount of hay they are allow.  This may help then with losing weight but it causes a lot of problems along the way.  A horse is supposed to be able to eat almost non-stop.  When this is not catered for it can cause gastric ulcers.  This is because the PH levels in the stomach will quickly become acidic if restricted from food.  This acidic levels will cause ulcers quickly. 
Over training in itself is not likely to cause ulcers but over working on an empty stomach will!  Why?  Well if your horse hasn't eaten in a while and has produced 1.5 liters of stomach acid will be moving around.  While this isn't bad for a short ride (half an hour) but an extended period is exercise will cause ulcers.  A full stomach will make it harder for the acid, which gets pushed up to the upper part of the stomach during exercise to stay in direct contact with the lining. 
Other causes include travelling a lot, drugs such as bute and situations that a horse will find stressful.

Symptoms of ulcers in horses

The symptoms of gastric ulcers can be hard to pinpoint to ulcers.  Horses may have a change in personality for example being moody, grumpy or being depressed.  They can also have a loss in appetite, eat slowly, lose weight and condition, have a drop in performance reluctance to work or even colic. 

How to treat ulcers in horses

A horse who has been diagnosed with gastric ulcers will be treated will omeprazole in the UK.  It is an oral paste that will be given for one month at one treatment per day.  A horse should be put on rest for the treatment and be slowly introduced back into work after.
Once the ulcers have been treated you will have to carefully care for your horse.  They should have access to unlimited hay, haylage or grass at all times.  You should allow your horse to have a small amount of forage before riding and after.  Another thing that is important is to  split the daily feed into at least 3 smaller feeds a day. 


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