“If you have the pH wrong, you’re going to get improper fermentation,” says Dr. Davis. The progress happening in the understanding, treatment and — perhaps, more importantly — the prevention of equine gastric ulcers is incredible. This could be everything from diet to parasites to alterations in the environment, bacterial overload and inappropriate bacterial growth. While veterinarians are performing a gastroscopy, they’re looking closely at these various regions and the integrity of that protective waxy coating. Omeprazole appears to be the most effective. “I think I can speak for most, if not all, equine veterinarians, in saying that we are extremely fortunate to be able to work on these phenomenal athletes every day,” says Dr. Belgrave, instinctively. If like most of us you have a busy schedule, multiple haynets can be a convenient way to spread the feeds as needed (or a haynet inside a haynet for the greedy ones!). At Platinum Performance, we love to showcase the success of our clients, their horses and the veterinarians that care for them. With that, we celebrate the wins. “For every horse that gets prescribed medication for gastric ulcers without ever taking a look inside their stomach, I always ask myself ‘How do we know if that is a correct treatment? Two drugs of choice, omeprazole and ranitidine. A steady supply of forage – all the time, all day, and all night – will put the acid to its proper work and protect your horse’s stomach. All issues of Platinum Magazine are complimentary. “I think the best way to look at inflammation as it relates to the gastrointestinal tract is to see it from a preventive standpoint. Feeding a horse with ulcers can be tricky. These ulcers in horses developed in the fundic area of the stomach, the very starting point of the digestive process. The 15 Best Coat Supplement for Horses 2020 (Reviews & Guide) The 15 Best Horse Feed For Performance Horses 2020 (Reviews & Guide) The … This is the "gold standard" for ulcer treatment in humans and promises to be a cure for ulcers in horses. Length of treatment is important. But they can be painful on your purse too. Look for symptoms of stomach ulcers in adult horses. The horse’s ulcers are a combination of this hydrochloric acid, as well as volatile fatty acids and bile acids. Foals are also subject to ulcers and it is well known they can cause morbitity and mortality (Becht and Beyers). For seven days after that, the horses were placed on a restricted diet to stimulate ulcer formation. It is mediated by a variety of acids (hydrochloric, valeric, volatile fatty acids) that come into contact with the mucosa of the stomach. Intestinal ulcers are an unfortunate fact of life for many performance horses. The major advantage is this treatment has the same active ingredient, omeprazole, as in human ulcer medication. “In the case of gastric ulcers when stomach acid becomes too acidic in nature, the question becomes not just how do we treat it, but why is this happening in the first place,” says Dr. Davis of his root-cause approach. This discomfort impacts their performance, and we see these horses often kicking out when their rider puts a leg over them or becoming uncharacteristically temperamental when they’re in the ring. Some of the symptoms that foals exhibit may also become apparent in adult horses. A study looking at feed type on gastric ulcer formation showed an increased risk of gastric ulcers in young growing horses consuming high grain diets as compared to a forage diet. Is a horse simply being irritable or “girthy,” or could there be ulcerations revealing themselves through these behaviors? “These ulcers are often recalcitrant to treatments available in today’s market and have the greatest negative impact on performance in equine athletes.”, As equine veterinary medicine shifts its focus, resources, research and attention on a more predictive, preventive and personalized approach, horses at risk and suffering from diagnosed gastric ulcers will benefit. Provide Plenty of Water. “One of the interesting things about our early research is that we showed that both classes of NSAIDs cause gastric ulcers, and they both cause not only glandular ulcers but can actually cause squamous ulcers as well, which was a surprising finding given the biology of the stomach.”. Likewise, increased starch intake on a daily basis increases the risk of development of ESGD as well.”. See also: What Effect Does Magnesium Have on Horse Growth? These inevitable losses can take a toll on the equine practitioner. A new horse will come into a barn and immediately we’ll put them on Platinum Wellness or Platinum GI, we’ll examine and correct their diet, we’ll become familiar with their stressors and we’ll get a complete picture of their health and risk factors. If a horse has gastric ulcers, they must be medically treated. It may just need a singular component, and that’s where the horse’s history is so important to know, as well as the horse’s diet, workload and how it’s being managed.”. “Therefore, the horse’s nutrition is going to fall off. Based on previous research, we know that horses without access to any type of feed for more than eight hours are at risk for developing ulcers. “If it’s getting insulted by things that are ingested, then that immune system is going to have to combat whatever it’s being insulted by. Gastric ulcers can affect any horse at any age. It seems like an obvious thing, but taking care of diet, nutrition, proper conditioning and stress management, it’s all so important in everything we do as veterinarians, and we’ll continue to see greater results as we forge this new way of thinking and practicing.”. It’s my goal to take a preventive approach to try to counteract the impact those stressors can have on the gut.” When Dr. Smith encounters a case with diagnosed gastric ulcers, he, like Dr. Davis, shifts his treatment protocol. That’s the top portion of the stomach, which also contains a cardiac sphincter where the scope enters the stomach,” he explains. A diagram of the inside … “I try to incorporate pre- and probiotics often,” says Dr. Smith. All roads lead to stress. We know that an athlete devoid of a proper diet, in an unmanaged state of inflammation, can be more prone to injury and disease and less able to perform to his or her potential. We know now that the gut is vital to the horse’s overall health, and we’re learning how serious the implications can be when NSAIDs are over-prescribed or used for elongated periods of time coupled with stress, competition, travel and so many other contributing factors.”, One of the foremost experts on the effects of NSAIDs on the equine gut environment is Canaan Whitfield, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR, of Texas A&M University. However, if the ulcer symptoms are from the glandular portion of the stomach, GastroGard will be ineffective. Most ulcers occur here because the horse’s stomach continuously secretes acid, even when empty. These drugs reduce/stop gastric acid production and create an environment in the stomach where healing can take place. “It’s 100 percent about the horses. Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, also known as EGUS, is a broad term used in equine veterinary medicine to describe ulcerative and erosive diseases of the stomach. 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