Stomach acid and Horses with Digestive Ulcers


Horses usually suffer from digestive ulcers but why is that? This condition can affect about 60-90% of horses depending on their lifestyle.Horses with digestive ulcers need not suffer in pain.Ulcers are lesions that form along the stomach lining because of continued exposure to gastric acid in the stomach. These ulcers are not caused by bacteria unlike in humans. Stomach acid secretion is a natural process in the horse’s stomach that continues on and may result in excess production when there is no food to digest and neutralize the pH in the gastric environment. Horses have a digestive system designed for roughage intake.
Horse n rider trackwork

The stomach of a horse consists of two parts: the glandular and non-glandular portion. The glandular portion is the bottom part of the stomach which is responsible for acid secretion. It also contains protective coating that keeps the stomach lining form being damaged. The non-glandular portion is the upper part of the stomach which functions as a mixer for stomach contents. It does not contain as much protective factors as the glandular part. Therefore, this portion of the equine stomach is where digestive ulcers commonly occur.

Digestive system of a Horse

Digestive system of a Horse

Ulcers are considered a disease caused by man. Confining horses in stalls contributes to ulcer development. These stabled horses are usually bred and trained for performance and they are fed about twice a day. Doing this could subject the horse to prolonged acid exposure since there is no feed to act as acid neutralizer. Stress is also a major cause for developing the condition. It may result from transportation,competing and more commonly, intensive training.

Majority of horses cannot exhibit symptoms for such this type of problem. Often, you can determine that horses may have problems if they have changes in their appetite, performance, and if their hair coat looks dull. In other cases, colic may be noted.

Treating ulcers in horses involve elimination of predisposing factors as well as reduction of stomach acid level by aiming to decrease acid production. If it’s not impossible, horses must be given more time to consume hay or grass. Special care and nutrition should be given by allowing your horses to rest in between trainings, feeding them more roughage in their diet, and feeding them more frequently.

However, in most instances, such practices can be impossible especially those horses which must be trained. For such situations, a medication should be given and nothing works best than Omeprazole that helps reduce acid production in the stomach.  Choose AbGard Stable Pack to treat horses with digestive ulcers




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Horse blogger....I am a horsewoman who has a general interest in horses, love talking about horses' and writing about day-to-day horse care issues.

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