Thanks to recent research and social media, gastric ulcers have been in the spotlight in the past few years. Raising awareness of gastric ulcers has led to better digestive health for horses but leaves a lot of people thinking digestive health starts and ends in the stomach. Unfortunately, horse digestive health also includes the hindgut. Hindgut ulcers in horses are often undiagnosed.
The hindgut, which is made up of the cecum and colon, is huge, and it’s vital to the overall health and well-being of your horse. A horse is known as a hindgut fermenter, which means they get most of their energy by fermenting its forage in its colon.
With the hindgut being so critical to your horse’s digestive process and health, it can also be a significant source of health problems in your horse. Unfortunately, hindgut ulcers in horses are quite probably a common thing, especially in performance horses or horses already suffering from gastric ulcers.
Much like with gastric ulcers, hindgut ulcers in horses occur when the protecting mucus lining is compromised. The cause of the problem is still up for debate, but there’s a whole bunch of potential sources. On the table for blame are NSAIDs and parasite-induced lesions, but the most likely cause is hindgut acidosis. Hindgut acidosis is when lots of simple carbohydrates like sugar and starches reach the hindgut undigested. Sugars prevent good bacteria from doing their job of fermenting fibre and starches cause bacteria to make lactic acid, both of which raise the acidity of your horse’s hindgut.
To make things interesting, the signs of digestive problems are often the same whether the ulcers are in the stomach or the hindgut. Symptoms include, but, of course, are not limited to, weight loss or loss of body condition, irritability, a lack of energy, going off their feed or being less interested in food, low-grade anemia, sensitivity to the flanks and problems moving.
As with all things horse health, their poop will tell you a story. If their manure pH is low, your horse is probably suffering from colonic ulcers. Ulcers in the hindgut are a pain to the horse, and a pain to the horse owner to diagnose. When you suspect a health issue with your horse, it’s time to call in your favourite veterinarian and get your horse checked out.
When it comes to treatment, you should look to Sucralfate which is an aluminum salt of sucralose. (It sounds way scarier than the reality.) When administered, the acidic environment of the horse’s stomach turns the medication into a thick compound than sticks to the ulcer site and forms a protective film. AbSucralfate is a product to treat hindgut ulcers in horses. It comes in an easy to measure, easy to feed, completely flavourless, bright green, coated granules.
Recommended dosage is One (1) sachet per 175kg (385lb) bodyweight.
Your horse will be back to his old self within no time at all. Try AbSucralfate by Abler today.