Hindgut Ulcers in horse hard to diagnose
Hindgut ulcers in horses, also known as colonic ulcers, aren’t as understood or studied as equine gastric ulcers. So there’s less treatment available even from the best of veterinarians. The two common treatments are Sucralfate and antibiotics. Unfortunately, while they help the ulcers heal, it’s not a permanent cure. As a horse’s human, it’s your job to prevent equine ulcers as best you can and treat them when you can’t. Prevention includes changing their diet, their exercise and even their stall to pasture ratio. Horses, by nature, are social grazers and we’ve refocused them into companion animals who are excellent at various sports and exercises. It’s in our own best interest to try and match their evolutionary needs, and when we can’t, meet the problems that come up.
Best Treatment for Hindgut Ulcers in horses
Sucralfate is a sucrose sulfate-aluminium complex (phew, say that five times fast) that isn’t well absorbed by the digestive tract, so it will reach the hindgut where it coats the colon and protects the site of the ulcer from further damage while the existing damage heals. The biggest “problem” with sucralfate is that it also prevents other medications from being absorbed. Therefore if your horse is any other treatments, omeprazole for example, for gastric ulcers, you have to wait two hours before giving them.
Typically, when it comes to hindgut ulcers, your veterinarian will also prescribe antibiotics alongside the sucralfate. The fermentation in the colon that causes the equine ulcers need dispersal, and that’s where the antibiotics come in. Add into the mix that hindgut ulcers are prone to infection and those antibiotics become even more important, just remember to give them two hours after the sucralfate or they won’t be absorbed into your horse’s blood stream properly.
On going management of Hindgut ulcers in horses
Of course, even with the help of the best veterinarian, drug treatments have their risks and side-effects, so it’s best to know what is going on with your horse and why. As drug therapies can’t fix the cause of hindgut ulcers, you’ll have to look into your horse’s life and identify where you can remove stress. Knowledge is a great defence, understand what causes ulcers, how to treatment them and with your veterinarian’s help, your horse will soon be in the best of health!