Two types of equine ulcers
As is well known, horses are individuals just like humans. Some horses will take medication with a shrug, while others will act like you’re trying to poison them. It’s natural that we will want to give all medications to our hooved babies in one dose. A single dose makes our lives easier, and it gets what could be an unpleasant experience over as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, when it comes to equine ulcers, and you’re treating for both hindgut and gastric ulcers, you’ll need to give the medications two hours apart. When it comes to equine ulcers, the two most common medications work differently and unfortunately, are incompatible with each other.
Hindgut equine ulcers
Sucralfate is used to treat both hindgut and equine gastric ulcers. Sucralfate passes through the digestive system undigested, so it coats the stomach and hindgut as it travels. The coating soothes and prevents further damage while the ulcers heal. The side-effect is that anything your horse ingests within a couple of hours of the sucralfate isn’t going to be absorbed properly. You’ll also not want to give your horse any food or medications an hour before you give her the sucralfate.
Treatment for equine ulcers
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and it’s most common use is for equine gastric ulcers. Omeprazole blocks the acid secretion from the stomach, reducing the amount of acid and returning the stomach’s pH balance to horse standard. This decrease in stomach acid promotes the healing of the damage done by the ulcer.
The conflict of medications leads to two options. On the one hand, you can give your horse their meal with omeprazole and then in an hour give them sucralfate. On the other hand; you can give your horse the sucralfate and then in a couple of hours give them their meal and omeprazole.
As part of an ulcer healing regimen, the two medications are very effective. However, with the interaction issues, they have to be given separately which many people overlook. Just think of it as another excuse to spend more time with your four-footed baby!