Research and Hindgut Ulcers in Performance horses
Hindgut Ulcers in Performance Horses has been the focus of attention in the equine world. Prompted by extensive research in this area in recent years. Many people associate a horse’s digestive health with stomach health. To fully understand a horse’s digestive health you need to understand the significance of the hindgut. Especially the colon, as outlined here: The Equine Digestive System: the Hindgut.
Hindgut Ulcers in Performance Horses
It’s important to distinguish between the stomach and the hindgut. The stomach represents less than 10% of the horse’s digestive tract while the hindgut is huge and vital to a horse’s digestive processes. Horses are known as “Hindgut fermenters”. This means they obtains most of their energy by fermenting forage in their colon. Colonic ulcers (i.e. Hindgut ulcers), or lesions found in the colon, predominantly affect performance horses. Quite frequently are identified in horses already suffering from gastric ulcers. Let’s look at the causes and reasons behind hindgut ulcers in performance horses and how to treat.
Firstly, a performance horse’s lifestyle is significantly different to its intended natural state. A horse’s is meant to continuously graze on pasture all day at their leisure. The performance horse’s schedule usually involves stalling and irregular feeding. All essential to getting them through their competitions. When the stomach is left with little or no food to digest the consequences can lead to damaging effects. Diet of a performance horse is a major contributing factor. A high carbohydrate diet can cause increase acid build up. Some of our top feeding tips can be found here: Feeding Performance Horses
How Do You identify Hindgut Ulcers
The underlying reasons a performance horse develops hindgut ulcers is debated among experts and although hindgut ulcers can be hard to diagnose, there are several behind them. Some of the possible symptoms of hindgut ulcers include:
- · Weight loss
- · Irritability
- · Appetite loss
- · Excessive discomfort
- · Lack of energy
- · Difficulty in bending and extending
A combination of any of the above symptoms and low manure pH is an indication of hindgut ulcers but a test performed by your vet would be required to confirm the development of hindgut ulcers as these above symptoms could also be present for other reasons.
Treatment Options Hindgut ulcers in performance horses
Sucralfate is your best option to correct any presence of hindgut ulcers in performance horses. It’s one of the most affordable and effective treatment options available. Sucralfate to sooth and treat hindgut ulcers and the associated pain your horse suffers. In order for a performance horse to compete at its best, a healthy digestive system is essential. A high quality medication will treat the colon where the condition exists and ensure your horse is at the top of their game and overall happy and healthy.