Gastric ulcers in horses result when the acidity level on the stomach increases. When there is too much acid, it will rise up to the non-glandular part of the stomach, and in this specific part of the organ, there is only minimal protection from the effects of acid. When a horse is under stress, the stomach’s acidity will increase. Stressful situations can be keeping a horse in a stall or loading into a trailer. Stomach acid is neutralized upon presence of food or by saliva from chewing. The symptoms of ulcers can vary greatly from one horse to another but usually produce abdominal pain and appetite suppression. If you feed your horse a considerable amount of hay and reduce the amount of concentrated feeds, then you are helping your horse to stay away from the troublesome ulcers.
You can avoid gastric ulcers in horses if you incorporate a proper diet plan. This diet should mainly consist of roughage. If your horse consumes hay or grazes most of the time, much of the acid in his stomach is neutralized by the food contents or the saliva produced. Giving high-quality hay is best with a lesser quality being not so bad, as long as hay is present in the diet. However, some hay may contain more sugar and other toxic plants, which is why hay substitutes like chaff, alfalfa cubes, and beet pulps should also be considered.
On the other hand, performance horses nowadays consume concentrates or high-grain feeds to meet their energy requirements. These products can increase the acidity level of the stomach since they cannot neutralize the acid properly. There are many reasons why incorporating high-grain or concentrated feeds can lead to digestive problems in horses. For one, the production of the hormone, gastrin, is believed to increase when concentrates are fed. Horses also don’t need time to chew concentrates and consequently, there will be less saliva produced. Concentrates are so easy to digest which means that the stomach empties out easily. When this happens, your horse could easily go hungry.
When a horse goes hungry for more than a couple of hours, he is already prone to developing ulcers. Horse owners may need to feed their horse concentrates so they could have energy during their performance. Keep in mind that it is also important to include roughage in the diet of the horse. If the feeding practices cannot be changed, it is better to give medications to combat ulcers in horses.
There are several products available but with some providing temporary relief. If you need to treat and prevent ulcers in your ulcer-prone horse, you need a long-term solution – AbGard is an oral paste medication of omeprazole that is effective. AbGard is a trusted medication to be given to ulcer-prone horses. Keep your horses in top shape with AbGard!
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