Digestive ulcers do not only form in one part of the horse’s stomach. In fact, the horse’s entire digestive tract can be affected by the condition, starting from the upper part of the stomach down to the colon.
Ulcers in the Upper Part of the Stomach
Ulcers that are formed on the upper part of the stomach (non-glandular) are also known as gastric ulcers, when gastric acid coming from the lower part of the stomach (glandular) overflows getting in touch with the upper part. This results from a low-fiber diet. When horses eat enough fiber, they can develop a protective mat made of fiber on the non-glandular part of the stomach. This then shields the upper stomach from the irritating effects of gastric acid coming from the lower stomach.
Ulcers in the Lower Part of the Stomach
The lower part of the stomach (glandular), which secretes gastric acid, can also be affected with ulcers. This type of ulcer is usually caused by excessive use of NSAIDS like Bute. Such drugs decreases the production of mucus which serves as a protective coating for the stomach lining. Any horse that is being given NSAIDS on high doses can quickly develop such ulcers.
Ulcers in the Duodenum
Equine ulcers can also form in the small intestine, particularly the upper portion or the duodenum. Ulcers in this region of the stomach are mainly caused by indigestion. Digestion in horses is a process that has to occur in an orchestrated pattern, wherein each step should fall in the right place. For a healthy horse, the process seems to flow smoothly, however when the flow of the digestion process is interrupted, ulcers in the duodenum would occur. Factors that interrupt this smooth flow include stress, illness and injuries.
Ulcers that form in the colon can result from indigestion. When indigestion happens, the small intestine cannot completely digest the starches. These starches will travel to the colon. Normally, the colon digests fiber and not starches. As a result, the natural fiber-digesting bacteria in the colon die and they are replaced by starch-digesting microorganisms. Starch digestion can be carried out successfully. As for the fiber, the absence of the colonic bacteria deems its digestion unsuccessful. Undigested fibers remain in the colon to rot, ultimately producing toxins which can be harmful to the colon wall. This then results to ulcers.
Horse ulcers can be debilitating, regardless of the region of the stomach where they form and affect. These digestive ulcers can have a great impact on the overall performance and condition of the horse. To remedy this, horse owners use equine omeprazole to treat this condition. For the best equine omeprazole that is both effective and affordable, you should only choose AbPrazole.