Why Horses Get Gastric Ulcers
How does it happen?
Why horses get gastric ulcers is a legitimate question that runs through the mind of every horse owner. Gastric ulcers result from excessive acid that irritates the unprotected lining of the stomach destroying it. However, the acid in the stomach is essential in successful digestion of the food. The presence of the gastrin hormone stimulates the production of acid in the stomach.
When the horse is suffering from gastric ulcers, it exhibits signs of the presence of pain by stamping on the ground continuously or pawing on the stomach region from time to time. In addition, the horse refuses to feed and stays inactive for more time than usual.
1. Long hours of fasting
Horses develop gastric ulcers due to long hours of fasting. A horse should frequently eat small portions of food substances either through grazing or food provided in the stable. Frequent feeding keeps the stomach occupied thus providing some food substances for the stomach acid to act on at all time. When the horse observes long hours of fasting, the stomach remains empty for long periods forcing the acid to destruct the lining of the stomach. The destruction of the stomach lining leads to this condition.
2. Stress Factors
Just like any other animal, horses are prone to stress. Causes of stress can be as simple as a change of environment or strenuous activities. Excessive stress stimulates the production of the stomach acid that is more than the food in the stomach can absorb or neutralize. Another factore leading to this condition.
3. Poor diet and medication
Horses fed with food substances with high contents of grains and concentrates and low levels of roughage; they are likely to develop ulcers. In addition, administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in horses for a long period may result in ulcers. The administration of (NSAIDS) and concentrates stimulate production of acid.