How many times have we muttered that some stress load at work is giving us an ulcer, it’s not so different for our equine friends; lots of horses develop ulcers from stress. The good news is, you can manage the stress and help prevent gastric ulcers in horses.
Horses tend to stress over things that may not be obvious to us. Their domesticated environment can be pretty taxing, they have more activity and competition that in the wild, they get transported about in loud, confining transport they have a diet that’s different from grazing all day and often they’re stabled instead of an ambled wandering. All these factors can contribute to a horse developing an ulcer.
Horses shouldn’t be without food for long periods. The very important pH balance of their stomach can drop from the more natural 6 – 7 to 2 in as little as twenty-one hours. Horses should be fed small frequent meals and always have hay to graze on. Hay bins and feed buckets should be placed on or near the ground to help replicate a horse’s grazing position. The grazing position helps with their chewing and stimulates more saliva which helps move food from mouth to stomach where it belongs.
Alfalfa hay (also known as lucerne hay) has excellent chaff that helps protect the stomach by providing a physical barrier as well as the calcium content binds it to the acid of a horse’s stomach. A horse shouldn’t be exercised on an empty stomach; it’s a good idea to feed a small amount of alfalfa chaff to the horse thirty minutes before exercising.
Horses also don’t do well being stabled for extended periods of time, and this can really stress them out. The best bet is for them to have room to walk around and self-exercise (also known as play.) This also lets them graze as they would in the wild. Then they always have food in their stomachs as well as a more care-free time.
Prevent gastric ulcers in horses with Omeprazole
A great help in equine stomach health and preventing ulcers is Omeprazole. Omeprazole is from the family of proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) that blocks secretion of acid and assists in prevention, and healing, of ulcers. Abler has several options for you to choose from in this field. AbPrazole comes in a few variations which includes a granular, easy to dose, easy to measure, easy to tell how much got in your horse, formula. It also comes in a tablet form and a formula that includes both omeprazole and a probiotic that helps restore natural gut flora. You can also get AbGard, which also contains Omeprazole, as a flavourless paste form that is delivered via syringe. Whichever method you choose to prevent gastric ulcers in horses, may your horse have and keep a healthy stomach!