Understanding horse hindgut ulcers
Horse Hindgut ulcers are colonic ulcers involving lesions that occur in the hindgut, specifically the colon. This is contrary to gastric ulcers which are found in the stomach. Understanding the horse’s digestive system means knowing the significance of the hindgut. The horse’ stomach represents less than 10% of the total volume of the digestive tract. The hindgut (consisting of the cecum and colon) is huge and vital to the horse’s digestive process and overall health.
Some of the symptoms of horse hindgut ulcers
Horses with this abnormally high acidity (acidosis) in their hindgut (caecum and colon) may exhibit several symptoms including:
- Decreased appetite
- Resistance under saddle
- Colic symptoms.
- Change in behavior, more irritable, kicking out, biting
- Increased susceptibility to laminitis and colic
- Lack of energy and stamina
The Benefits of sucralfate granules as treatment for horse hindgut ulcers
Sucralfate has proven to be effective in the treatment of horse hindgut ulcers. This medication comes in granular form. Granules can be simply added to the horse’s feed for easy administration. Additionally the taste of the granules is palatable to most horses. The granules can be added to treats or mixed with molasses or corn syrup or with water!
Dosage and Administration
It is highly recommended to administer sucralfate granules at least twice a day. Administration should be on an empty stomach, but, as we know horses graze 24/7. Dosage of sucralfate depends on the bodyweight of the horse. After 3-4 days you will notice a difference in your horses attitude.
Horse hindgut ulcers need to be approached differently than gastric ulcers. A two pronged treatment using sucralfate and omeprazole may be the answer for gastric ulcers not hindgut ulcers. Because hindgut acidosis is caused by how we commonly feed horses today, this condition as well as the resulting ulcers are a very real risk for many horses