Ulcers can bring great discomfort to a horse.
A horse shows subtle signs and most likely manifest pain through behavior and performance. If you observe a change in your horse’s attitude the problem, is most likely gastric ulcers. Gastric ulcers are a common problem experienced by a large percentage of performance horses. They affect horses of varying age, with foals being the most susceptible. Different factors lead to the development of ulcers. Equine omeprazole is most effective for treating and preventing gastric ulcers.
Why do horses develop gastric ulcers?
A horse’s diet and feeding practices are common causes of equine gastric ulcer. Horses that freely graze on pasture are less likely to develop gastric ulcers compared to horses in training. Performance horses need high-energy feed in order to perform at their best. Feeding high concentrated feed or grain and less hay will almost always lead to an increased incidence of gastric ulcers. Similarly other factors may include, but not limited to the following:
- Stress from changing their environment
- Prolonged stall confinement
- Stable changes
- Transportation or hauling
- Training – Heavy workload
What’s best to treat gastric ulcers- granules or paste ?
The active ingredient to treat and prevent gastric ulcer is omeprazole. Equine omeprazole is in the class of drugs known as acid proton-pump inhibitors (PPI’s). For effective treatment, omeprazole is administered once a day for at least 28 days. Omeprazole blocks the over production of gastric acid in the stomach.
Equine omeprazole comes in both paste and granule form. Paste in a syringe is the better known method of administering the omeprazole. Many horse owners find a syringe easier to use however the paste is not as cost effective as omeprazole granules. Granulated omeprazole comes in individual sachets. Horse owners find granules so convenient to administer and offer the following benefits versus paste –
- more affordable
- simple to administer onto feed
- single dose packaging
- convenient to pack for travel
- pre measured packs -allowing stable hand to administer
- convenient for horse’s boarding
- less waste
In conclusion both equine omeprazole forms are effective in the treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers. The choice of using paste over granules is a matter of preference for the horse owner. In other words what type of administration best suits your horse.