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Feeding for ulcers

Discussion in 'Metabolic' started by Jane&Ziggy, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    Mattie my companion horse is the same age as Ziggy but looks 10 years older. He's an Arab and raced in France for 5 years until he was 8. He is a very sensitive horse and a worrier, and he windsocks. He's a picky, slow, fussy eater and recently it's become difficult to keep weight on him.

    My RI thinks he might have ulcers and I can see that the evidence points that way, although he lives out with constant access to grass etc. But he's not insured (or insurable) and I can't afford to embark on a course of vet treatment, scoping etc at present. I wonder if there are any feeds which help horses with ulcers? He loves his mash in the morning, it's the only thing he eats with appetite, and I'd buy him any food which helped him be more comfortable and a bit fatter.

    It doesn't help that he lives with Ziggy, who is the ultimate good doer. All suggestions gratefully received.
     
  2. mystiquemalaika

    mystiquemalaika Well-Known Member

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    Does he enjoy grass nuts? Anything high fibre and as little and often as possible will help but i do understand the hardship of a fussy eater. Thinderbrooks do a herbal muesli, my friend is using it for her very fussy shetland to get fibre into him with some chew aswell with great success but their herbal chaff is also what i use and thus far horses and sheep have loved that as well. Grass nuts tend to be my go too for extra weight gain in fibre form for a non lami risk horse purely as its often what they do best on, grass :) i always soak mine and i find adding warm water can be really helpful for a fussy feeder. Micronised linseed is great for weight gain as well and is a healthy source of oils.
     
  3. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Alfa is one of the go to's for ulcer neddies, high fibre, good mj/kg for weight and I think its the higher calcium that neutralises the acids :) oat flour is meant to be good too esp for the hind gut (which scoping and vet treatments don't reach) and you only need half a cup added to normal feed and its not strong flavored so pretty easy to get in them :)
     
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  5. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    Thanks @mystiquemalaika , he likes anything sloppy (except linseed oil) and yes he loves a warm mash, I have two bog old milk containers I use to carry warm water over when it gets chilly. Could you tell me what you mean by grass nuts? He eats a mix of Veteran Vitality, Coolstance Copra (coconut fibre, high in calories from oil) and Agrobs Weisencobs at present. The Weisencobs are dried compacted meadow grass and flowers. Is that the sort of thing you meant?

    And @Jessey , Alfa what? I'll happily get him a packet!

    I believe that probiotics are really helpful for ulcer sufferers and I'll contact my naturopath friend for some gut support herbs. I'll let you all know what they are!
     
  6. Bodshi

    Bodshi Well-Known Member

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    How are his teeth? Just wondering if he finds chewing difficult - not sure how old he is, but he sounds to have aged quite quickly.

    When I was training Raf for the Derby I was very keen to feed him for ulcer prevention in case he was affected by all the stress and the lack of food while he was actually training and travelling (he has a net but doesn't really eat while we're on the move). I got him some Alpha A to take with us in the waggon, the theory being that he'd have a bucket when we arrived at our destination before we started work - it's supposed to form a 'mat' over the acid in the stomach and prevent splashing the acid about. However Raf had other ideas and refused to eat it after a little while. He does love dried grass though (Readigrass), which is probably too high in sugar for him really, but at least he eats it and he's looking really good at the moment (has a bit of bottom for the first time in his 11 years).

    I hate the whole ulcer issue. When Raf went off his food the vet suggested scoping for ulcers as the next step if he didn't start eating again. Raf is insured, but excluded for anything to do with his digestive tract, plus I understand that scoping doesn't pick up ulcers in the hind gut so you may not be any further forward once you have gone through the process, so was hoping to avoid it. Luckily he did start eating, but it's always at the back of my mind that we will have to scope if he has any more symptoms in the future.
     
  7. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Anything alfa, chop/chaff like Dengie alfalfa or you can get alfa hay if you're lucky and they make alfa nuts that can be soaked to a mash, simple systems do a big range
     
  8. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    I think Global Herbs do something called Gastro guard? Not sure if that is a preventative tho? It's just a tub supplement, I've seen it but don't know how much it is.
     
  9. eml

    eml Moderator

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    Two of our current competition TBs are windsuckers and like yours not insurable. We feed British horsefeeds Fibre Beet and Saracens Releve supplemented with NAF gastriaid which seems to reduce the windsucking/cribbing. When competing we feed sloppy mix of fibrebeet on arrval and between each phase to minimise acid splash.
     
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  10. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    Very helpful @eml, thank you. I will probably use a herbal instead of the NAF but the feeds sound great,
     
  11. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    I think it's often a case of finding what works for the individual. While alfalfa is usually cited as the go to feed there are horses that it doesn't work for or even makes worse and there has been research to support this. Yes it's definitely worth a try, but if it doesn't help or he gets more picky about his feed, stops eating up, loses more weight or looks worse don't feel you should carry on feeding it. Likewise supplements, what works well for one may be less effective for another - I found Equine America's UlserGard helped a lot and so did Gaviscon liquid if he was looking uncomfortable.

    I know you say you can't afford to start a course of vet treatment at the moment, but it is possible to do a test on droppings that while it won't tell severity should give you a fair idea if they're actually present. It isn't 100% effective but if it comes back clear it might mean you should be looking elsewhere & stop you wasting time trying to treat for ulcers when you want to be getting weight on going into winter.
     
  12. Bodshi

    Bodshi Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting, I've never heard of a droppings test before.
     
  13. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    That's very interesting @carthorse , thank you. Do you happen to know how I can access that test?
     
  14. mystiquemalaika

    mystiquemalaika Well-Known Member

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    @Jane&Ziggy i mean just grass nuts, simple systems do 2 varieties, blue bag and red bag. The grass is cut at different times of the year , red bag is for horses needing more calories or energy depending on how you feed it. I use emerald green personally and have always found them to work well. The taste is simple so they often work for fussy "hard feed" eaters :)
     
  15. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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