Ulcers?

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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My sharer had a good ride today on Sid, which is great. But she floored me when I saw her afterwards by saying, "I think he has ulcers. Apparently 70% of horses in the UK do, and it would explain his face pulling and his erratic behaviour."

He's not erratic with me. But when I think about how he was living when I met him (in 24/7, hungry a lot of the time, no turn out) I can easily see how he would have got ulcers. But I really can't afford to have him scoped and don't want to risk him getting insurance exclusions if they check him and it's negative.

Any suggestions about how to proceed? I have a tub of very expensive anti-ulcer herbal stuff (Okapi) which I could add to his feed to begin with...
 
What's his current feed and management @Jane&Ziggy ? While a high proportion of horses have ulcers to some degree for the vast majority they don't cause any problems. I think they have become something that people blame for all sorts of behaviour.

I don't know the chaff you mention - I will google it - but with Jim who was prone to recurring ulcers that caused problems I found Equine America's Uls Gard would increase the time between flare ups.
 
What reason does she give for suspecting ulcers. I'd be looking at things like does he face pull with you? Is he girthy? Reluctant to the leg? Or over reactive to the leg? To rug? Does he ever look stiff or NQR behind, especially on his right hind leg?

Am I right in thinking he lives out 24/7 with you?

I think after this time, if you aren't having problems and he isn't showing any signs, they wouldn't the the first thing I think of (although not to say impossible).

You could try a gut balancer to see if that helps. I use Protexin at £22-23 a pot but the NAF version is supposed to be good too. A friend uses digestive herbs from Horse Herbs. They aren't ulcer specific (although Protexin do Acid Ease, which I think is more gut calming based but not used it myself) but if you get a positive reaction from using one, it may be indicative of other issues and give you more to go on if you want to include vet's later on, rather than just a hunch.

I've just spoken to a friend for you & they've Coligone successfully in a quite complicated case where scoping wasn't an ideal scenario. I think there was something they could have gotten from their vet but this will have further insurance implications, so appreciate not ideal for you if you're trying not to involve one! Friend is 'out out' at the moment but can get more details at a later stage.

I hate to say this, but are you sure your sharer is getting on with him? I've not followed closely but it sounds like they may not always be the best match.
 
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@carthorse I have the Okapi hindgut healing herbs.

does he face pull with you? Is he girthy? Reluctant to the leg? Or over reactive to the leg? To rug? Does he ever look stiff or NQR behind, especially on his right hind leg?
@PePo he pulls faces all the time, but generally it is ears forward until he realises you have nothing for him to eat, then ears back! He doesn't pull faces when ridden. He was very, very girthy and uncomfortable when he arrived (and he had a girth gall and the saddle the dealer used had rubbed him), but very little now. Occasionally he is stuffy to the leg, very rarely over reactive. He was stiff on the right hind when I got him, but again, not now, either loose or ridden. And yes, he lives out 24/7 with little feed except hay. When he is ridden he gets a fat handful of chaff, a fat handful of Agrobs grass nuts, and the Agrobs grass based balancer, which has really improved his skin condition.

I'll start feeding the Okapi herbs and see what happens, but any further advice and opinions gratefully received.
 
To me what you describe doesn't shout ulcers, more memories of the saddle and girth making him sore and stiff. Like @PePo I suspect he's got the measure of your sharer and is calling the shots a bit - a cob characteristic rather than a sign of ulcers! I would have thought a couple of years of his current lifestyle would have undone any damage there was, back before ulcers were a recognised thing the standard approach with horses coming out of racing or that had hunted hard all winter was to turn them out for a few months on grass with hay as needed and let them unwind and be horses, I suspect the reason it did the so much good was it allowed things like ulcers time to heal and if not go at least get to a level were they didn't cause problems.

I can't seem to see that blend on the website, but the ones I can see don't seem to include the typical ulcer/gut soother herbs such as slippery elm, marshmallow and liquorice root - that doesn't mean it isn't effective though, they may have come up with different things that work. You could also try feeding a scoop of chaff before he's ridden, if it contains alfalfa so much the better.

I really wouldn't worry much though.
 
Ulcers or not, I've found the Protexin Gut Balancer invaluable.(Thanks for the heads up ages ago, Pepo!) Hogan's a different horse since he's been having it.
 
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@Huggy I certainly think they can have a niggly tummy without having ulcers and supplements can help that. Interestingly I found the Protexin Gut Balancer seemed to cause problems with Luka and a ftirnd found the same with hers, but I know a lot of people swear by it. Equine America's Uls Gard seems to have helped Luka settle though there was never proof of a gut problem just me wary after years of Jim, while my friend swears by Hilton Herbs Gastric X. I guess it's just trial and error.
 
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@Huggy I certainly think they can have a niggly tummy without having ulcers and supplements can help that. Interestingly I found the Protexin Gut Balancer seemed to cause problems with Luka and a ftirnd found the same with hers, but I know a lot of people swear by it. Equine America's Uls Gard seems to have helped Luka settle though there was never proof of a gut problem just me wary after years of Jim, while my friend swears by Hilton Herbs Gastric X. I guess it's just trial and error.
Very true. I was extremely lucky that the first one I tried was the right one.
 
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Bit late to the discussion here, but given you don't have the issues with him that she does, I wouldn't think it a medical issue, as medical issues are more consistent than that even when they are not continuous. Sometimes, when people lack confidence (as I believe your sharer can from your previous posts) they can sometimes look for an excuse as to why it is the horse and not them.
That said, although it doesn't sound like ulcers, with his history it is possible. I would give the supplement as you already have it, it won't do any harm and may help or at least reassure your sharer that you are taking it seriously.
 
@Jessey I think you've put it in a nutshell. One big difference between her and me is that if I'm going to ride, Sid gets his breakfast and a haynet. She is more traditional and feeds after riding. I'm going to ask her to change, because if he does have a gippy stomach I think it's better for him to work with something in it.

@Huggy I have Protexin shots for after worming but have only used it for acute symptoms like scouring. I do thing it's great though.
 
I concure with what others have said re sharer as you had issues in the past but the talk seemed to resolve them. Maybe it needs another talk.
If you do have preventive meds it might be worth giving. Maybe sids not getting as much grass with it being winter. Although hes probably getting more hay, maybe it irritates the tummy as its dry unlike wet grass.
 
@Jessey I think you've put it in a nutshell. One big difference between her and me is that if I'm going to ride, Sid gets his breakfast and a haynet. She is more traditional and feeds after riding. I'm going to ask her to change, because if he does have a gippy stomach I think it's better for him to work with something in it.

@Huggy I have Protexin shots for after worming but have only used it for acute symptoms like scouring. I do thing it's great though.
I just add a scoop once a day
 
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