Baking soda for ulcers

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by MI Racer, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. MI Racer

    MI Racer Senior Member

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    I heard you can supplement a horse's feed with baking soda to help with ulcers. I asked my vet about and they said you can and it works, but has anyone on here tried it? How much did you use? Any cons to using it?

    I know how the baking soda reacts with the stomach acid and such so no chemistry lesson is needed. :)
     






  2. UnDun*

    UnDun* Senior Member+

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    I used the tubes of medication my vet gave me for my gelding....

    Im not sure about baking soda. Something about messing with my horse's digestive system scares me off.

    Be interesting to hear what others say
     
  3. tbtrainer

    tbtrainer Senior Member+

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    Baking Soda is an old remedy, usually a tablespoon is added to the feed, however, it will not cure severe ulcers, but may cut down the risk of a horse getting them.

    Does your horse show signs of having ulcers?
     
  4. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    What do you think the medication is doing ;)

    The benefit of the medication is that it is *also* helping actively cure the ulcers.

    Things like baking soda, alfalfa, ranitidine, etc, help cure ulcers by reducing the problem contributing to them - acidity.
     
  5. prairienights

    prairienights Senior Member+

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    Hmmm...I might give this a try. I'm not sure if my gelding has ulcers, but he seems like he might be in a risk group. 6yo OTTB, was getting poor nutrition the first year he came off the track, and I've had a hard time getting weight on him since I've had him. If he has them, I don't think they're severe.

    If I tried a tablespoon of baking soda added to the feed twice a day (his feed is a mix of Enrich32, BOSS, alfalfa pellets, and beet pulp) would I notice a difference IF he had ulcers?

    Is it a relatively safe method of treating symptoms?
     
  6. Ryle

    Ryle Senior Member+

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    Baking soda and other antacids provide very short-lived relief from ulcer pain by neutralizing to acid in the stomach. While this can be very helpful at relieving ulcer pain in humans who only produce stomach acid when necessary, horses produce stomach acid almost continually. So, the baking soda may help discomfort for a short time until there is enough acid produced that the base (baking soda) is overwhelmed. That is why products like baking soda, U-gard, etc cannot treat ulcers and only do so much towards preventing ulcers because they only decrease stomach acidity for 45 min to an hour after they are eaten.

    Ulcergard and Gastroguard are so effective because they decrease the PRODUCTION of stomach acid for a full 24 hours.
     
  7. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member+

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    I would ask your vet about the dosage of ranitidine and do that for a week - 3x a day the first 3-4 days, 2x after that. If you see any issues start to go away, you can be pretty darn sure he's got ulcers. Baking soda and ranitidine are safe.

    But the situation you describe almost certainly means he's got ulcers.
     
  8. redhorseridge

    redhorseridge Senior Member+

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    I'd use papaya before baking soda. Doesn't baking soda change the ph of the stomach?

    The active ingredient in papaya is papain, an enzyme found in indigestion remedies and similar to the stomach's own enzyme pepsin. Papain stimulates the production of mucous, which coats and soothes membranes of the esophagus and stomach, quiets inflammatory bowel syndrome, aids in protein digestion, and stimulates the appetite.

    Papaya is high in sugar so not good for IR horses. I think there were some studies that the topical papain could have cardiovascular effects.

    I used "Stomach Soother" on a gelding with mild ulcers and it worked great.
     
  9. MI Racer

    MI Racer Senior Member

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    I'm not sure about using the papaya because of the sugar. My horse gets a bit hot.

    What about using Aloe Vera Juice?
     
  10. Ryle

    Ryle Senior Member+

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    Ranitidine at twice a day dosing is not very effective. It and tagament have to be dosed at least every 6-8 hours to maintain a more basic pH in the stomach throughout a 24 hour period. That is why omeprazole is so much easier to use because lowers stomach acidity for a 24 hour period.

    redhorseridge, yes baking soda changes stomach pH. Anything high in sugar is a poor choice for horses with ulcers.
     






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