Hind Gut Ulcers

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by ibsammy, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Lola has had a rough couple of months and is just not gaining weight like I would like her to. It was the perfect storm of stressors and I suspect she has hind gut ulcers.

    She was on pasture for the last 2 years, and was doing pretty good. She was moved to a paddock at the trainers and switched to a grain/hay diet, which I suspect is when she got hind gut acidosis (sp?)/hind gut ulcers. Shortly after, she was hauled to Iowa, integrated into a new herd, and winter hit. I moved her up early enough her winter coat had grown in before it got reaaally cold, but then I unexpectedly ended up with her pasture mate from Kansas. Well, this pasturemate (Breezy) is a witch, and got ostracized from the herd almost immediately upon arrival. Lola would stand off to the side with her and graze on the last of the summer grass, but she lost weight pretty quickly. I started feeding senior grain (triple crown) around then. I rehomed Breezy and Lola bounced back quickly, as she would actually eat when she was hungry instead of living out Breezys hunger strike. I stopped graining her and she looked "okay". Still thin, but not noticeably underweight as she was before.

    I started her back on the triple crown and will watch and see where she ends up. She keeps her head in the hay bale and munches on an alfalfa/grass mix, lives in a pasture with several shelters, has her "friends". I've removed all of the stressors she had but she just doesn't look as good as everyone else on her same diet.

    I have a truck, but no trailer, so any vet call has to be a farm call. The vet will be out within the next month to get her teeth done, but she just had them done in February and she doesn't appear to be dropping feed/her manure looks pretty good.

    This brings me to hind gut ulcers, I started googling and found these symptoms
    • weight loss and/or general decline in body condition - yes
    • resistance under saddle - she's only been rode about 10 times and isn't resistant, more green bean. I've had her sitting until her weight gets back to where I want it, so it's been ~6 months since she was rode
    • irritability and other changes in attitude - not at all. She's the sweetest mare, I'm not sure I've even seen her pin her ears
    • lack of energy and stamina - yes, though she's always been like this, even when she was fat. She canters around the pasture but doesn't go particularly fast. She has a lot of flourish, but not a lot of speed. Pokey walker, etc. Hard to tell if this is because she isn't feeling well, or just doesn't have motivation to go anywhere fast.
    • loss of appetite - she loves food. She spends most of her day eating hay, and licks her bowl clean when I grain her.
    • behavior indicating discomfort, such as pawing or laying down excessively - she has always pawed, but I attributed it to her playful-gets-into-everything attitude. If you leave anything unattended around her she picks it up and flings it, she'll paw bowls around, etc. She does lay down, but currently has a hoof abscess thats healing so I figured it was related to this. This is making me think discomfort.
    • low-grade anemia

    I've never dealt with hind gut ulcers, just your standard run of the mill ulcers. I found abler had a product, but am unsure of the dosing. It seems you have to feed it every 6-8 hours. Is there an alternative? I *might* be able to swing this for a couple weeks, but its going to be very hard and my work/studies will suffer. She's pasture boarded so every feeding is about an hour and a half after getting out there and catching her. Is there a once, or even twice daily alternative? How long do you treat for? Is this something keep her on, or treat and then return to normal life now that her main stressors have been removed?
     
  2. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

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    You could also try Equishure by KER. If she does have hind gut ulcers you should start seeing a change within a week. You can buy a month's worth for about $50-$60 from SmartPak or Amazon.

    Good luck!
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    SUCCEED makes a fecal blood test that you can get. I believe the test can show any type of ulcer.
     
  4. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Ooh thank you for the recommendation! I am going to start with that for a month and see if there's any improvement and go from there. I toyed with the idea of treating for normal and hind gut ulcers, but will do a month of Equishure and go from there instead. I've got a tube of GastroGuard I might try as well in the meantime and see if I see a difference. It's hard to tell since she doesn't have the strong personality indicators my last horse with ulcers had. He was a butthead to handle until he got treated, night and day differences. She's already pretty friendly and mellow.
     
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  5. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    Have you heard about using Nexium for ulcers?

    (I feel like the Jehovah's Witness for Nexium on ulcers.... :rofl:)
     
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  6. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Everytime somebody says that I have that scene from "Life of Brian" playing in my head...
     
  7. RusticR

    RusticR Senior Member+

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    Sooooo..... do you drive around and knock on horse farm doors with your pretty pamphlets all dressed in purple?????
     
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  8. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    No I have not, like people nexium?
     
  9. doublelranch

    doublelranch Senior Member

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    I honestly would drop off a baggy of poop at the vet's to do a fecal blood test. It could save a chunk of money if it comes back negative since she's not exhibiting too many signs of hindgut acidosis. You say her manure looks good when typically hindgut acidosis makes loose, extra stinky poop usually caused by an overload of carbs. She could have gastric ulcers which would require the nexium instead of Equishure. You also didn't mention any worming schedule or fecal which you could also ask for with the same bag of poop you deliver to check for blood.
     
  10. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    It looks like you've seen me in your town!!

    Yes, people Nexium! There's controversy over if it works, but it is inexpensive and works quick, so what's to lose? I used it on my OTSTB who was recovering from surgery and a change of lifestyle.

    3 pills, once a day, drop it right in the feed. Do that for 4 weeks, then taper down to 2 pills daily for a week, and 1 pill daily for a week.

    I did feed equishure at the same time to prevent hind gut acidosis from occurring.

    Any chance she has a buildup of sand? I've seen the same symptoms occur from sand. If she went from being pastured to being fed hay in a dry lot--that could do it too.
     
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