Hind Gut Ulcers

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

  1. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    How old is this horse?

    ibsammy, post: ...is just not gaining weight like I would like her to....(from a pasture 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.

    Lots of horses eat hay and grain and don't get hind gut acidosis. Why would such a diet cause hind gut ulcers?

    Shortly after, she was hauled to Iowa.....but she lost weight pretty quickly. I started feeding senior grain (triple crown) around then......I stopped graining her and she looked "okay". Still thin, but not noticeably underweight as she was before.

    What kind of time frame did this all happen in? It looks like two moves, first from a pasture to a paddock, then the next place, in Iowa.

    I started her back on the triple crown and will watch and see where she ends up.

    How much does she weigh, and how many pounds of Triple Crown does she get? Which Triple Crown feed does she get? How many hours a day is she on the round bale? How much pasture is there?

    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.

    Did you put a weight tape on her at any point, or just go on your impression that she was losing weight? Do you know how much weight she lost?

    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.

    If her teeth were just done, there's not much to be gained by having the same guy do them again. I don't see any indication that this is her teeth, though.

    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
    She doesn't have the pattern of signs one associates with hind gut ulcers because....welll....The list above is from a supplement maker that when they did their research, referred to all abnormalities in the hind gut as 'ulcers.' I suggest you read this:

    https://horsenetwork.com/2016/04/truth-hind-gut-ulcers/

    In fact, it says...

    "if you read medicine, surgery and pathology textbooks or other published literature there is no mention of this widespread “hindgut ulcer disease”. It isn’t even mentioned in the horse health articles for owners on AAEP.org."

    You can read about hind gut acidosis. This may occur when the animal has an 'overdose' of grain. Equisure, which is a form of sodium bicarbinate, appears to lessen hind gut acidity.

    Okay. Someone mentioned that when horses have liquid coming out with their manure, they have a food allergy/intolerance problem. Well, maybe that is possible, but what that sounds like is 'colitis' - irritation of the colon. It's the colon's job to absorb that liquid around the manure. What causes the colon to not work right? Ulcers? Some people don't think so. There is a handful of different inflammatory diseases that can affect the colon(there are 4). Sometimes these 4 diseases are linked to use of NSAIDS. Then there are other possible causes: infectious diseases, poisons and other things can damage the colon.

    Depending on the age of the horse, there are other possibilities for weight loss. Teeth? Yes. Many vets do teeth, but some of them miss things. But if teeth are the problem, one expects to see some sort of clue, like wads of partly chewn foo falling from the horse's mouth.

    And there is always the possibility that the horse does not get enough feed, or that the hay she's getting is too coarse for her (more a problem with older horses). A lot depends on her age, weight, the weight of the feed she's getting, and which TC feed it is.


    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?

    I think you need to find out what your horse has.
     
  2. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

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    I too would think more gastric ulcers with those symptoms, but with that said, I just ran a bucket of Equisure through Jess and it made a huge difference. I had just treated her for gastric ulcers so knew they weren't the issue, and even on the Omeprazole she was just pickier than normal, a little grumpy, a little sensitive around flanks and low back (despite being a potato the last several weeks so no good reason to be sore), and just seemed off. I remember reading that anytime you treat for gastric ulcers, by decreasing stomach acid production, you risk increasing hind gut acidity. Since starting her on the Equisure she's been eating like a hog, gained weight, and is acting much more normal and less sensitive in those areas. I just finished the bag. I do not think Equisure has any risks (it's basically just enterically coated baking soda), so likely wouldn't hurt if you have it a try. Of course there are many other possibilities that I'm sure you've considered already.
     
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  3. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    I was unaware they could do fecal blood tests. I do have pH strips on the way that I will use to check for poo acidity. I did start her on GastroGuard yesterday (I had a tube leftover from my show days), and she was feeling pretty fresh afterwards. Of course, its been an icy, muddy, snowy mess in the pasture, so the friskiness could have just been pent up energy (I turned her out in the indoor after she ate). At this point, I'm kind of shotgunning it. It appears they recommend running equishure when treating for gastric ulcers, so I plan doing that treatment when it gets here (thursday), and maybe switch to nexium once this tube of gastroguard is out. My BO also recommended Aloe Vera. That's what they use for all their show horses. Has anyone had any experience using aloe vera for ulcers?
     
  4. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    That seems so easy it couldn't hurt to try it. *I* use nexium for me lol. I doubt she has a build up of sand. She's had free choice hay the whole time, and recent studies have shown forage is an effective method of removing sand build ups (except in extreme cases), and the places we've lived are very high clay content soils. When I do her poo test for acidity though I'll check for sand. It's an easy enough thing to check for (and a HUGE problem I had in California).
     
  5. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    Granted I am in a sandy area, reaaaaalllly sandy soil, but I have not had the same results for hay removing sand. Its available 24/7, but I still get very sick ponies if I don't feed sand clear in the summer.
     
  6. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Guys, God must have heard I was starting Lola on ulcer treatments because we've had ice storms basically every day since then. I got her a dose Monday and Wednesday, but the roads are just too bad to get out there today and were awful on Tuesday. :/

    I did pH test her poo, but I'm not very confident in the results. I'm just going to monitor it as she begins her equishure (it gets here today but I highly doubt I will be able to make it out there). When I squeezed liquid out of her poo the strip looks like her poo is pretty basic, but I think the color is skewed because of the darkness of the poo juice. I did test some water on its own, and then added it to the poo and retested. My water is slightly acidic, and her poo looked more acidic. I'm just going to keep using the same methods and test again in a week or so and see any changes.

    I went ahead and checked for sand and did not see any settle so I don't think sand is a contributing factor this time.

    I am also frustrated because she's still lame. I think she got thrush, an abscess or a stone bruise with our crazy weather (very cold, warm and wet, very cold). Farrier came out and removed all her dead frog so I could really treat the thrush, but she's still off. It's very noticeable tracking left, almost imperceptible going right. At least with the ice/cold she's not standing in mud. I don't feel anything through her back or down to her hoof. She rests her left hind while she eats, but is weight bearing and it's almost not noticable straight/right.

    My plan is to keep treating thrush and if after ulcer treatments and thrush treatments she's still off have a chiro or vet out. In KS our vet was also a chiro but I have no idea about out here.
     
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I don't think pH strips used on manure will tell you what's going on inside the horse.
     
  8. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Mystery lameness solved! Last night she was 3 legged lame on left front. she's presently exactly like every abscess Ive ever dealt with. The downside is I cant really diaper it or she loses all traction on the ice, but at least its not muddy
     
  9. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Oh, and I definitely think it was ulcers! Her energy level has skyrocketed. She was a nut last night.
     
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  10. ibsammy

    ibsammy Senior Member

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    Abscess blew through her heel. Shes got a limp still but not nearly as dramatic.
     

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