Your horse is at low risk for ulcers. Be sure you re-evaluate his risk in the future, should his living situation or diet change, or if there is an increase in his workload, trailering schedule or the amount of stress he’s under. Also, watch for the behavioral and performance issues listed under “Warning Signs”.
Your horse is at moderate risk for ulcers. Consider feeding him a targeted gastric health supplement like the ones listed below to help offset a heavy workload, a high grain diet or stress from trailering and competition.
Make sure your horse gets as much turnout as possible for his living situation, and if he can’t graze, allow him to eat hay frequently throughout the day. Remember that “down time” is important for horses in training, as stress is a major risk factor for ulcers.
Your horse is at high risk for ulcers. If you haven’t already, we suggest that you talk to your veterinarian.
If your horse has been diagnosed with a gastric ulcer, prescription therapy is necessary to allow the stomach to heal. GastroGard (omeprazole) is the only product approved by the FDA to treat and heal equine gastric ulcers.
Rethink your horse’s diet
Dietary and management changes will also be important. Providing pasture turnout is an excellent method of preventing ulcers. The constant intake of forage and production of saliva naturally buffer the stomach against gastric acid. If fresh grass is not available or appropriate for your horse, provide free-choice grass hay. Alfalfa hay is believed to play a role in preventing gastric ulcers, but should only be fed in limited amounts, rather than free choice. Feed the minimum amount of grain necessary to meet your horse’s energy requirements, and always spread the total amount of grain over multiple, small meals.
Reduce stress factors
There are other management changes you can make to help reduce your horse’s risk, including:
- Increasing turnout time
- Limiting the use of NSAIDs (such as bute)
- Making any changes to workload or routine as gradually as possible
Add a smarter supplement
Adding a gastric health supplement to your horse’s program is a smart way to ensure he has the consistent, daily support he needs for a healthy stomach.
In a recent university-led research study, SmartGut Ultra helped maintain stomach health in horses under stress, as well as horses who had been treated for gastric lesions. At the conclusion of the study, lead researcher Dr. Frank Andrews, Director of Equine Health at Louisiana State University, said, “If your horse is under stress, I recommend feeding SmartGut Ultra to help reduce your horse’s risk of developing ulcers.”
Provide prevention as needed
Even the most well-managed horse will undergo the occasional bout of stress, which can increase the risk of gastric ulcers. Luckily, you can provide your horse with added support when he needs it most
with UlcerGard® (omeprazole). UlcerGard is the first and only non-prescription medication approved by the FDA for the prevention of equine gastric ulcers.