The prevalence of Stomach Ulcers in horses has been estimated to be from 50% to 90% depending on the type of athletic performance they are involved in.
The formation of ulcers in horses tends to be different from that of humans which complicates our understanding of treatment.
What is known is that horses are built to graze and eat frequent small portions of food for extended periods of time and this requires a steady flow of gastric acids for digestion s a horse’s stomach produces acid 24 hours a day.
Therefore when horses are locked up and only fed two feeds per day the stomach is subjected to long periods without the food necessary to neutralize the acid.
Other factors which may contribute to the development of gastric ulcers include high grain diets, stress during transporting, stall confinement and herd separation.
The subtle signs of stomach ulcers may include:
* poor appetite
- weight loss
- loose feaces
- attitude changes
- reluctance to train
- dullness of coat
- low grade colic
Note that horses that look completely healthy an also have gastric ulcers and the only way to definitively diagnose ulcers is through gastric endoscopy, or gastroscopy.
As always, prevention is preferable to treatment and some management techniques may assist:
- feed horses frequently or have them on pasture
- reduce the amount of grain in their diet
- avoid the use of anti – inflammatory drugs
- limit stressful situations such as intense training and frequent transporting
- If horses must be confined allow them to see and socialize with other horses and have access to feed
According to our many client testimonials it appears that Canterflex Equine Joint Supplement may also assist in the prevention and treatment of Stomach Ulcers. In horses We put this down to the premium quality of the Green Lipped Mussel used in the product and its high content of Phospholipids which appear to coat the lining of the stomach. Client testify that their horses are Stomach Ulcer free when on Canterflex Equine Joint Supplement.