Your horse is crankier than usual. He’s reluctant to go out on trail. He’s lost weight and has a poor appetite. When you do get him out on trail, it’s a struggle to keep him going forward. He just wants to go back to the barn. Sound familiar? Have you thought about ulcers?
The prevalence of ulcers in horses is high. There are numerous studies which have studied the prevalence, with numbers from 7% to 100% of the horse population, depending on which horse population that was studied. Ulcers have been found in racehorses, performance horses, pleasure horses and even pasture horses. It’s everywhere.
What are some of the signs that a horse exhibits that have ulcers?
Behavior changes compared to previously
* Aggressive behavior under saddle
* Irritable attitude
Body condition changes
* Weight loss
* Poor appetite
* Loose manure
* Acute colic or mild persistent colic
Performance issues compared to previously
* Poor performance
* Decreased performance
* Reluctance to work
There are also horses with ulcers that display no visible symptoms that we can detect.
Do we know what causes them?
The short answer is no. However, there are many things that have been implicated:
➜ Stress from trailering
➜ Stress from changes in living situations
➜ Stress from being pastured to being stalled
➜ Stress from training and the training regiment
➜ Changes in diet, especially pasture to hay
How can we be sure the horse has ulcers?
The only way to know for sure is to have an endoscopy done.
What can we do to help the horse?
The gold standard in treatment is a thorough check by the vet and the vet prescribing the appropriate drug, such as omeprazole.
As a horse owner, you can nutritionally support your horse with ulcers with My Best Horse’s Equine Ulcer Support.
Equine Ulcer Support contains high molecular weight hyaluronic acid and beta glucans. It is an affordable option for the nutritional support of ulcers.