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UlcerGard versus GastroGard

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Environmental, Feeding and Medication Recommendations for Horses Diagnosed with Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome
  1. Turn horse out on pasture as much as possible.
  2. Have hay available at all times while the horse is in the stall. The horse's stomach should be full at all times to help buffer stomach acid.
  3. Alfalfa hay is helpful in buffering stomach acid due to its high level of calcium and protein. Alfalfa hay should be fed every 5 to 6 hours and can be mixed with grass hay.
  4. Limit grain in the ration. High levels of grain can increase gastric acid secretion and exacerbate recurrence of ulcers.
  5. 5. Stay away from feeds that are high in fat (e.g. Equine Senior type feeds, rice bran, and others), since fat decreases stomach emptying and will allow the acid to be exposed to the stomach lining for longer periods of time.
  6. Use of antiulcer medication to promote healing. The antiulcer medication GastroGard™ is the only FDA approved medication to treat and prevent recurrence of gastric ulcers in horses. The recommended dose to treat ulcers is 1 tube per 1000 to 1250# horse once daily 1 hour before feeding for 28 days. The recommended dose to prevent recurrence is 1/2 the healing dose daily. Some horses owners will put their horse without ulcers on 1/3 to 1/2 dose GastroGard during the show season or when the horse is stressed the most to prevent ulcers from occurring.
  7. Feeding supplements like NeighLox, G.U.T., or Nutrient Buffer to buffer stomach acid may be beneficial. We would recommend feeding these supplements 4 to 5 times daily to increase their effectiveness. These products have not been shown to heal or prevent stomach ulcers, but some horse owners have reported satisfactory results. Do not feed at the same time an antiulcer medication is given, or complete absorption may be inhibited.
  8. Stop exercising the horse unless using medicine proven effective during training.

Recurrence of gastric ulcers is high in horses that are housed in stalls, have limited turn out and are under heavy training/stressful situations. Unfortunately, we don't know all of the risk factors involved in the recurrence of gastric ulcer disease in horses but using medications judiciously and following the above recommendations have proven very effective.

The following antiulcer medications are currently available for use in horses. We have organized them in order of least effective to most effective. Only GastroGard™ has been proven effective to heal ulcers while horses remain in heavy training. Treatment with any of the following drugs should be for at least 28 days followed by a recurrence prevention program.

THE ATLANTA EQUINE CLINIC: 1665 Ward Road, Hoschton, Georgia 30548 - ph. 678-867-2577

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