Which Horses Get Ulcers? Understanding and Preventing Equine Gastric Ulcers

Equine Gastric Ulcers

Which Horses Get Ulcers? Understanding and Preventing Equine Gastric Ulcers

Are some horses more likely to develop gastric ulcers than others? Gastric ulcers are a common concern among horse owners, and several factors can influence a horse’s susceptibility to them. Understanding these factors and implementing preventive measures can significantly improve your horse’s health and well-being.

Squamous Ulcers: The Role of Eating Behavior

Squamous ulcers occur in the upper third of a horse’s stomach, and eating behavior plays a significant role in their development. The amount and timing of roughage, like hay, are crucial. Horses that go long periods without eating—such as fasting between evening and morning feedings—are at higher risk because their upper stomach lining is exposed to gastric acid during these periods.

Preventive Measures for Squamous Ulcers:

  1. Slow Feeder Hay Nets: Using slow feeder hay nets overnight can reduce the risk of squamous ulcers. These nets extend the time it takes for horses to consume hay, minimizing the overnight fasting period and protecting the stomach lining from excessive acid exposure.
  2. Afternoon Exercise: Exercising horses in the afternoon, after they have had roughage throughout the day, can be beneficial. This practice ensures that the stomach is adequately buffered before physical activity.
  3. Alfalfa Hay: Feeding alfalfa hay before exercise is more effective than chaff or pellets. Alfalfa requires more chewing, which produces more saliva that helps buffer stomach acid. Additionally, hay forms a protective ball in the stomach, preventing acid splashes, unlike chaff or pellets.

Glandular Ulcers: Breed and Management Challenges

Equine Gastric Ulcers

Glandular ulcers affect the lower two-thirds of the stomach and often have a breed-specific tendency. For example, Warmbloods are more prone to these ulcers. Some horses are simply more susceptible, though the reasons are not fully understood.

Preventive Measures for Glandular Ulcers:

  1. Regular Rest Days: Ensuring that horses get two to three rest days per week can help reduce the risk of glandular ulcers. Rest days allow the stomach lining to recover and reduce stress-related acid production.
  2. Reducing Stressors: Minimizing environmental stressors is crucial. Playing soothing music or providing massages can help reduce a horse’s anxiety and lower the risk of ulcers.
  3. Effective Supplements: If management practices alone are not sufficient, specific feed supplements may be necessary. It is essential to choose products that have been proven effective through published, peer-reviewed studies, specifically for the type of ulcer being treated, whether squamous or glandular.

Read: Signs, Symptoms & Treatment of Equine Ulcers

Ulcer Free Naturally: A Holistic Approach

For those looking for natural alternatives, Ulcer Free Naturally offers a holistic solution for dealing with and preventing ulcers in horses.

This natural supplement is designed to support gastric health by using a blend of herbs that promote healing and protect the stomach lining.

All of the herbs in Ulcer Free Naturally help to coat, sooth and heal the irritated stomach lining without causing more adverse side effects. Can be used for existing ulcers in your horse and support for preventing equine ulcers when used daily.

This supplement works by helping to balance the stomach’s pH levels, supports reducing inflammation, and promoting the production of mucus to shield the stomach lining from gastric acids.

By integrating Ulcer Free Naturally into your horse’s diet, you can enhance their digestive health and provide an additional layer of protection against ulcers.

It’s a natural, effective way to ensure your horse stays ulcer-free.

Maintain Your Horse’s Health

Understanding the factors that contribute to gastric ulcers in horses and implementing effective preventive measures can make a significant difference in maintaining your horse’s health. By managing their eating behavior, reducing stress, and using proven supplements when necessary, you can help protect your horse from the discomfort and complications of gastric ulcers. Your horse’s well-being is worth the effort!

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