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April 21, 2014


Horse Ulcer Treatment and Prevention

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

Ulcers are the single-most preventable, performance inhibiting disease that horses are forced to deal with today. Treatment and prevention are easy even for the inexperienced horse owner.

What can I do to treat and prevent horse ulcers?

The first suggestion is a change in diet. Horses whose diets lack enough hay typically have ulcers. Grains containing carbohydrates and sugar cause high levels of acid production during digestion, which also promotes ulcer formation. It is very important for horses to be able to graze throughout the day on low quality hay or pasture grass rather than only eating two times per day. Avoiding periods of fasting does not allow the acid build up, which causes the ulceration.

A Fast Acting Acid Neutralizing Treatment

An acid neutralizing paste is a terrific way to soothe the stomach and intestines especially for horses in strenuous situations such as travel and competition. Its alkaline properties act as an antacid and anti-diarrheal.

Equine Ulcer Prevention

Treated ulcers must be prevented in order to avoid frequent re-occurrences. Some digestive conditioning products on the market are not strong enough to combat ulcers in horses with high stress levels. Make sure you choose an ulcer prevention supplement such as EXCEL™  that contains products to soothe the entire digestive tract including the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines and the colon. Also make sure that it is safe for long-term use without possible build up of toxic levels of minerals in the system.

Specific Ingredients to Look For In a Horse Ulcer Supplement

Aloe vera powder coats the lining of the digestive tract and reduces pain and inflammation of ulcers and colitis. It can increase the absorption of needed nutrients from food and help with regularity. Ingredients such as Psyllium Husk, Ginger Root, Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark resist breakdown from stomach acids and create a soothing action throughout the entire digestive tract. Zorien® MOS is a pre-biotic. It enhances immune function and decreases inflammation in the bowel. Brewers’s yeast is also a pre-biotic and is great to re-inoculate the gut with normal bacteria.


7 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 7 2014

    Reblogged this on Delmarva Hay and Feed.

  2. Jean maguire
    Dec 7 2014

    I would love to learn more about treating the glandular ulcer.

  3. Teri Rupp
    May 22 2016

    On your “What Goes in the Bucket” card. At the bottom, it says “Remember! No Soy, Sugar, or Molasses… EVER!” I’ve always added soybean meal to my beet pulp as a source of protein. Why should it never be added?

    • Great question Teri! Soybean crops are typically sprayed heavily with chemical herbicides leaving the hulls contaminated with toxins. Soy is highly estrogenic and should never be fed to either sex of horses, especially those that are already suffering from any type of metabolic disorder like Hypothyroidism, Insulin Resistance or Cushing’s syndrome. We will be publishing a blog post of the effects of soy next week so please check back. Thanks!

  4. Heather Harrar
    Oct 10 2016

    Hey You all,

    I’d loved to know what Dr. Mark recommends for horses that have had ulcers and are healed-as a pre-ride/exercise routine, to avoid stomach acid damage. In other words should horses be given a certain amount of feed before they work to buffer acids? My mares are on the Excel and Essentials as well as Personalized supplements, and graze for approx. 18 hours or have access to Bermuda hay 24/7. Normally they get 2lbs of alfalfa before work and there supplements, fed with coconut copra&/or Renew Gold, as needed.

    • Hi Heather,
      It sounds like your feeding program is great. As longs as the horses don’t go for more than a few hours of fasting they should be fine. Sometimes at shows for example Dr. DePaolo recommends Ulcer Rx paste to be administered before being ridden for long periods of time to help buffer the stomach acid but if your mares are feeling good then they should be fine! Thank you!

      • Heather Harrar
        Oct 18 2016

        Thank you very much!
        Can’t wait to see the results on my horses retest (hair analysis), The visual difference is profound.
        Best to you all
        Heather, Tesora & Mia

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