Ulcers are becoming more and more common in all kinds of horses. Up to 90% of all racing horses, 80% of foals and even 15% of horses just standing in the field as pasture ornaments have ulcers. This is really important because the textbooks back in the 1970's taught us that horses were not capable of getting ulcers. People thought that grazing vegetarians who are near-constantly eating, with relatively small stomachs per body size, simply couldn't get ulcers. Today, almost every horse owner and trainer out there has dealt with ulcers in more than one horse.
In the early days, the only way we could diagnose ulcers in horses was to put a horse completely under anesthesia, have the stomach pumped, then flushed with saline solution and then pumped again, so that an endoscope camera could safely view the entire stomach for lesions. The horse had to be starved for 12 hours prior. Now, we know that the very act of starving a horse for 12 hours will produce lesions on the stomach wall; so, the method of diagnosing by scope has been modified. Today, the common practice is to pass the endoscope without anesthesia or starving, however the downside is that only about ⅓ of the stomach is visible above the water line. On autopsy, it is commonly found that many horses have duodenal ulcers as well as lower gastric (or hind gut) ulcers. The roughly 100 ft of intestine can be ulcerated all the way down, most of which is not visible by endoscope.
Even though scoping is no longer the recommended diagnostic tool, those old endoscoping studies gave us a good composite of symptoms and signs associated with ulcers - and confirmed by endoscope. So, today we can much more safely diagnose ulcers by symptoms and signs alone.
Chronic excess acidity in the stomach can lead to excess acidity in the hind gut and induce leaky gut syndrome. The signs of hind gut ulcers are different than upper gastric ulcers and requires a different product/approach: Nutrient Buffer® H/G - for the hind gut.
Gastric acid suppressors use several different kinds and modes of action. H₂ blockers / inhibitors / antagonists and proton pump inhibitors are the primary products out there. Both have a long history of creating health compromises, such as magnesium deficiencies, that have been well documented in humans - as they have been available for humans much longer than they have been used in horses. They are known to shut down the production of stomach acid, which compromises digestion and creates well-recognized nutritional deficiencies. Blocking the necessary stomach acid to properly sterilize and break down food results in an imbalance of gut flora and chronic low grade infections as well as possible overgrowth of the small intestine. Leaky gut syndrome is also on the list, and with horses, it can preclude neurological syndromes and infections like EPM.
Equine Ulcers & Colic in Horses
Ulcers are common in all kinds of horses. Learn how to spot the signs of a potential ulcer, what you can do, and how stomach scoping can be helpful.
Drugs have many shortcomings, and H₂ Blockers have some unique ones. When your horse builds a tolerance after prolonged daily use, you find yourself continually increasing the dosage to achieve the same results.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) shut down excess acid production in the stomach. Accurate dosing can be very tough to estimate, and excessive use can lead to poor digestion of food and longer term health problems.
Nutrient Buffer® is versatile enough to be used daily for horses in every walk of life. With drugs like H₂ Blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), the body can build a tolerance and require higher dosages over time, while Nutrient Buffer® works the same all the time, every time - with the added benefit of helping resolve colic situations when you need it the most.
Since Marion Dupont-Scott did their classic ulcer study decades ago, showing that race horses tend to dump a lot of stomach acid at the break from the gate, Nutrient Buffer® has been one of the most widely used digestive aid buffering supplements for horses prior to stressful conditions. According to many prominent race track veterinarians, it helps horses race better.
Whether your horse is injured or ill and in recovery, ulcers are known to become a problem in stalled and confined horses. Horses are grazers and designed for continuous movement to aid their digestion and well being.
Nutrient Buffer® has been demonstrated to aid horses with anemia by reducing the binding of iron to lactoferrin and releasing it into the blood and tissues.
A gastric ulcer is essentially a sore on the wall of the stomach, duodenum or even hind gut/large intestine. It is caused by excessive acid secretion by the stomach when there is either no food in the stomach to absorb the acid, or a stimulated excess secretion of acid due to stressful conditions that the horse is under.
Excess acidity and diet problems can provoke a colic attack. Race track veterinarians both use and recommend Nutrient Buffer® as a first approach in colic cases, often eliminating the need for costly surgery. It is the "original" natural digestive aid buffering supplement that helps soothe the gut, and aid in relaxation so the impaction can pass.
The original U.S. patented liquid digestive supplement. 100% USP grade ingredients, drug-free, with over 20 years of success and reliability.