Based on the information you inputted, your horse’s risk of developing an ulcer is:
Your horse has a medium risk of developing Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) based on current management practices. You may want to consider some changes to your horse’s environment or nutrition program to help prevent the development of ulcers in the future.
Your horse should be re-evaluated regularly to assess ulcer risk, especially if his/her diet, environment, stress level, training load or competition schedule changes. The following are common warning signs of ulcers in horses:
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- Decreased comfort level
- Irritable mood
- Decreased performance
- Changes in body condition
- Poor coat quality
Risk Factors for Ulcers
Gastric ulcers are found in approximately 90% of racehorses and 60% of leisure horses. If your horse has an intensive training regime or is engaged in heavy work, it is likely at high risk for ulcers.
Other contributing factors to the development of ulcers include stall confinement, high grain intake or low forage intake, and not enough time spent grazing on pasture. Low quality forage, limited water intake, and feeding more than 1 to 2 kg of concentrate per feeding can also increase the risk of ulcers forming.
Stress is a major contributor to the development of EGUS. Changes in your horse’s environment such as travel for competition, alterations in herd dynamics, and injury requiring stall rest can cause ulcers. Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as phenylbutazone can also impair the protective mucous layer in your horse’s stomach and increase ulcer risk.
If you suspect your horse is affected by ulcers, consider Visceral+ a clinically tested natural supplement that provides nutritional support for horses with gastric ulceration.
Visceral+ is completely safe and can be fed on a preventative basis to maintain gut health in horses that are at risk of ulcers.
Visceral+ was developed in conjunction with veterinarians tired of treating ulcers with GastroGard (omeprazole) or UlcerGard only to have horses relapse post-treatment. Visceral+ provides complete coverage from stomach to colon.
Visceral+ is formulated with the highest quality probiotic ingredients, earth-grown nutrients, minerals and amino acids that your horse needs to naturally support the body’s own healing mechanisms and restore the integrity of the stomach and small intestines lining.
Top 5 Tips to Reduce Ulcer Risk
Help protect your horse’s digestive system. Follow these 5 tips to lower the risk of developing ulcers and support gastrointestinal health:
- Increase Meal Frequency: Horses that go a long time between meals have more acidic digestive tracts. Provide smaller meals with less time between feedings.
- Feed Less Grain and More Forage: Changes in dietary composition can significantly affect ulcer risk. Horses fed more hay and less grains or commercial feeds tend to develop fewer ulcers.
- Supplement your Horse’s Diet: Consider probiotics like those found in Visceral+ to nourish your horse’s microbiome and improve immunity. Addressing nutrient deficiencies can also enhance mucin production, building a natural defensive layer within the gut.
- Reduce Stall Confinement Time: Horses that spend too much time in confinement and not enough time grazing on pasture are more likely to have ulcers. Turnout with other horses is also correlated with decreased probability of EGUS.
- Prevent Excess Stress and Workload: Intense exercise and heavy work is strongly linked to ulcer risk. Trailering, changes in the environment, and other sources of stress can also increase risk. Manage your horse’s workload and try to minimize exposure to stress.
Natural Ways to Support Gut Health
The gut plays an underappreciated role in the overall performance and well-being of your horse. It affects:
- Nutrient absorption
- Vitamin synthesis
- Immune health
- Skin and coat quality
- Weight management
- Stress response
- And more…
The digestive tract of a healthy horse is inhabited by trillions of beneficial bacteria. These microorganisms assist with a number of vital functions in the horse’s body, particularly digestive function and immune defences.
What you feed your horse has a significant impact on the equine microbiome. To help your horse maintain a healthy gut, consider adding a probiotic supplement or gut health formula to your horse’s diet.
Mad Barn’s Optimum Probiotic is a highly concentrated pure supplement that contains 5 probiotic strains scientifically formulated to maintain a healthy gut for maximal nutrient absorption, feed efficiency, and weight gain.
For comprehensive GI tract coverage, consider our Optimum Digestive Health Pellets which are designed to optimize hindgut health and enhance immunity with natural probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes and nucleotides.
Disclaimer: This tool is provided for informational purposes only. Not all horses with gastric ulcers show outward signs of discomfort and some horses may develop ulcers even if they are not exposed to typical risk factors. To determine whether your horse has ulcers, consult with a veterinarian.