Ulcers are one of the most common ailments affecting horses, and strategies abound as to how best to treat and prevent them. An article from a recent issue of Equine Veterinary Education indicates that horses should be dosed with omeprazole according to individual characteristics such as weight and diet rather than a uniform dose for all horses.
Equine squamouos gastric ulcers occur in the upper part of the stomach when gastrointestinal tissue is compromised by stomach acid. Equine glandular gastric disease affects the lower part of the stomach, which normally is protected from lower pH levels. While the causes of each malady are different, the primary treatment is centered around limiting the amount of stomach acid coming in contact with the area, and omeprazole has been found to be the most effective treatment.
Most importantly, University of Queensland researcher Ben Sykes said that while free choice hay is a good way to reduce the risk of ulcers, it may interfere with the action of omeprazole enough to reduce or completely eliminate the effect of the drug. Instead, Sykes suggests horses be given omeprazole after an overnight fast, followed by hay, followed by grain.
Read more at HorseTalk NZ.
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