Ulcers...

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Norah

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Hi,

Its been 2 years now in treating my mare s Ulcer and stall walking at feeding times ...She was starved , and the result of the starvation was Ulcers, and pacing at meal time , up to 3 hours a day. The pacing flattened her hind hooves, and put added stress on her fetlocks and hocks
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I am wondering if anyone else has managed to treat Ulcers that were so far gone that the horse delvloped vices ...Or I should say the starvation was so bad it caused Ulcers and Vices.

Its been 1 month and we have had no sign of stall lwalking , or pacing, and the hooves are looking a lot better, also we can touch her hooves ,and back legs without her shaking.

I have been feeding this horse endless amounts of hay, slowly i think she is realizing that she doen not need to look for food. Her confidence is up , and she is now protecting her feed pile , and defending herself. I have read a lot , and it seems that the assorted meds are just a cover up to help ease or nuetralize the pain, so I have only given her the bicarbonate to nuetralize , and the endless amounts feed to help her mentally understand there is no longer a need to worry about food. Has anyone else been successful with helping horses overcome vices like weaving , cribbing , or stall walking due to starvation, or confinment?

I hear Peach in the morning shuffeling about from 6 am ... but thankfull that rythemic pace back and forth is no longer there , she just stands at the wall she use to pace , and waits paciently ... so far so good !

I am wondering if treating ulcers longterm has more to do with finding the physocological problem , and healing that "fear" so the acid does not form in such high amounts ... anyone have any thoughts on this ,?
 

targetsmom

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No experience here with starvation or the vies you mention, but have dealt with ulcers. I highly recommend a slow feeder such as the Busy Snacker or a Nibble Net that allows only small bites of hay and can be kept full of hay even overnight (the larger ones). They mimic grazing, which would be another alternative if pasture is available, but I am guessing it isn't. Another thought would be some alfalfa hay - or soaked cubes - because the calcium in alfalfa is a natural stomach soother (like Tums for people). And kudos to you for the progress you have made with her so far!!!
 

Norah

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thanks , I have read about those pillows , and think they are great !!! I use hay nets , and have pasture
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alfalfa is not grown in Switzerland . I have been told that they keep farmers from growing it so the stable mixes are sold in stores and not subsituted by natural hay. I use a chopped hay block for the added protien and suppliments in powder form
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thanks for your ideas ! I will look into buying those pillows

kristen
 

amysue

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Ulcers are no fun. Some horses are genetically more susceptible to developing them than others, but diet and living situation do play a role. Letting this horse nibble all day will help ease the pain from acid. Plus it will help her cope with her anxiety over food. It takes an average of two years to modify a horse's behavior after a traumatic event, especially a repetitive one like starvation and neglect. The slow feed pillows are a great investment. If you have the option to give her a run out situation so that she feels less confined, it may help her get over her pacing behavior easier if she has room to roam and graze. If you can get her toys that dispense treats and lickit toys too that may help her break the habit with positive reinforcements and occupy her as a distraction for when she becomes agitated. I have a colt that gets ulcers frequently and I maintain them with ulcerguard. It works wonders! I also give him pro biotics in his feed every day and that has helped him recover immensely as their is some theory to bacterial infections causing ulcers to become chronic. ProCMC or Neighlox are also useful supplements for horses prone to ulcers as they neutralize acid. The ulcerguard and gastrogurard are omneprazole proton pump inhibitors that reduce the production of acid in the stomach. You could try a homeopathic stress relieving remedy to see if you can teach your mare to relax. Starvation and neglect will traumatize a horse and her coping mechanism has become pacing and getting anxious at feeding time, as she fears she won't be able to eat again. Try several smaller meals, like splitting her grain ration up into 4 feedings a day if you can, and lots of hay breaks; maybe one at breakfast, a brunch or lunch, afternoon snack and more at bed-just a smaller ration at several intervals in the day. If you board her, then for a nominal fee the barn manager should do this. If she is at home, and you go to work all day, can an neighbor or family member help with this task for some small compensation? I have taken on several rescue endeavors over the years and found this method of behavior modification to be useful in reassuring severely traumatized horses that they will never go hungry again. Horses are creatures of habit and like a routine, they also learn quickly and you can use that to your advantage. It just takes time for them to learn to trust that you will care for them and to get over the anxiety. Eating is a basic survival necessity and fearing it's absence is enough to cause ulcers. If you treat her with a multi prong approach you should find success. Good luck.
 

Norah

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Thank you Amysue ! you completely understand , and yes everything you say is 100% accurate in this situation. i took the dang doors off the stables , so the horses can come and go as they please 24x7
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this helped , but the beginning was terrible. I feel like 2 years later she is finally accepting the idea that I am not going to starve her. This means so much hay stuffed in bags that they all have hay in the morning left over from the night before ... it means feeding her so much that she cant possible eat whats on her plate , or in her bag!!! and then you still go through this period of her "waiting to be starved" i think starving a horse is one of the crulest punishments , it completely screwed her up mentally . poor thing , and the worst thing about it is that the people that did this had plenty of money to feed her. I will look for some of the medicines you mentioned above , maybe in Germany I can purchase some. It was such a relief to read your post . thanks !
 

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