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Young Horses at Risk of Gastric Ulcers
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Young Horses at Risk of Gastric Ulcers

Ulcers are a common disease when it comes to young horses. The disease is mainly found in those which are only limited to arcades and stands, the percentage of such horses to get ulcers is about 50%. As per the previous statistics, it has been examined that more ulcers may be developed in race horses rather than those that are only show horses.

A perfect example of this comes from a young horse, “Filly” whom caught a bad fever during training. The blood tests showed that she had an impurity which was caused by some germ.

Changes after Initial Fever

Sudden changes were observed in Filly after the fever, as she stopped eating. At that moment, I realized that it was time for complete rest and recovery, for which I carried her home. My doctor’s examination were showing that she has developed a gastric ulcer due to blend of anti-inflammatory drugs for fever and poor appetite.

I heard about Gastrogard (omeprazole) which is very effective in the treatment of equine stomach ulcers. After a single course, Filly started to be back on her diet and got healthy. The issue of great concern is that I am worried to send Filly back to the shed due to the fear that she might again develop gastric ulcers. If there are any chances of her being the victim again, I would like to know the precautionary measures which can be taken to prevent gastric ulcers in young Filly.

Right Diagnosis at Right Time

When it comes to diseases like gastric ulcers, the right diagnosis at the right time is important as gastric ulcer can be fatal for your horse. The fever and loss of hunger were caused by a germ which she could have caught in the barn. The most common of these germs are flu, EHV-1 or equine rhinitis virus. These diseases cause loss of taste, severe coughing, adenoidal release, and more. These symptoms are not easily identified in most of the cases.

Symptoms of Gastric Ulcers

Some of the signs of gastric ulcers in young horses are:

  • Recurrent cramps after eating or medical treatment
  • Poor diet
  • Crushing of teeth
  • Extreme salvation
  • Diarrhea
  • Horse lying on its back most of the time

Flu, high fever, lack of food, painful injury, or cramps caused by nursing when combined with any of the germ or infection which is found in the sheds or barns can cause gastric ulcers in young horses. In the case of Filly, the ulcers were caused by the infection, no appetite and use of NSAID medication for the fever.

Future Medication

As per your concern of ulcers coming back again, start giving Ulcergard for your horse as it will prevent the ulcer from reoccurring. In order to avoid common viruses like flu, EHV-1 or equine rhinitis virus which mostly take place at barn and stables, get your horse properly vaccinated against these viruses from time to time so that diseases like gastric ulcers can be stopped in young horses.

Disclaimer: Of Horse! and sponsors do not endorse nor validate the accuracy of a blog post. Each article is the opinion of the blogger.

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