Chronic bute use can contribute to problems including stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
effective. Plain, unprotected powder—as from a compounding pharmacy— doesn’t work. In this situation, Marley’s owner is administering a medication that won’t work even if this presumed diagnosis is correct.
The alternatives: Gastric ulcers require an accurate diagnosis, which is easily done with a simple and relatively inexpensive diagnostic test called gastroscopy. It allows your veterinarian to look directly at your horse’s stomach lining. If ulcers are confirmed, treatment with a buffered form of omeprazole such as GastroGard is likely to be recommended. However, when it comes to ulcers, proper management is critical for long-term success. Even if your vet doesn’t see evidence of ulcers in your horse’s stomach, many of the following management strategies will help reduce risk of colic from other causes.
To prevent ulcers and keep Marley’s belly comfortable, his owner should provide plenty of turnout time, ideally in the company of other horses. Feeding from a slow feeder or at frequent intervals of six hours or less is also beneficial, along with a minimal amount of grain, fed after hay. Studies have also shown that feeding a small amount of alfalfa hay can also help reduce ulcer risk.
Scenario #5: Oh, My Aching Back
The subject: Toby is a 15-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse gelding used for trail riding. His owner rarely rides during the week, but loves to go on trail rides on the weekends and usually schedules several overnight camping trips each summer. Toby’s back gets sore after almost every ride.