Chronic bute use can con­trib­ute to prob­lems in­clud­ing stom­ach ul­cers and kid­ney fail­ure.

Horse & Rider - - Practice Pen -

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.

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