Lady has never been a snuggly
people-type horse, but during the winter of 2010/2011, she became extremely
irritable to the point of baring her teeth and kicking out. As winter
progressed, she became disinterested in food and water, to the point of
nibbling on hay here or there, and drinking NO water. We tried adding
electrolytes to her via paste (couldn’t topdress feed as she was not eating to
begin with), offering warm water, making her a “hay tea” of 2nd cut hay
steeped in warm water. Nothing worked. She dropped weight drastically, and
looked just awful. She has always been an easy keeper, and even though going
into winter she was 18 years old, she had never had a hard winter before then.
We treated her with a Panacur Powerpac, thinking that might help. It did
nothing. As soon as spring rolled around, she was turned out on grass pasture.
Within a few weeks, she put on weight and shed her winter woolies to reveal a
nice shiny coat. She was still irritable but not nearly as bad. Summer passed
with no drastic changes in behavior, she was still irritable, but we
contributed that to the fact that she was never too friendly to begin with.
As soon as winter 2011/2012 started,
she started losing weight again almost immediately. She again lost interest in
food and water, and became irritable to the point that you could see in her
eyes she was just miserable. I started working with my vet to diagnose her
issue. We took a fecal sample, which revealed both small and large strongyles.
After dosing her with a Panacur Powerpac, she did not improve at all. We
floated her teeth, also with no improvement whatsoever. She had stopped
drinking water and was again only nibbling at hay. I knew something was
seriously wrong, so I made an appointment to have her checked with a
gastroscope. I highly suspected ulcers – she had almost every textbook symptom,
and the lifestyle to go along with it…frequent trailering being the most
influential. I never used a preventative as she was always a very calm, cool,
and collected horse (yes, it is possible to find an Arabian like that!). Upon
examination with the gastroscope, we discovered several gastric ulcers, grade
4/4, throughout the grandular and squamous portions along the margo plicatus
and the pyloric antrum. No wonder she was so miserable!
Immediately Lady was started on 1
tube daily of UlcerGard paste, with an appointment in 27 days to return to the clinic
for another examination via gastroscope to make sure the ulcers were healed. We
also started her on a daily supplement of NeighLox. On her 28th day of
treatment, we returned to the clinic and examined her again. I was extremely
relieved to see that all of her ulcers were healed, and the irritated
red/yellow ulcerations were now pink healthy stomach lining.
Now Lady is back to eating like,
well…a horse! She will remain on NeighLox daily and my box of horse supplies
will never again go without tubes of UlcerGard! It will be used during any time
of stress or trailering, for her as well as my other horse. I highly recommend
UlcerGard and NeighLox as preventatives for Gastric Ulcers, as I know from
first-hand experience that it’s much cheaper to take steps to prevent gastric
ulcers than it is to treat them!
Above is a photo of Lady and below is a before/after image of her ulcers from the gastroscope imaging.
-Ashley from Washington, Vermont