Be Proactive in Preventing Gastric Ulcers in Horses

Gastric Ulcers in Horses

Gastric Ulcers in Horses

When Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” people hadn’t even discovered gastric ulcers in horses. However, many horse owners now hear the term gastric ulcers more than we want to. 

Gastric ulcers are caused by the erosion of the stomach lining due to prolonged exposure to the normal acid in the stomach. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) occurs in all types of horses. The incidence is especially high in competition and performance horses. 

Unlike ulcers in humans, bacteria do not appear to cause equine gastric ulcers. Horses are designed to graze, with regular forage and roughage intake. Therefore, the stomach continually secretes acid, so gastric ulcers can result when the horse is not eating regularly due to less feed to neutralize the acid.    

The Vitalize® Team tends to agree with Mr. Franklin that prevention is better than treatment. That’s why we created a blog with some tips to prevent gastric ulcers in horses. 

Who is Vitalize? 

You might wonder just who is providing this great advice to you. 

Vitalize is a line of supplements for horses, dogs and cats with proven solutions to keep your animal healthy and performing. We are a renowned brand of supplements designed to enhance equine health, provide a good gut feeling, and support bone, joint, and soft tissue health. Vitalize products support equine enthusiasts from the ranch horse owner on the Western plains to the Olympic jumper to those in between. 

The Vitalize brand is developed by BioZyme® Inc., a global fermentation company pioneering advancements in animal nutrition and health. Through innovative research and high-quality manufacturing, BioZyme creates powerful solutions that improve animal performance.  

Our mission: undeniable positive impact on the health and wellness of your animals. 

Tips to Prevent Gastric Ulcers in Horses   

Enough about us. Let’s explore the ways you can prevent gastric ulcers in horses. 

Feed Adequate Forage   

Horses are natural grazers, and many equine enthusiasts are returning to forage-based diets for horses. To help prevent ulcers, be sure they have plenty of high-quality hay throughout the day. You can’t judge a book by its cover, so be sure to have your hay tested to make sure it isn’t lacking any nutrients.  

Provide Ample Turnout    

Turning out your horses throughout the day offers two benefits. If they have a grassy paddock, it allows them to graze, helping line their stomachs and use their digestive systems. It also allows them to exercise, which in turn helps their digestive tract and will help prevent ulcers.  

Incorporate more Frequent Meals   

Since horses are natural grazers, they typically graze up to 18 hours in a day. Constant grazing means their stomachs are never empty. If you only feed your horse twice a day, that gives several hours throughout the day when the stomach is empty, making the horse more susceptible to ulcers. 

Smaller intermittent meals throughout the day (or at least free-choice hay) allows the stomach to remain fuller. The stomach contents help neutralize the acid inside of it, helping prevent ulcers.  

Provide Clean, Fresh Water    

Water is the most important nutrient for every animal. It helps dilute gastric fluids, reducing the stomach’s acidity. It also supports gut motility, which refers to moving food through the gastrointestinal tract.  

Your horse should have constant access to clean, fresh water to help prevent ulcers. Be sure to stop when traveling to water your horse on long trips.  

Decrease Stress, as Much as Possible  

Just like stress can cause ulcers in humans, stress can lead to ulcers in horses. Try to reduce the stress you put on your horse as much as possible by keeping a consistent routine, feeding a consistent ration, and limiting excessive exercise and travel when possible.  

Feed a Preventative Supplement to Help Protect the Stomach   

Maintaining a good gut health program with products like Vitalize is also paramount. In fact, while all Vitalize products benefit overall gut health, Vitalize® Alimend® is specifically formulated to support gastric health and GI tissue, which may relieve occasional gastric issues commonly associated with training, traveling, and performance.   

Natural Care for Existing Gastric Discomfort   

Sometimes, we cannot get gastric ulcers in horses before they start. If your horse is showing signs of gastric discomfort, we suggest starting it on the stress dose of Vitalize Alimend (2 pumps each morning and 2 pumps each evening). Alimend is a natural product that supports the gastric health of the horse.  

It contains MHB3® Hyaluronan, beta-glucans from a Lion’s Mane mushroom extract to support the gut and immune system, and AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility. MHB3 Hyaluronan is a multi-patented high molecular weight HA that helps hydrate tissue. In clinical trials, it has been shown to reduce gastric discomfort in over 90% of horses.  

It contains MHB3® Hyaluronan, Beta-glucans to support the gut and immune system, and AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility (Slovis, 2017). MHB3’s unique properties confer a greater response than any other hyaluronan available on the market.  

Why Alimend?     

Alimend is unique from other gastric health products because it does not change the pH of the stomach, nor does it prevent acid secretion as many other products do. Because of this, digestion is not negatively impacted, which decreases the chance of negative side effects.   

Instead of suppressing acid, Alimend’s formula has a mucoadhesive effect.  It lines the stomach and structurally supports the integrity of the GI tissue. This helps maintain a literal “good gut feeling.”   

Additionally, Alimend utilizes a high molecular weight and highly concentrated hyaluronan for maximum results, as well as a research-proven prebiotic for added gut health, absorption , and support of the immune system. It is palatable, easy to feed, and contains only natural ingredients.   

Give your Horses a Good Gut Feeling Today  

Are you looking for a way to help prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Do you want to give your horses the good gut feeling they deserve? It’s time to add Vitalize Alimend to your feed room. You can purchase it online on our website or through one of BioZyme’s online retailers.  

If you want to shop locally, you can search for your local BioZyme dealer on our website.  

We offer a plethora of other products and educational information through a monthly email. Sign up now to receive that information.  

You can also view all the other Vitalize equine and canine products on our website