Feeding an ulcer prone horse
Chilly was first at a different barn during February-April where, unfortunately, she was not turned out (first due to cold, then due to barn owner issues). This, along with a drastic and fast change in feed, PLUS a 4 day trailer ride up from Arizona all contributed to what became a huge ulcer nightmare. Not to mention she had an absess which was treated with bute- leading to more stomach acid production. Her stall at this barn was constantly wet, very dark, and the walls were boarded up so she was not even able to see the other horses (this happened after she moved into the stall).
After moving to a new, AMAZING barn (Big Dreams Farm owned by Sherry Novak) Chilly began to heal. She was given a full tube of ulcergard or gastrogard daily for 5 weeks, 3/4 tube for a week, 1/2 tube for 2 weeks, then 1/4 tube for a week. She was also on a twice a day dose of ranitidine to treat hind gut ulcers. Total for this treatment was $1,950 (medicine) plus 3 vet farm calls. Her diet was also drastically changed as well as her living situation.
Chilly has full daily turnout (all day unless severe rain) where she is constantly grazing.
After researching like CRAZY over the past 6 months due to the ulcer situation I think we have it pretty well figured out now. As you probably know the best situation is constant feedings, not just 2 or 3 a day (she always has hay or grass in front of her) and NO sugars (no sweet feeds/ molasses especially!) I also stay away from processed treats- she gets carrots and alfalfa cubes as treats which she loves. Also before every ride she gets about 1 quart of alfalfa pellets so that the acid in her stomach has something to soak in to.
AM Feed: 6 quarts alfalfa pellets 2 cups rice bran pellets 2oz Select 1 scoop manna pro opti zyme (probiotic) 1 scoop weight builder PM Feed: 6 quarts alfalfa pellets 2 cups rice bran pellets 2oz Select 1 scoop U-Gard (daily supplement against ulcers) 1 scoop weight builder 4 oz Cocosoya With the feedings we also put about 3 cups of water mixed in to soften the pellets up a bit. And with every show/ trailer ride she gets 1/4 tube ulcer gard daily. Everything but the alfalfa pellets I prepare about 2 weeks in advance in tupperware containers so that it's easy for the barn owner to just grab that and the alfalfa every morning/ night. That's also nice because I know Chilly is getting everything I want her to get. If you have email receipts or proof of purchase from your past ulcer gards/ gastro gards I would call Merial and explain the situation- they will give you the info needed for the $5 rebate PER tube! (I ended up buying a total of 56 tubes!! crazy! but was so worth it)(Also- valley vet online has a 12 pack of tubes for like $28 each, and there is a welcome offer of $20 off sometimes) Also if your horse seems cranky you might want to look into Regimen- it's apparently like a birth control for horses so that they don't go in heat. Chilly isn't on it but my vet brought that up as a possible solution if the ulcer gard didn't work