You might be wondering, at what age are ulcers common in a horse?
Gastric ulcers can affect a horse at all age of life. Even a foal that is just two days old may be affected by ulcers.
Luckily there are things you can do to help protect your horse from getting ulcers. Here at Silver Lining Herbs, we are big believers that the best way to help out a horse is the natural way, through the herbs that the earth provides us. One of these such herbs, is slippery elm.
Gastric Ulcers in HorsesDid you know that a majority of horses suffer from gastric ulcers? According to The Horse “gastric ulcers occur more frequently in horses that perform athletic activities, with the highest frequency found in Thoroughbred racehorses (80-90%), followed by endurance horses (70%), and show horses (60%).”
So why, you may ask are gastric ulcers so common in horses? That a good question. Let’s dive into it!
There are two things that a horse in the wild does. The first thing is that wild horses eat a variety of vegetation, which is important to a horse’s diet. The second thing is that they are constantly grazing. It is widely speculated that these two factors, greatly cut down or even eliminates, gastric ulcers in horses.
The Horses StomachThe reasoning behind this thinking is this. A horse stomach is broken up into two compartments: the upper and lower stomach. The upper stomach is small and is not meant to hold large quantities of food.
The lower stomach is were the acid for digestion is kept. This stomach produces acid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of how often a horse eats.
When a horse’s food mixes in the stomach, it helps protects the lining of the stomach by neutralizes the acid, hence why a horse is built to graze. A consent supply of food is able to be provided to the stomach to help protect the stomach from the acid.
With bulk feeding, a horses does not have the opportunity to graze. Their stomach is not provided with the food needed to neutralize the stomach acid. However, a well varieties diet for horses can greatly help in stopping gastric ulcers. Even for the horses that are bulk feed.
Slippery Elm for Gastric Ulcers in HorsesSlippery elm is an herb that may help protect the stomach of a horses.
How? Well believe it or not, although the bottom stomach in a horse produces the stomach acid needed for digesting, it is not the stomach that is effected by gastric ulcers. More often than not, gastric ulcers affects the upper stomach. This is because the bottom stomach lining is coated by a mucus.
This mucus protects the lining of the stomach from the acid. The upper stomach does not have the mucus needed to protect itself. Thus, the acid eats away at the lining of the upper stomach until ulcers are formed.
Slippery elm, when digested produces a substance called mucilage. Mucilage may provide a protective lining to the stomach of the horse. This added protection my help prevent gastric ulcers in horses.
Even if a horses is suffering from a ulcer, slippery elm may place a protected layer over the ulcer. This layer will aid in protecting the ulcer until it heals.
If you would like to know more about slippery elm you can got to drugs.com where they talk about the benefits slippery elm may have.
Slippery Elm and Ulcers, Wrapping It UpRemember, if your horse is suffering from digestive issues, like ulcers, something is off with their digestive tract. A few simple changes may help put the digestive tract back on track.
Feeding your horses less but more frequently is such a change.This will give the horse an opportunity to graze throughout the day. Thus keeping the stomach acid in check.