Stomach Ulcers and Oats

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by mini magic, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. mini magic

    mini magic Active Member

    Does anyone know why they are one of the biggest causes of ulcars? Never heard of this one before?? The only reason I could think is maybe something to do with the texture of whole oats fed dry???
  2. Jumping Bean

    Jumping Bean Well-known Member

    Any grain or grain by-product, not just oats, can irritate gastric ulcers. Gastric ulcers, when speaking from a grain perspective, are generally commonly found in horses who are fed a high grain, low roughage diet. Inadequate roughage is the most common cause of ulcers, and also certain preperations such as oral phenylbutazone.

    Certainly a horse who suffers gastric ulcers should not be fed oats or grains period until the ulcers heal, they may need to be treated by a vet for these and products like Gastrocoat and Neigh-Lox can be effective also.
  3. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Excessive grain feeding creates changes in the pH of the GI tract due to starch digestion. This acidity will eat the gut lining out very quickly!

    Cereal grains contain high levels of raw starch which, if over fed with little roughage, will produce lactic acid as a by-product of carbohydrate digestion.

    Excess starch in the small intestine overflows into the hid gut creating hind gut acidosis, loose runny poohs, laminitis, etc.

    A horse with a history of ulcers should not be fed any raw cereal grains. Stick will high oil, high fibre, micronised or extruded feeds only. And feed ad lib hay 24/7!!!!:D :))
  4. ChillOut

    ChillOut Well-known Member

    Hi Caroline,

    as to gastric ulcers: I have been told (not by a vet) that my horse has a wet bottom lip (it was called dribbling) and therefore there might be the possibility of him having gastric ulcers.

    He is not exibiting any of the other symptoms. He stands at his feed bin and eats it all up (he only get's chaff, oil, carrots and a cup flaked barley and of course hay). He is a 'good doer' etc. Everything else looks good too. I have had him for nearly 3 years and he has never been fed any more grains than that.

    Is a 'wet bottom lip' enough to warrant a diagnosis?

    Sorry to hijack the thread :D
  5. mini magic

    mini magic Active Member

    Wow thanks guys!! that sums it up big time :)*
  6. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    What a load of crock!!! Dribbling would be a more a sign of teeth issues, not ulcers!

    I have a sooky la la boy here that dribbles all over you with his droopy bottom lip. That is just his character/nature/personality!!! Nothing else.
  7. ChillOut

    ChillOut Well-known Member

    The explanation was, that they produce more saliva since the saliva buffers the stomach acid that hurts the ulcers.

    Thanks Caroline. He sure is a big sook :D
  8. QH convert

    QH convert Guest

    Starch is not digested in the stomach and starch alone will not cause stomach ulcers. Lactic acid is not produced in the stomach. Stomach juices contain hyrochloric acid and this is naturally produced by cells that line the stomach in normal horses. Hydrochloric acid is important for helping to break down proteins in the food, activates enzymes that help digest protein and kills potentially harmful bacteria.

    An ulcer is when there is damge to the lining of the stomach. The acid enviroment inside the stomach makes it difficult for the cells lining to stomach to heal up the damage.

    "Ulcer medications" work by reducing the amount of hydrochloric acid that is produced.

    Hindgut lactic acidosis is a different problem to stomach ulcers. Lactic acid is made in the gut by bacteria fermenting the food. This happens in the large intestine. The "hindgut" is the caecum and large intestine.

    Many scientists believe that one of the reasons that "high roughage diets" are good for managing stomach ulcers in horses is that the horse produces a lot of saliva when chewing the roughage. It's not so much the fibre that is important as the chewing and saliva. Saliva contains bicarbonate and this helps to "neutralise" acids in the stomach. basically the horse swallows the saliva with the food and the saliva helps "balance out" some of the acid in the stomach (in much the same way that "antacids" work). Constant access to roughage means that the horse is producing saliva over a longer period of time and helping "manage" acid levels in the stomach. By "balancing out" the acid levels and not letting the acid levels get too high, this helps prevent ulcers or let ulcers heal.

    You should have a chat to your vet about it as they are the only person who knows the whole story about your horse. They may recommend a particular diet for a variety of reasons (ie your horse may have more than one problem that needs treating). Diets recommended for some horses might not be appropriate for others with a seemingly similar problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2008

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