For those of you on pins and needles wondering how my Thoroughbred’s ulcers are after a month of Gastrogard treatment. The results are in! Before we continue, I am including images that might make some people a little squeamish, so be forewarned.
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Yesterday Knight and I returned to the hospital for a follow-up scope appointment. I was not there when he was originally scoped so I had no idea what to expect. He did not need to be sedated which blew my mind. I would want someone to sedate me if a long tube was inserted into my nose and down into my innards! He was a very good boy.
My Thoroughbred’s Ulcers: Before
This is hard to look at and makes me feel terrible–that I didn’t know he was stressed and not feeling well, probably for a while. This picture was taken I believe November 30th (give or take a day).
My Thoroughbred’s Ulcers: After
Here’s the good news in picture form. No more ulcers as of December 29! If you detect some slightly yellowish areas, those are the parts still healing. As of yesterday I had three more tubes of Gastrogard which we are finishing out.
And here is another view. In this picture I think his stomach looks like a brain. You can see the bits of hay which were a mystery since he had to have food withheld fifteen hours prior to the scoping and no water four hours prior. Maybe he found little fragments in the trailer or perhaps a Good Samaritan walking down the aisle way grabbed a handful of stray hay and threw it to him.
What did I learn from my Thoroughbred’s ulcer (and colic) experience? (If you’re not a total horse geek, you’re exempt from reading this section).
- Horses are stoic.
- My idea of a great, stress-free lifestyle is different from my horse’s. He is in love with his closet of a box stall. I would prefer the big, open pipe corral.
- Knight’s moderate cribbing has gone down to infrequent. There must be some connection.
- Gastrogard is not cheap (about $31 per tube), but it works.
- Ulcergard and Gastrogard are NOT the same thing. Gastrogard is for treatment and Ulcergard is for prevention.
- If you want to give your horse Ulcergard prior to a show, you need to give it three days in advance. If you give it while at the show (on a Friday), it won’t kick in until Monday.
- Having your horse able to eat hay 24/7 is pretty important.
- Use a slowfeed haynet. (I have a Kensington.)
- Stones in horses is a thing. Thankfully Knight doesn’t have them, but I did see a surgery video from my clinic. It was almost sci-fi. Click here to see the extraction of an enterolith (not for the squeamish).
- Less is more in terms of types of food. No more beet pulp and rice bran. No more supplements (this is all per doctor’s orders). Knight’s now getting hay and more hay.
A popular magazine headline this time of year is “New Year, New You.” I am thrilled that I can say we’re entering 2016 as “New Year, No Ulcers!”
Your Turn: What have you learned this year from firsthand experience about horse or human health? Let’s share stories (in the comments section below).
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