I came across this information about ulcers (see below) online, bought the herbs, started the treatment on ELVIS and the results are amazing.........
In the last few years I have become acutely aware of how common and how damaging gastric ulcers can be. I feel like I can walk down the isle of a barn and with using only my sight and sense of smell, I can pick out the horses that are suffering from ulcers. Even if I just guessed which horses were affected by ulcers, I would probably be about 60% correct.
Veterinarians are increasingly recognizing the presence of ulcers in the stomach. It is estimated that more than 60% of the general horse population suffers from ulcers in varying degrees.
The symptoms of gastric ulcers can be quite vague and therefore go un-acknowledged and un-treated for long periods of time.
Common symptoms include:
Poor appetite – esp. an intermittent poor appetite, some days the horse finishes all their food and some days the horse doesn’t. Sometimes this problem is written off as a picky eater. Horses with ulcers know what hurts their stomachs. I have often seen horses with ulcers pick a finer stemmed hay over a stalky stemmed hay.
Rapid unexplained weight loss – self explanatory. Horse is eating fine, work load hasn’t changed, weather outside is stable, but your horse is dropping weight.
Poor performance – Some horses with ulcers will have sore backs and necks. The horse may be trying to avoid stomach discomfort by carrying themselves and their riders in an awkward way, thereby causing them muscle pain.
Attitude – A horse with ulcers may exhibit a change in attitude after being worked or after going to a show. They may become very anti social with people and other horses. Ears pinned, teeth bared, threatening to kick. With rest their attitude slowly goes back to what it normally is. I see this allot with performance horses!
Coat – may become dull, rough, dry, curl up slightly or even change color a bit.
Muscle tone – decreases even though the horse is getting regular exercise. Some times you will see the back, just behind the withers, become dropped. At the same time you will notice the stomach has dropped as well. I have seen this happen dramatically, in a short period of time.
Teeth grinding – common in foals, but mature horses in pain will sometimes do the same thing.
Breathe – a healthy horse’s breath generally smells sweet and allot like hay. A horse with ulcers will often have acrid smelling breath.
Poop – Horses with ulcers may have loose stools or even chronic diarrhea. I have noticed in horses with bad ulcers there poop often smells odd too.
Colic – Intermittent unexplained bouts of colic. The horse’s stomach just hurts.
Some of the herbs I have personally found to be very helpful in treating ulcers are:
Slippery Elm Bark Powder – Its high mucilage content helps to coat & soothe the digestive tract. It also helps to relieve inflammation & diarrhea.
Comfrey leaf – High mucilage content as well. Helps to soothe stomach lining and promote healing.
Licorice – helps reduce stomach acid and also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Meadowsweet – same as above.
I have found Aloe Juice/gel to be very helpful as well.
On the pharmaceutical side of things, I have had good results with gastro guard, sucralafate, and tagament. I prefer the more holistic approach when treating ulcers but sometimes in horses who have been suffering a long time, pharmaceuticals are the only way to get their pain under control.
Of course if you think your horse has ulcers you should consult your vet. I am NOT a vet, just a horse person who cares.
You can give them all at once but I prefer to introduce them separately. I always give the slippery elm bark powder first.
I mix about 3 to 4 tablespoons with water or pepto bismol and shot in straight into the mouth for the first few days. I do it twice a day. After 2 or 3 days of this I just add it to there feed. I keep them on the high dosage for at least a week (7 days) and if the are improving I reduce it to 3 to 4 tablespoons once a day.
At the 7 day mark I begin adding the other herbs, loose dry comfrey leaf - I add about 1/4 cup to wet feed.If the licorice is in powder form I add about 1/4 cup to wet feed. If its in cut root form I soak it for several hours and then add it to wet feed.
When the horse seems significantly improved I begin reducing the amounts, a little at a time. Typically I keep horses on the herbs for about 6 weeks, unless of course they are really sick then it longer or if the ulcers are really mild, then its shorter.
You will want to make sure their hay is soaked for at least the first week, it gives their gut a rest while it starts the healing process.