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Does this behavior sound like ulcers?

I’ve recently been at the boarding farm for some of my gelding’s recent meals and I was struck by how angry he seemed while eating his grain. He is knocking the bucket around violently, nearly spilling the grain, and only eating about half before returning to his hay. Eventually he does finish the grain. Previously he would eat calmly and eat every last drop.

I can’t say I’ve noticed other classic ulcer symptoms in him.

I did move him to a new farm a few months ago so the stress from the move could contribute to ulcers. On the other hand, the farm is gradually switching his grain because the previous type was discontinued. Maybe he just hates the new kind?

Also, if it does sound like ulcers, I would like to know if I can try a treatment of gastrogard without getting him scoped? Funds are low at the moment due to other vet bills I have had recently and I really do not want to spend the money right now to scope.

Thank you in advance!

My vet sold me a month of Gastrogard with no scope. About $1100 Canadian. After the month,if you scope the horse and he still has ulcers I understand Gastrogard will give you another month free.

It changed my mares behavior.

Intermittent eating is a symptom of ulcers. Mine did this (he was scoped so we know for sure he had ulcers) and was treated with GG. Unfortunately, he’s developed the habit now of eating most of his dinner and then leaving it, so I can’t use this as a sign of discomfort any more. He does end up finishing it later on (he’s also waiting for me to bring “the good stuff” as I give him a third meal in the evening, which I mix into any leftovers).

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Please do look at my thread about my horse and our journey with ulcers and treating. I absolutely do not recommend using gastroguard or ulcerguard without scoping. In addition, I believe it is imperative that your vet pull a sample of gut fluid to check for bacteria and pH. Not making this up, and I’m not a wingnut. This is recommended protocol from the internist who saved my horse after nearly a year of actively trying to die because of gut changes, likely due to GG.

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If he’s not having any other ulcer symptoms and is otherwise healthy, I don’t think it would hurt to hit him with a full tube of Ulcergard for a few days in a row to see if it makes any difference in this behavior.

When my gelding was showing symptoms of ulcers (off-the-charts spookiness, aversion to being brushed, strong aversion to the brush being anywhere near his flank, slightly less easy-keeping than normal), I bought a few tubes of Ulcergard from TSC and I swear after the first day (full tube) I saw an immediate difference. His reactivity just kept decreasing with each passing day and tube of UG. I wound up doing an entire month (which was expensive, but it worked). He’s been great since. I’d say he’d been dealing with ulcers for a few years (since his friend died and I sold my farm and moved him to a boarding barn). I think I kind of managed them for the two years he was at that barn (he never settled and was always somewhat anxious there), then made a little headway with them over the year that I was at the next barn (which he found more agreeable). The move to our current barn pushed him over the edge though, and is what finally got me to try the Ulcergard. Now he’s happy as a clam and loves where he lives. He’s always going to be one to look at stuff, but he was borderline dangerous and inconsolable over things that just weren’t that big of a deal prior to the Ulcergard. Now it’s more of “Eh, that looks like it might be dangerous…” with some snorting and keeping a wary eye on whatever has caught his attention. Much more reasonable.

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