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New OTTB- Ulcer suspicion - Cavalor gastro 8

Just got my first horse! He’s an OTTB, just came off the track 4 months ago and was passed around between a few places since. Hes been with me for about a month and it’s been cold so we haven’t done too much. He’s a healthy weight and sweet for the most part. Under saddle he’s a kick ride and sound. Issue is grooming and ground manners. He’s does NOT like to be groomed. Is not too fond of being touched in general. He’s very mouthy. Will not stand still and dances around pretty much the whole time I’m trying to groom him. Nipping at me and the crossties constantly. He lifts back leg like he might kick but puts it down when I tell him to firmly. He isn’t angry but seems uncomfortable and nervous.
He could just be settling in?? Im absolutely sure he needs lessons in ground manners. I’m just afraid he may have angry ulcers and don’t want to be too firm with “training” if he’s in pain and very uncomfortable.

A friend suggested Cavalor Gastro 8…

Any suggestions or opinions would be very much appreciated. Especially would love to hear if anyone has used this product as well.

I would go ahead and treat with Ulcerguard.

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One of my mares I had to treat for ulcers my vet sold me a newer product called Relyne GI. Its a gel that you do 2 squirts into the feed ration 2x a day for 30 days. Her ulcers were pretty severe, and it totally got rid of the ulcers. I noticed a change within 5 days. Its only $198 for the 30 days treatment. Just wanted to throw it out there as something you might want to ask your vet about. Good luck!

Some horses just don’t like the grooming and fuss, but some act this way due to pain. Perhaps take a look at the Nexium for Equine Ulcers Thread?

Of course you can scope and consult a veterinarian, but if you are looking to just go ahead and treat to see what happens, Nexium is more economical than Ulcer/Gastro guard. If you have no results, you are just out a few dollars and a few days it seems.

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I would find a way to groom him in a way he enjoys. OTTBs tend to come with a great deal of tension in their bodies. They do not always get handled very well and I think the often expect the worst. I use the softest brushes I can find and begin by not worrying about getting them clean but making them relax. I use long strokes with soft brushes. I get a nice rhythm going and many of them really relax into this. Find areas that are acceptable and work outward from there. Sometimes a fleece or sheepskin mitt does the trick. It is about being creative.

After all, isn’t better that he be relaxed before you get on him? I always think so!

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Read this thread about OTC Nexium and the generic - Super easy, inexpensive and it works: https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/forum/discussion-forums/horse-care/9650940-esomeprazole-nexium-for-equine-ulcers. Now in the process of tapering my mare. Otherwise good suggestions on grooming.

I find with my OTTB having the chain over the nose improves the behavior. I just drape the lead over his neck while he is in cross ties. He is very mouthy and oral, not just when being groomed. Having the chain there seems to discourage the behavior so I have to correct him less.

I have had a number of sensitive skinned horses over the years and find that they tolerate natural bristle brushes better. Use a softer curry to get the mud off. Oddly enough if you use a tail brush on the body that can get the worst of the clumped mud so you don’t need to use a curry. They seem to tolerate the tail brush better than the curry.

I use a Posture Prep grooming tool on Carson. He hates in some places and loves it in others. However I am using it as a massage tool to loosen his muscles and his skin. I don’t always like my deep tissue massage but like the results. He has been sounder since I started to Posture Prep him regularly. I am lucky that I have also had him treated twice by the inventor plus a professional massage. He has gotten better over time.

I do agree that many of them are very body sore from being on the track. I would assume that they are like me when I am body sore. I don’t like the massage and being touched when I am sore but it is a necessary evil. I am much happier with the results than I am with the process.

I have used the Abler coated Omeprazole granules with a lot of sucess on ulcery horses. While I waited for the Abler “pop rocks” to come I used rantanidine. I got the generic from Walmart or CostCo.

At least 75% of OTTB’s have chronic ulcers…but they are hindgut (colonic) ulcers not in the foregut (gastric). Scoping does not work in detecting hindgut ulcers and drugs like UlcerGuard dissipate in the foregut and never get to the hindgut. Plus all those drugs do is reduce acid production and acid is essential in starting the digestion process. When a horse is sensitive as you are describing, they almost always have hindgut ulcers. I treated my mare and gelding (both OTTB’s) with a new product called GutHealth (made by Basic Equine Health). It has aloe vera which immediately soothes the ulcers but also a crystallized sodium bicarbonate which gets to the hindgut area. The treatment takes about 3 months but you will see quick results if it is ulcers…but the long term treatment ensures the ulcers heal completely. Once I did the initial treatment, they are now on the maintenance powder which is just 1 TB a day in their grain. You could get 7 tubes of the GH Ez-Extra Gel Tubes (which are part of the initial dosing program) and see how he is after one week. If he’s better, you know it’s ulcers. Then you can continue with the treatment plan.

You should also understand that they don’t use crossties on the track. The horses are straight tied to the back of their stalls. Most understand this… and are very happy to stand there forever like that. I would try a straight tie… up high… especially if your cross ties are in a aisle way rather than a dedicated cross tie area.

Manners are manners. Pain or not. Lifting a leg is never ok. Regardless. However, some of the corrections required… also require someone who has a few years of experience taking these horses off the track and making them better citizens for the average rider. Not a task for a first time horse owner, without some pro help.

My barn mate bought her first horse about 7 months ago, an OTTB mare. The mare was just as you described, didn’t like to be pet or touched on her body, didn’t like to be blanketed, was affectionate but seemed “off”. My friend worked as a vet technician for both private practice and our local vet school (where she also taught, not a newbie to horses). She worked closely with her vet, scoped the horse (bloody and scarred foregut ulcers, probably hindgut also) changing the diet and turnout situation (out 24/7 on almost an acre with a slow hay net, next to my horse and they got along very well), courses of ranitidine and omeprazole (not compounded), etc,. They started to believe that the ulcers were secondary to another primary problem. Long story short, not a happy ending here.

My suggestion is to have your vet look for other primary conditions that can cause ongoing ulcers as a secondary condition. Last month, my other friend put down her chronically ulcer ridden horse because the primary problem turned out to be severe kissing spines. All said, that friend put about $15-20K in vet costs into the horse in 1 year;euthanasia was not due to financial limitations and was a difficult decision.

I hate to bring bad news but sometimes, it’s really worth digging if the ulcers and behavior don’t clear up with omeprazole. BTW, my vet would disown me if I purchased blue pop rocks. She is happy to write a prescription that I can fill online, but she’s strongly against compounding companies because they aren’t regulated. Just passing that tidbit along.

Good luck with your horse! I hope it is easily and well resolved!

My vet would happily write a script for Ulcerguard/Gastroguard too. However for the same amount of money I can afford 45 days at treatment dose level and 4-5 months of maintenance dose. It is easier to administer than an oral paste. Likely my vet wouldn’t be thrilled I bought pop rocks. I haven’t mentioned it and he hasn’t asked. Truthfully I bet he would rather I pay them to scope before any treatment. On a non-insured horse that doesn’t really have enough ulcer symptoms to justify it the price isn’t worth it. However the OTTB has had some long term lameness issue so until we got them resolved treating him for ulcers and then a maintenance dose seemed wise.

Paying for the name brand or paying for scoping and then name brand would further limit the additional diagnostics and treatment I have done. Mind you I have spent around $4,000 on lameness exams, lab testing for Lyme and EPM, xrays, blocking, Osphos, massage, chiro, Actistatin, MagRestore, special shoeing, etc… and still have no idea why he was lame or even where. He was originally body sore everywhere and had shifting lameness. He is now back in work and as long as he is ridden regularly is sound or will start out stiff and work out after about 5 minutes. Mind you he was a $1,500 horse. I had a limited PPE done and he was sound the first 5 months I had him. Sometimes we need to make choices based on money not the ideal. Using the pop rocks helps me afford to pay for other testing and treatment.

Just wanted to thank everyone who replied. Good advice! I ended up finding his trainer from the track and spoke to her and it seems this is just his personality. Everyday I work with him he gets better and calmer while grooming and I think all the turnout is helping too,

thanks again!

This is not a completely accurate statement. It is true that compounded medicines are not “approved” by the FDA. The FDA inspects and certifies manufacturing facilities, i.e. the factories that produce the drugs themselves. It is not the FDA’s job to inspect and certify at the pharmacy level. Having said that, the drugs that are used to make compounded medicines, are “approved” by the FDA if they are manufactured at an FDA certified facility. In addition to the above, compounding pharmacies ARE regulated at the state level with many states having significant regulation in place with frequent and rigorous testing. Here is an informative link: https://www.wedgewoodpharmacy.com/co…mpounding.html

On the other side of the coin, it is possible to purchase compounded drugs from pharmacies located outside the US that are unlicensed. These “rouge” or “criminal” “pharmacies” are unregulated and typically offer drugs at a highly discounted rate. Transacting with these entities can be dangerous and your vet would be wise to caution you against doing business with these types of “pharmacies”. See this link: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/Con…/ucm048396.htm

When purchasing compounded drugs you need to do your homework. You should always make sure you are transacting with an accredited, licensed pharmacist. The entire supply chain of the pharmaceutical industry IS heavily regulated; from manufacture all the way to dispensing. Just make sure you know who you are doing business with.

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^^^Yes. All the big name pharmacies will compound drugs.

Finally someone with common sense! Behavior is fixed with training. Do some ground work and desensitizing with him to get him better with being touched. This will go a long way with helping his “don’t touch me” attitude. And thanks for giving a race horse a new home - sound like you got a good one!!

If it it just a personality thing and not ulcers, I would definitely play around with different types of brushes and as someone suggested how you groom. My OTTB hates the curry, about the only one that he tolerates is the Oster brand with the little flexible bristles. And even then I really can’t do the circular currying… Have to try to go with the hair.
Weird think is he LOVES those Slick N Easy blocks. He loves it and t does a good job of not only shedding him but getting him clean, then I follow up with a soft natural fiber or soft bristle brush.

I’ve also found that keeping him on added Magnesium has helped. I was just upping his one supplement that contained Magnesium, but recently started adding a straight Magnesium Oxide powder I got online thru Amazon. He doesn’t seem to mind the taste and its a lot cheaper than the name brand, horse specific, magnesium supplements. He definitely seems more relaxed and less tense when he has the right amount of magnesium in his diet.