Ulcers and Ulcergard treatment and expectations in OTTB

Hello All,

I have a 10yr old OTTB mare who is displaying classic ulcer symptoms - the main ones being: general irritability, especially during grooming around the barrel region and tacking up, not finishing meals, a dull coat and dander, tail swishing and kicking out during rides, kicking when closing my leg or asking for an upward transition, NO touching of her udders, pinning ears and cow kicking when palpating “typical ulcer acupuncture locations”…list does go on slightly. I have bought Ulcergard, and have been administering at treatment dose - 1 tube daily - we are now on day 10.

I’ve noticed her appetite is increasing, and when I am tacking up she didn’t kick or try to bite at me yesterday, but she still kicks out sometimes at upward transitions and when I close my leg. She is on 5lbs daily of Pro Force Fiber, split between 2 meals. There is pretty much free choice hay (timothy/alf mix) and has good, clean water. Turnout is horrendous…I know my horse is stressed. But at my current boarding barn, that’s just how it is in spring. They go out if it hasn’t rained from like 9am-2pm. This I am not happy about. I haven’t had a vet eval yet, just because of the classic signs, I really can’t imagine what else this could be.

Long story short, how long has Ulcergard taken for you to be more effective than just increasing her appetite? Will her ulcers actually be “treated” if the stress of stall confinement is still taking place? Am I in a vicious cycle, and need to move my horse to a more pasture friendly facility? Also, do I just need to be more patient?! I’m becoming frustrated, and sad for my mare, who is clearly not at fault for this…


Mine was loaded with ulcers confirmed with multiple scopes. She was always quiet under saddle and didn’t have many of the symptoms that yours did. She was “short strided” up front…she did however not want to eat her grain. Long story short it took a very long time to clear her of ulcers. It took 12 weeks on a full tube of UG after the initial Dx and we have had a bunch of relapses since. The vets that scoped her were absolutely shocked at what they were seeing (severity) and how she acted. By all means she should have been a bronc while being worked and she wasn’t. This mare never put a foot wrong, literally. I still monitor her very, very carefully and treasure her and her work ethic every day. She is currently getting another round of treatment via Abler BPR…she will now actually eat and push the bucket out of the way to get to her grain. I never thought I would be so happy! There are so many different ways to go about this, you just need to find what works for you and your horse. Good luck.

I appreciate your response! So sorry to hear that your mare was going through such turmoil, it’s amazing the physical and mental stress they can endure. After speaking with my vet again yesterday, she doesn’t think we need to scope based on the pretty-sure assumption that my horse has either gastric/hind gut ulcers or both. Today is day 11 of full dose, and then it was suggested to use Neigh-Lox for the possible hind-gut issues since Omeprazole isn’t effective for those.

I might be moving my horse, to a place with pasture board options, at least until this flare up is under control. I hate knowing that I possibly caused her stress by moving to a place with a wonderful facility, but poor turnout. She’s getting chiro, teeth check, and a fecal done in the meantime, just to rule that stuff out too, but man this ulcer stuff is tough. Both on her, and me (financially). Trying to stay positive. She’s too nice an OTTB to discard or give up on yet.