June 2017 Educational Seminar Recap: Equine Gastric Health

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Customer Service | 0 comments

The Carousel Horse welcome Elaina Eppinger, Purina Animal Nutrition Lifestyle Product Specialist, and Kayla Burgess of the Pittsburgh Agway Group as they presented a fun, interactive seminar on Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome.

Their presentation touched on a variety of topics including contributing factors associated with gastric discomfort:

Environment/stress related

  • Elevated exercise level and intensity
  • Performance and racing
  • Hectic training environment
  • Nervous disposition
  • Trailering
  • Lack of turnout
  • Lack of direct contact with other horses
  • Talk radio (vs. music) playing in barn
  • Thoroughbred breed
  • Previous gastric ulcer diagnosis

    Management/diet related

    • Lack of pasture access
    • Fasting
    • Large meals with high starch content
    • Greater than 6 hours between meals
    • Inadequate forage quality and quantity
    • Stall kept or on stall rest
    • Water deprivation/intermittent access
    • Use of paste electrolytes or electrolytes in water
    • Use of NSAIDs for a prolonged period of time

      Signs associated with gastric discomfort

      • Poor appetite
      • Picky eating
      • Poor body condition
      • Weight loss
      • Chronic diarrhea
      • Poor coat condition
      • Bruxism (teeth grinding)
      • Behavioral changes
        • Aggression
        • Nervous behaviors
        • Side biting
        • “Girthiness”
      • Acute or recurrent colic
      • Poor performance

        Treatment and management tips

        • Anticipate stressful events (such as travel, competition or intense training)
        • Provide a peaceful environment for your horse, eliminate excessive traffic and noise in the barn
        • Provide as much turnout as possible, preferably with one or more horses
        • Provide enrichment items, such as toys and mirrors
        • Keep a regular schedule for feeding, grooming, exercise etc.
        • Provide continuous access to clean fresh water
        • Avoid the use of paste and water soluble electrolytes
        • Practice good parasite control
        • Always consult with your veterinarian before administering NSAIDs
        • Utilize slow-feeder hay nets if horses are stalled

          Feeding management recommendations

          • Never allow more than 6 hours of fasting
          • Provide frequent access to good quality hay and pasture
          • Incorporate alfalfa hay into the diet
          • 1-2 lbs at regular 5-6 hour intervals
          • Feed small frequent meals (3 to 6 per day)
          • Provide continuous access to water

            If you missed out on this seminar, be sure to follow us on social media for announcements on upcoming events at the store.

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