What exactly is a stomach ulcer?
On the stomach wall, there is a protective mucosal layer in which the cells produce hydrochloric acid. With a stomach ulcer, a hole has formed in the protective mucosal layer. If the gastric juice comes into contact with the nerves in the stomach wall, it causes a painful feeling. So health, well-being and performance can be seriously affected by stomach ulcers. The wound in the mucosa often occurs at the entrance of the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).
Gastric ulcers are better prevented than cured!
Adjust the feed and stable management. We give 5 tips to prevent stomach ulcers!
- Provide at least 1 to 1.5 kg dry matter (roughage) per 100 kg of body weight and distribute this over at least four feedings per day
- Use a slow feeder to provide the roughage. link to Feed Box XL
- Prevent or reduce stressful situations
- Choose a high-fiber concentrate feed ration. The Hartog muesli 's for recreation and sport horses contain a great deal of fiber - For example, for a fiber-rich muesli choose the Hartog Balance and for sport horses with a low proportion of starch choose the Energy Special.
- Protect the stomach with Hartog Lucerne-mix Digest ✓ Recommended by different horse clinics ✓ Practical results ✓ Hartog Lucerne-mix Digest neutralises excess gastric acid ✓ Has a favorable influence on the pH-value in the stomach ✓ Protects the stomach wall ✓ Stimulates the saliva production and slows the concentrate intake
The stomach of the horse is very small with a capacity of about 10-15 liters. The stomach consists of two parts. The lower part of the stomach produces acid throughout the day. Especially with an intake of a lot of starch from, for example, concentrate, the production of stomach acid increases. When concentrates are taken, less acid buffering saliva is litigated while stomach acid production rises. Therefore, it is advised to never feed more than 2 kg of concentrated feed per feed. To prevent stomach problems, it is often recommended to add fibers such as lucerne to the concentrate feed so that the chewing frequency and saliva production increases. Even with a fixed period (a period without fiber-rich food) longer than 4-6 hours, the amount of stomach acid increases considerably. With a large amount of stomach acid, the upper part of the stomach is affected. This part of the stomach consists of less thick mucosa and is much less resistant to the stomach acid from the lower part of the stomach. In the lower part of the stomach the pH can drop below 2-3, while the upper part of the stomach has a pH of 6-7. Horses that have to perform a peak performance with a richly filled stomach are more likely to suffer from stomach ulcers. The acid comes into contact with the thinner mucous membrane in the upper part of the stomach.
In the upper part of the stomach there is a small bacterial population that is resistant to an acidic environment. These Fundus bacteria mainly live on starches and sugars in the feed, producing lactic acid. With a large intake of starchy concentrates and / or low amount of roughage the pH decreases in this part of the stomach, which can also cause ulcers. With a very high-fiber ration, fewer bacteria are produced by the bacteria and the risk of stomach problems is reduced!
Stress as a cause of stomach problems?
For a long time it was thought that stress was the cause of stomach ulcers. Practice now shows that stress does not cause stomach ulcers, but can worsen the symptoms. Horses with regular stress symptoms have for example:
- A lot of tension experienced during driving or transport
- Can not see or hear other horses
- Have little to no social contact
- Have pain and / or trauma
- Should perform excessively
These symptoms aggravate the stomach because these horses eat less well, are constantly active and alert and / or receive too large amounts of concentrates. In order to reduce or restore (the risk of) stomach ulcers, it is necessary to reduce the above stress factors.
How do you recognize a stomach ulcer?
Horses experience pain or an annoying feeling in the stomach area. This pain can be very sharp. An ulcer in the stomach usually causes pain at another time of the day than an ulcer in the duodenum. The difference is in a full or empty stomach. With an ulcer in the duodenum, the horse suffers from pain on an empty stomach. With a stomach ulcer, the pain worsens after eating. A stomach ulcer can be recognized by the following behavior:
- Lots of yawning and grinding teeth (especially in stressful situations and after exertion))
- Stable vices (sucking air, pulling teeth along the bars and striking the box
- Eating badly resulting in weight loss
- Doesn’t respond to leg aid and is not thinking properly
Gastric ulcers are better prevented than cured!
Hartog Lucerne-mix Digest
Of course every horse keeper tries to take care of his or her horse optimally. We know during practice it is sometimes difficult to divide roughage into 4 feeds. Not all horse owners can also influence the quality and amount of roughage that is provided. That is why Hartog has developed the Lucerne-mix Digest which optimizes the stomach and intestinal health of the horse. The Lucerne mix Digest is enriched with POWERSTART®. This special blend with natural micro elements is combined with acid buffers, prebiotics and yeast cultures.
POWERSTART ® protects the stomach and intestinal wall against pathogenic bacteria and repairs wounds and damage to the mucous membrane. The acid buffers neutralize excess stomach acid and help prevent a full and bloated feeling.
Why is the Hartog Lucerne mix Digest different from the other products for stomach and intestinal problems?
Lucerne-mix Digest starts at the base: good roughage! The roughage mix is very versatile (preventive and in case of illness) and can be combined with all kinds of concentrate (preferably sugar and starchy concentrates).