Horses » Diet for pony with previous stomache ulcers

skye

Diet for pony with previous stomache ulcers

My new forest pony is currently overweight, he is not obese but looks rather pregnant!!!! He was unwell in Feb earlier this year when he was stabled 24/7 as yard had no winter turnout-he had a pitting edema on the underside of his belly-vet did numerous tests and conlcluded worm damage.?! (even though he is regularly wormed!) he also said that there was evidence of stomach ulcers. so moved yards and turned him out, without any further medication the swelling went down and he returned to full health. He has since benn wormed again and is back in full work.My first question is- I need to get his weight down as i dont want him getting laminitis. he is out 24/7 currently and the grass keeps growing, tried muzzling so he cant eat as much but he keeps getting it off.. i have limited time.......

27/5/07

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skye

to ride at the moment. Any suggestions as to how i can get weight off him safely without aggravating any of the pevious issues earklier this year? The vet had NOT made an actual diagnosis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my pony went out on a fun ride at the beach a few days prior to him becomming unwell and i think something may have irritated his belly causing the swelling(as we went thtough deep rivers)
second question, the yard im at doesnt offer 24/7 grass livery during winter, so he has to be in at night, do you think it was the stable that caused his earlier problems due to stress etc(never been in 24/7 before) and will it cause problems for him to be in up to 12 hrs at a time.??he is currently only eating grass and in the winter will have hay and basic hard feed.
sorry for the long post

27/5/07

Martina Stuart

Firstly do not apologise for the long post. The space available is on the list for the web designer when I get around to it.
Secondly gastic ulceration is unlikely to have been responsible for the oedema but both may well have been stress related. It may well be that housing alone causes him sufficient stess to result in gastric ulcers and if winter turn out is just not possible then some form of loose housing with a companion may help. Trickle feeding using a high fible low protein nut rather than conventional hard feed may help. Hay should be of good quality (not spoiled) but late made so that it has a high fibre and low energy content. I would not recomend anti ulcer drugs (Gastroguard[Omeperazole]) without endoscopic confirmation that gastric ulcers were involved.
Keeping the weight down and the worry about laminitis is always a difficult one. Founderguard is a useful product at times of risk such as now with the rapid grass growth. This is only available on veterinary prescription but does help in increasing the margin for error. It should not be used in place of csreful management. Your New Forest pony evolved over centuries to survive on the rough grazing of the forest and to a certain extent that is what you need to try to mimick. The courser the grass he has access to the better. This is not easy and it is now customonary to restrict the grazing areas which does control the amount of grass that the pony can eat but also means that what it is eating is very young high energy new shoots. He may be better being outside in a small rough or sand area and being fed hay with occassional controlled access to longer older courser grass (ie grazing in hand). Do not rug him unless there is no shelter available and then only in severe weather combinations of cold wet and wind.
How much hay he should have depends so much on the sample of hay and the individual metabolism of the horse. Try to find a weighbridge to weigh him or use a girth tape. Feeding 1% of the body weight (1kg for a 300kg pony) should be the starting point. This can be a half and half mixture of coarse hay and barley staw and should be fed in small amounts frequently (at least 4 or 5 nets over 24 hours). It can always be increased if he looses weight too rapidly. This forage should be able to supply maiantainance plus 1 hours work/day without the need for any supplementary feeding.
I hope this helps and that others have some useful tips for you.

27/5/07

lindie and rachael

nothing acidic thats for sure it will make the ulcers worse

1/2/08

lindie and rachael

probably something warm i would reccommend warm suagrbeet perhaps PROPERLY SOAKED

21/2/08

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