Friday, July 1, 2011

Tummy Tonic

In May, I treated Salem with generic omeprazole for possible ulcers/hind-gut acidosis. Of course, I wanted to do as much as I could to improve his gut health, so I've been keeping a good quality grass/alfalfa mix hay in front of him at all times, feed him a high-fiber grain that contains probiotics, and also started him on a daily "Tummy Tonic" to help cut down on the acid in his stomach and heal any present ulcers. Here's what's in it:

2 quarts alfalfa pellets (helps reduce stomach acid)
~6 quarts water
1/2 cup aloe vera juice (read about the many benefits here)

I leave the mixture to soak for an hour or so and it fluffs up to a nice soft mush. I then add:
1 cup pumpkin seeds (which are supposedly good for healing, according to this article)

The following can also be added for further GI health benefits:
Yogurt or pre/probiotic supplement
Papaya (or Stomach Soother)
Oat flour (this and l-glutamine are the main ingredients of Succeed, a very expensive digestive supplement) 
Slippery Elm

This is Salem's late-night snack and he loves it! He also gets some aloe vera juice in his evening meal; unfortunately, he doesn't get any in his breakfast because the aloe vera juice has to be refrigerated once opened. Because of this, a lot of people use U-Gard, which has aloe vera juice in it but is more convenient to feed.

For those of you with ulcer-prone horses, what supplements/strategies do you use to manage your horse's digestive health?


Barbara said...

Nina gets slippery elm bark in her beet pulp everyday and nutritional yeast for a pre-biotic. I love aloe vera too, but she doesn't. She also gets Smart Pac Omega 3s. The slippery elm made all the ulcer behaviors disappear and I think the rest helps her gut stay healthier. She gets alfalfa/grass morning and night. I think the alfalfa helps too and I am glad she can eat it. My last horse went nuts on alfalfa - swinging from the rafters nuts.

Alana said...

I do pretty much the same as you. L-glutamine is actually present in regular green cabbage! When Ta'ceyewi's tummy had all his troubles I took him off all commercial grains (he was on TC Senior, so a good (no)grain at that!!) and he got a vitamin supp, alfalfa, aloe, pumpkin seeds, slippery elm, and cabbage (and flax,BOSS and rice bran, but those aren't for ulcers) for a couple of months. Now he is super healthy and I dropped the pumpkin seeds, slippery elm, and cabbage. I also found he doesn't handle beet pulp well at all (I know, WHAT?) but I don't know if that was ulcer related or just him. My other 2 got a diet similar to his, but consisted primarily of beet pulp.
I am also looking into doing a Pasture Paradise track plan on my property that would hypothetically reduce ulcer risk by them living more natural, and has loads of other benefits (including the possibility of growing my own hay!) especially for bare feet! (wow, I sound like a crazy person!!)

Frizzle said...

Interesting, Barabara; I thought the whole "alfalfa makes them hot" was a myth. Maybe it's the higher protein, etc. in alfalfa that made your horse whack-o?
Alana, I had heard about the cabbage, but forgot about it, so thanks for the reminder! Lol, I think the people at my barn already think I'm a nutty hippy-weirdo, and feeding Salem cabbage would probably only add to that. ;-)
The Paddock Paradise thing is intriguing, but confusing; doesn't it seem weird that fencing off most of your pasture and making a "track" around it actually makes the horses happier?? Start a blog already, girl!!!

Squeaksmom said...

I put a cup of aloe vera juice in her feed and a dose of probiotic. This is after a round of omeprazole to get it straightened out in the first place, trying to keep it straightened! So far it seems to be working great (it's been a year with no new episodes).

achieve1dream said...

Where do you get your aloe vera? And how expensive is it? I've thought about trying it but have no clue where to buy it.

Frizzle said...

I buy my aloe juice @ Walgreen's; it's something like $12 for a gallon. The brand is Fruit of The Earth, which is something like 99% pure. Salem seems to really like it. I've also seen aloe juice (different brand) in the produce section of the grocery store, but in smaller bottles. Just make sure ya refrigerate after opening!

Alana said...

Wal-mart actually sells it (at least in NC and Va), same brand as Walgreen's but $7 something, so quite a bit cheaper! Or online in various places, just do a google search if no where sells it by you.
And my blog would be the most boringest followerist blog ever that would get update super sporadically!

Frizzle said...

Alana, I don't shop at Wal-mart because they have such horrible business practices. Granted, I'm sure there isn't a single corporation that is squeeky clean, but Wal-mart is just SO dirty. I'd rather pay a few more dollars somewhere else. (Oh my god, did I just out-hippie Alana?!?!)

Alana said...

By George I think you may have!!!! I try not to buy from Wal-mart, but I have that and a Food Lion within an hour of me, so for groceries I weigh the gas usage with the evils of Wal-mart, and honestly I don't think much of Walgreen's either. But yes, I do shop at Wal-mart(then again, I'm a vegan so I can't get quite a few of my groceries from anywhere around me!!)!! Oh, and my jumbled up version of, it is meant to mean without followers...not that lol!

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