One of the most prevalent health issues in horses is gastric ulcers. It is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of horses have had or will have a gastric ulcer in their lifetime. Gastric ulcers can be found in horses of any age, even foals. The higher an exercise rate of a horse, the more likely they are to have gastric ulcers. Thoroughbred racehorses have the highest frequency of ulcers with 80 to 90 percent being afflicted. This is due to the fact that exercise increases gastric acid production and decreases the blood flow to the GI tract. This combined with exercise causes the gastric acid in a horse’s stomach to splash around causing ulcers.
Horses do not always have outward symptoms when they have gastric ulcers, and the only way to know for sure that they have them is to have a veterinarian do a gastric endoscopy. There are several signs that you can look out for if you think your horse might have a gastric ulcer: poor appetite, attitude changes or dullness, decreased performance, reluctance to train or exercise, poor body or coat condition, weight loss, colic, or increased laying. While there are several medications that your veterinarian can prescribe to heal ulcers, there have also been tests on whether the use of Aloe Vera can help with gastric ulcers.
Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia conducted a random, blind study comparing the efficacy of aloe vera to omeprazole in treating equine gastric ulcers. The study of 40 horses with grade 2 ulcers or higher was split into two groups: one group received aloe vera to treat the ulcers and the other received omeprazole. After four weeks, both groups showed improvement. The group on omeprazole showed a slightly higher improvement than those on aloe vera alone. However, the study did not rule out that higher doses of aloe vera could yield higher rates of improvement. More studies also need to be done to test the use of aloe vera for preventative treatment of ulcers. While both aloe vera and omeprazole are proven to help ulcers, aloe vera is a much more cost-effective option.
The aloe vera plant grows prolifically in tropical climates. For many centuries it has been known for its medicinal properties. The aloe vera plant flesh can be juiced to produce a healthy elixir. The juice of the aloe vera plant has a mild flavor which makes it an ideal supplement. Aloe vera has a compound present it its juice which helps control stomach acid. For this reason, it is ideal for combating gastric ulcers.
CareMore Nutrition’s RevolutionGI is organic, USA grown Aloe Vera. It is safe for all classes and ages of horses, ponies, and minis, including pregnant or nursing mares and breeding stallions for the treatment of the symptoms of gastric ulcers. It has a highly palatable sweet taste which indicated purity. Using aloe vera for horses can increase appetite and reduce irritability and nervousness. Aloe vera is said to detoxify the body and increase circulation. It boosts immunity and is also a natural source of vitamin E.
Coming January 2019 to CareMore Nutrition: NEW GI+, a powdered alternative to liquid aloe vera gel. Contains three powerful ingredients for symptom relief of gastric ulcer upset in horses. Will not require refrigeration!