I concur with Michelle’s approach. I have an OTTB that suffered with moderate to severe ulcers (gastric and hind gut), and instead of going the omeprazole route at all, I relied on his ability to heal–and blind faith in what I felt was a practical approach and in the products I chose. By providing a grain-free and sugar-free diet and adding rice bran oil, Succeed and SmartGut, I address the root cause of the ulcers and boost his healing ability. I gave Succeed (full doses/tubes) both a.m. & p.m., and after 3 months, switched the p.m. to SmartDigest Ultra. Since he is my foxhunting mount, I also gave him the whole summer off of work to ensure his stress level remained low. Now that we’re getting back into work in preparation for hunt season, I’m bringing him around slowly, keeping him on Succeed in the morning and SmartDigest Ultra + SmartGut Ultra in the evening; but I also plan on dosing him with SmartDigest Ultra tubes before I load him to trailer him anywhere.
I agree that messing with the acid/ph levels potentially creates more issues, but I really like the healing ingredients in SmartGut Ultra, and I wish it didn’t have the antacids in it, but don’t think the antacid affect it has is significant enough to cause me concern for rebound affects. (I also feed it in the evening, when his tummy will not be exposed to more food through the night. So it’s just my thought that the antacid will just help support the healing ingredients supporting him throughout the night.)
It is my ongoing objective to ensure his whole GI tract is functioning properly, and avoid recurring ulcers throughout the entire system. I love my sport and will always take extra care in stressful times, but in a way to support the normal GI function. Since horses respond nicely to the natural approach, I wouldn’t risk a hindgut issue by focussing on just stomach ulcers with omeprazole or prescription products unless my horse goes entirely off his feed for more than a couple of days.