Sep 052023

Symptoms associated with both:

Eating problems

Slow or Picky eater

More often greedy eaters

Abdominal discomfort

Resentment to tightening the girth

Low grade colic that wax and wane

Periodic diarrhoea or loose stools, some may have hard, dry small stool depending on the stage of the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Drawn appearance to flank.

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Grinding Teeth

Behavioral Problems

Irritability in general, specifically to grooming especially around the chest or abdomen

Resistant to going forward or responding to rider aids

Reluctance to jump, running out, bucking profusely.

Difficulty with left lead

Hyperactivity, nervousness, separation anxiety.

Notable Symptoms

Pain due to constriction and spasm of the Psoas Muscle

Vertebral Joint dysfunction especially in the lower lumbar, lumbo sacral region and withers.

Horses will often cross canter or refuse to pick up a specific lead, often on left diagonal, this is usually associated with pain in right hind due to the ulceration in the colon.

String halt


EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis)

Weakness of hind end particularly the right or off hind, can present with unexplained lameness off hind.

Susceptible to tendon or ligament problems usually occurring on left or near fore limb due to compensation from right hind pain and weakness. They can often be tight of the near shoulder/withers.

Bunny hopping action, short stride, cannot bring the right hind forward as far as the left hind in walk and canter.

Race horse riders have mentioned that some horses with ulcers will be very difficult to ride and often hang/lug badly.

Race horses will carry their head to the right to loosen the tight musculature on the right side of the body (resembles a tight elastic band stretched to the last from poll to sacrum)

Horses will hang or lug to the right when racing at speed.

Horses will lash out with hind legs especially when travelling or stressed, which in turn causes more injury or insult to hind end.

In some severe or chronic cases particularly in racehorses under stress and heavy work, it is important to monitor the amount of water they consume, as often they can suffer with dehydration. The bladder when full can press on the ulcerated colon and cause more pain so they often drink less water.

Acupuncture Diagnostic points to determine Ulcers in Horses

Stomach 10 (ST-10) Between the Sternomandibular m, and the ventral aspect of the brachiocephalic m, one hand cranial to the point of the shoulder.

Palpation of this point and applying pressure to ST-10 and using pressure drawing a line ventrally downwards of that muscle group will elicit pain.

Bladder 20 (BL 20) – Association point of the Spleen Meridian

3 cun lateral to the spinous border of the seventh thoracic vertebra, at the last intercostal space in the muscles iliocostalis groove

Bladder 21 (BL 21) – Association point of the Stomach Meridian

Caudal to the last rib (T18) at the thoracolumbar junction, 3 can lateral to the caudal border of the spinous process pf the eighteenth thoracic vertebra and the first lumbar vertebra.

Liver 13- Alarm point of the Spleen meridian

Distal end of the eighteenth rib

GB 25- Alarm point for the kidney meridian

Between the caudal border of the costochondral junction of the eighteenth rib and the lumbar muscles

Treatment for both EGUS and Colonic Ulcers.

Chinese Herbal Medicine- has been the most successful to date

Succeed Is another beneficial supplement.

Diet plays an important role in the health of the entire intestinal tract.

High roughage diets will benefit colonic ulcers

Regular deworming is crucial, with either chemical and herbal dewormers.

Discontinue all NSAID medication, if pain medicines are needed use alternative herbal medicines, all apart from Devil’s claw. Corydalis is a good option.

Pysillium, mucilloid x 5 tablespoons given 1-2 times daily

L Glutamine x 10-12 grams daily.

Slippery elm.

Ensure you feed a beneficial equine mineral, vitamin and amino acid balancer preferably without any fillers, or processed with heat. Ensure your supplements are made with a good source of organic chelated minerals that are highly bioavailable.

Never use Diatomaceous Earth

No Alfalfa nor Soy products

Maximum feed intake for maintenance horses 2-3 lbs per day for every 455kg body weight

Grass hay only and ensure no fertilizers like that of pig slurry, or glyphosate has been sprayed on the land it’s grown from.

Good quality green and clean hay preferably Timothy hay.

A good feed mix for a horse in maintenance is as follows:

Linseed meal , Rice bran, Organic oats.

Performance horses in hard or very hard work need up to 5-10lbs of carbohydrates per day.

Add steamed rolled oat groats and steamed rolled barley flakes(not suitable for horses with insulin resistance and metabolic disease)

Chinese herbal medicine has proven very effective in the treatment for both.

It addresses the following:

  • Neutralises excess acidity and balances the pH of the gastrointestinal tract
  • H Pylori infection
  • Clear any infection and toxicity in the gut.
  • Enhances liver function.
  • Epigastric, abdominal pain.
  • Ulceration and inflammation
  • Stops any bleeding ulcers.
  • Relieves gas in the intestines.
  • Settles the emotions and stress.
  • Helps them to relax and sleep without pain.
  • Aids in the digestion, break down and absorption of food.
  • Relieves food stagnation in the gut.
  • Kills parasites.
  • As 90% of the immune system is in the gastrointestinal tract it strongly enhances the function of the immune system, ensures a healthy microbiome in the gut.or ligament