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Check out: 4 important nutrients for horses with stomach ulceration!

Tanja Dietz


3 Min. Lesezeit

We are now focusing on the most important nutrients in order to make sure that you can support your stomach patients as well as possible with regard to the regeneration of the gastric mucosa and/or to prevent the new development of lesions of the gastric mucosa as well as gastric ulcers.


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First of all, we should mention that - stomach problems notwithstanding - we have to supply our horses according to their needs with all nutrients, bulk and trace elements, energy, protein and crude fibre, so as to avoid one or more deficiencies and their adverse effects.

With stomach patients in particular, certain nutrients should be specifically supplemented, since the need in this case may be higher due to deficiencies. In this context we should also mention that all of the feed supplements listed below should be administered carefully in accordance with the horse’s needs, but not in excess (according to the motto ‘a lot helps a lot’) so as to prevent a surplus that may have a negative effect.

1. Magnesium

If the horse is suffering from magnesium deficiency, this may give rise to overreaction of the conduction of stimuli, causing the horse to develop (sudden) startled responses. This stress may create digestive problems such as diarrhea, colic, or gastric ulcers. By adding magnesium or magnesium-containing feed supplements, it is possible to ensure that the enzymes that are responsible for the conduction of stimuli through the neural tissue are sufficiently supplied, thus preventing overreactions.

2. Trytophan

Apart from magnesium, tryptophan - an essential amino acid - plays a major role in feeding stressed horses. This is a precursor of the serotonin hormone which acts as a neurotransmitter and thus influences the mood and the mental condition of the horse. A tryptophan and thus a serotonin deficiency may be associated with nervousness, tension, and poor concentration – causing stress and stomach problems.

In order to protect the mucous membrane of the horse from gastric acid attacks, the feed may be enhanced by various mucin- and pectin-containing additives, such as apple pomace, psyllium husks, or linseed. These additives support the formation of a mucin-containing layer that covers and protects the gastric mucosa.

3. Antioxidants

The cells of the gastric mucous membrane may be protected by adding antioxidants such as vitamin E and C, as well as selenium. Especially when stomach cells are under attack, regeneration may be achieved by supplementing various antioxidants.

4. Stomach Herbs

Since gastric ulcers frequently begin with slight lesions, developing later into inflammation of the mucous membrane and culminating in slight to severe gastric ulcers unless something is done immediately to intervene, horses with a sensitive stomach may also be helped by adding various (natural) anti-inflammatory agents. These, among others, include stomach herbs such as fennel, aniseed, camomile, and caraway seeds, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from linseed oil. Linseed oil is also a valuable energy source that is no burden on the horse’s gastric mucosa. Besides, herbs have the additional advantage of stimulating the blood flow through the gastric mucosa, offering a certain degree of protection from lesions.

If the horse tends to be stressed or is increasingly exposed to stressful situations, this enhances the production of gastric acid that may attack the gastric mucosa. This excess gastric acid may be buffered by adding supplements containing substances such as magnesium oxide or sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium oxide and sodium bicarbonate act as effective acid regulators reacting with the protons of the gastric acid. This restores the pH value in the stomach to its natural level.

Despite the possibility of supporting the horse by supplementing various nutrients, we should always focus on eliminating or minimising the cause of the stress, feeding the horse according to its need, and avoiding (long) feeding gaps.


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Equine 74 Gastric

The long-term solution

Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.

Equine 74 Stomach Calm Relax

In case of acute stress

Supports the nervous horse stomach in stressful situations.