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Re: [RC] Supplementing for Ulcers -- Magnesium Oxide, Neigh-Lox? - Susan Garlinghouse

 We suspect ulcers which are aggravated by electrolytes.  As do
the vets with whom we've discussed the situation.  (This is a horse with
loads of turnout, an unflappable temperament, and not buted with any
frequency at all -- a low risk ulcer horse, frankly.)

You might also work the amount of time he spends 'chewing' into the
equation---another factor for saliva production to buffer gastric acid
secretions and stomach pH.  Plus the physical form of his feed---pellets
instead of long stem hay or pasture, grain versus beet pulp or fat, meals
twice a day versus continuous munching, doing everything in your power to
keep him eating forage at base camp and throughout the ride (especially
since it sounds like rides are the inciting factor, not the home situation),

We're changing some things about electrolyting, but are considering
supplementing magnesium oxide to help control the ulcers, and using
as the ride approaches.

There have been some adverse reactions in horses to using mg oxide at high
doses.  Ataxia (sort of like loss of coordination), signs similar to tying
up.  I don't know what constitutes "high doses", probably less than you
would reasonably provide to a horse at home on a daily basis, but I don't
know precisely.

Also keep in mind that a daily dose of mag oxide might help neutralize
gastric pH for a few hours, but I have some hesitancy about it as a really
effective long term program.  PITA to dose, among other things.  I think
your first priority should be going over the rest of your management to try
to eliminate other factors (as listed above), and maybe consider going a
little more aggressive in your treatment for a month or so to heal up
whatever ulcers might already be present (and frankly, I would scope him to
confirm their presence or absence, preferably after a ride).  Personally,
I'd use ranitidine, cimetidine (or omeprazole if you're Oprah) along with
Neigh-Lox instead of the mg ox.

Susan G and others, will we be messing with copper
absorption by dosing the magnesium oxide,

Potentially, though to exactly what extent would depend on the forms of
minerals supplied, rate of passage through the gut, relative amounts and so
on.  If the rest of your ration is a good one, and you're only dosing with
mg ox once a day, it's probably not a big issue for a few months.  I'd be
uncomfortable doing it forever, and would prefer feeding the Neigh-Lox
(which doesn't use magnesium) instead.

and what would be a safe
therapeutic dose?

Ata *guess* I'd say you'd have to syringe about four to six ounces to
reasonably do much in the stomach.

Legal for AERC?

I don't know about the Neigh-Lox, *I* can't think of an argument to support
a claim of directly affecting performance.  Again, I'd be a little
uncomfortable about a lot of a magnesium source, as it does have some
sedative effects at high doses (part of that ataxia thing) and you could
conceivably make an argument that "it's a tranquilizer".  I can certainly
think of a few horses whose performance would be enhanced by a little less
hissy fit.  Magnesium as part of a general vit-min supplement or in
electrolytes aren't an issue, those should into the category of a natural
part of the nutrition requirements, etc.  Providing tons and tons of it
could easily fit into the description of a naturally-occurring nutrient
supplied at unnatural levels, and thus be illegal under the AERC by-laws.

Susan G

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[RC] Supplementing for Ulcers -- Magnesium Oxide, Neigh-Lox?, RISTREE