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[RC] Ulcer Treatment - judy-long

Another perspective on diagnostics and ulcer treatment...

We suspected ulcers in Color back in December and I decided to treat him with
Gastrogard without having him scoped. His symptoms were loose manure 
and sometimes being colicy after a couple of endurance rides.  He would be fine 
during the ride,  then at the end get colicy for about an hour (uncomfortable,
not wanting to eat), then come out of it without treatment.  He seemed to 
respond to the Gastrogard treatment (his manure became firm) and I started
riding him again.

At the end of March he had another episode of being colicy after an 
endurance ride so I took him to UC Davis in April for diagnostics.  
He was x-rayed, scoped, had his abdomen ultrasounded, had bloodwork 
and had a muscle biopsy.   Results were no enteroliths, no sand, no 
ulcers, but he did have hyperkeratosis in his stomach, duodenitis, 
and parts of his intestines were thickened.  The muscle biopsy results 
showed a mild case of Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM).  
From what I understand, the hyperkeratosis could be evidence of 
previous irritation.  The recommended treatment for his stomach/intestines 
was another course of Gastrogard.   The muscle biopsy was done because he 
showed elevated enzyme levels in the bloodwork and had not done any exercise 
in the week prior to the test.   He never has shown any signs of tying up.  
The treatment for PSSM is a low carbohydrate/high fat diet and regular 

I knew I was gambling when I treated him for ulcers without scoping him that
it might not fix his problem.  Without the diagnostics we were just making
our best guess at what it was and I may have tried some things that may have
not been helpful like giving him more electrolytes.   On the other hand, I 
have done all the diagnostics, found nothing, and been in the same spot.

Although expensive, I'm very grateful that there are such diagnostics to help
find out what is causing Color's problem.    Otherwise I would just be 
guessing and trying things then finding out they didn't help if he ended
up colicy again which I absolutely didn't want to do.   We're going back to the 
University for a re-check on June 5 and hopefully there will be improvement.
He's an exceptionally sweet and willing horse that I enjoy riding very much
and I really want to get back out on the endurance trail together.  

Judy Long
Hayward, Ca.

P.S.  I apologize if there are goofy format problems with carriage returns in 
this msg


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