Galaxy Still Has (BAD!) Ulcers
Ohhh Galaxy… almost 6 months now on a balanced diet and near pristine environment for reducing the risk of ulcers and she STILL has SEVERE ulcers!
This little girl had been on 2 months of oral omeprazole treatment before she came to me. She was scoped at the one month mark and had severe squamous and glandular ulceration.
On arriving here I had intended to put her on injectable omeprazole but with COVID and the drug not arriving and her behaviour and appetite improving we made the call to wait to medicate further until we could look in her stomach again. With COVID lockdowns this took a lot longer than anticipated!
We finally scoped her again last Friday (literally drove through floods to get her there, after being delayed so many times there was no way I was missing this opportunity!)… was so hopeful she would be better… was so gutted (pardon the pun!) that her condition is still so bad!
BUT this again serves to teach us a lot! This little mare looks great, shiny, in excellent (too excellent) condition, she is eating well, grazing normally, behaves like a normal horse, is happy now to be brushed all over and SEEMS like there is nothing wrong.
The gastroscope though tells a very different story… showing us it really is impossible to know what is going on in that stomach when just looking from the outside!
And it also teaches us that in at least some cases, pristine nutrition and management are not enough to resolve ulcers that are already in existence!
Where to from here?!
Thankfully we haven’t (yet) thrown everything at her. The wonderful Dr Doug Eddlington and Dr Benjamin Sykes have put their heads together and have come up with a plan for injectable omeprazole (given she didn’t respond to two prior months of treatment with the oral version) plus sucralfate. We will scope after 4 weeks on this regime and reassess.
What worries me more is WHY does a horse with close to zero risks for ulcers in her life stay so badly ulcerated?!
And even if we do treat and resolve these ulcers, are they just going to come straight back?? I’m not even sure I want to know the answer to this question just yet!
I guess we will see!
She won’t start treatment until January as we can’t scope her until around early February. If we miss the 4 weeks on treatment mark and scope her again to find ulcers we won’t know if they resolved with treatment but then came back or if they didn’t resolve in the first place.
And for me, that is critical information.
In the meantime I am not going to change anything about her diet or lifestyle.
I was so hopeful that being in a super-relaxed environment and on a specially formulated and balanced diet would help her naturally resolve those ulcers (it has with Spotty, yay!)… but alas, we need to move on the plan B!
Watch this space, will update you when there is more of the Galaxy journey to share!!
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