Meet Spotty: A Case Study in Ulcers

Here is an interesting little case for you!

Meet Spotty… who isn’t spotty … her full name is Spotlight!

Spotty has just joined our little herd of equines and has fitted in beautifully with Popcorn and Poet.

I bought her from a friend who wanted to sell her as she was a chronic ‘QLD Itch’ (sweet itch) pony and my friend wanted her to go somewhere with no midges!

I was looking for a pony and she is just perfect for us. And we have no midges!

What is interesting about this you ask… nothing, yet!

BUT, the first few times I fed Spotty I noticed she was pretty finicky. For a pony she was also in excellent (not fat) condition, despite having had free access to pasture. AND if I added salt to her feed she wouldn’t eat it.

Plus she could be a little grouchy when getting saddled up and is a bit hesitant to go forward some days, (which yes, could be just her being a pony who knows she can beat her inexperienced rider, but for now I have given her the benefit of doubt).

My brain is putting all of this together… chronic underlying stress from being itchy (despite my friend doing an a-mazing job keeping her rugged and as protected as possible!), weird appetite for a pony and not fat despite lots of pasture, girthy and not happy in her work.

It was suggesting ulcers to me, and it was suggesting glandular ulcers (the ones down the bottom of the stomach), as I couldn’t see how there were any risk factors for the squamous ulcers up the top of the stomach.

So, into a scoping day we go, and look what we found, mild pyloric ulcers.

In a way it didn’t surprise me. BUT when we think about the typical risk factors for ulcers, this pony had none, aside from the fact she was itchy/stressed all the time!

The interesting dilemma for me is she has been with us for 2 months already. She has been (of course) on a well balanced diet since she arrived, gets a gut supplement (because I was suspicious of ulcers) and always gets lucerne before she is ridden (my daughter makes sure of this, I love seeing her get the lucerne as the first thing she does when saddling up!). The top (squamous) section of her stomach was pristine on scoping.

So what we don’t know is, are these ulcers healing and on their way out? Or are they persistent and will remain despite the non-itching and new diet.

I have chosen, in discussion with my vet not to treat these ulcers with any form of medication for now, keep up the diet and the supplement and rescope in 4 to 6 weeks and see what we can see!

I wanted to share though as it is such a good example of how (I suspect) stress can lead to ulceration as truly this pony had no other risk factors (aside from not being mineral supplemented on her pasture, which could lead to zinc deficiency and an inability to heal any lesions in the gut).

I hope you find this as fascinating as I did!



Do you have a question or comment? Do you need help with feeding?

We would love to welcome you to our FeedXL Horse Nutrition Facebook Group. Ask questions and have them answered by PhD and Masters qualified equine nutritionists and spend time with like-minded horse owners. It’s free!

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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!!



Do you have a question or comment? Do you need help with feeding?

We would love to welcome you to our FeedXL Horse Nutrition Facebook Group. Ask questions and have them answered by PhD and Masters qualified equine nutritionists and spend time with like-minded horse owners. It’s free!

Click here to join the FeedXL Horse Nutrition Facebook Group


What You Need To Know About Our Price Increase

Did you know FeedXL started out as cloud-based software before smartphones or tablets were around?

Since starting as a CD Rom software in 2004 and launching online in 2008, we’ve poured our hearts into creating what FeedXL is today.

Over the last 15 years, FeedXL has evolved a lot. Our prices, on the other hand, haven’t changed since 2009.

To say thanks for being part of our herd since the ‘early days’, we are giving you the opportunity to lock in our current circa 2009 pricing.

Whether you’re a returning member or you’re brand new to our herd, now is a great time for you to sign up to FeedXL and get in on (and stay on) our Legacy Pricing.

Here’s how our Legacy Plans & Pricing will work:

Any active plans at the time of our price increase will remain exactly as they are today – at the same price to upgrade and renew – provided that your plan stays active.

As long as your plan stays active, you will be eligible for Legacy Pricing. After the price increase, our current (soon to be called ‘Legacy’) pricing will only be visible to current members through the My Account page within FeedXL.

On a Legacy Plan, you will have the option to add more horses, extend/renew your plan term, upgrade (or downgrade) between Legacy Lite and Legacy Pro plans, and/or switch from a Monthly to a Yearly Legacy plan.

As long as you keep your plan from expiring you can keep using FeedXL at the same price it has always been. The plan will also remain the same, with new features only being added to new plans. But don’t worry, your database will remain updated and all of the features and service you currently have access to will stay the same!

Our new prices will go live on Monday, April 6th at 7pm PDT (California time) which is Tuesday, April 7th at 12pm AEST (NSW time). There is a chance we will find more pesky bugs which may delay us slightly. But if you join before these times you are guaranteed Legacy Pricing.

Want to get in on (and stay on) our Legacy Pricing?

Click here to join FeedXL before our prices go up

Do you need to renew now?

If you have a current plan, you do not need to renew before the price increase if you don’t want to. Just make sure to process your renewal before your plan expires.

So for example, if you have an active plan that expires in July…

You’ll be all good to stay on our Legacy Pricing as long as you renew before your plan expires in July. Any plan that is currently active now will stay on our current pricing, provided it doesn’t expire.

Once a plan expires the only way to reactivate it is to start fresh with a new plan, at which point the only option will be to sign up on the updated pricing.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You can renew your plan at any time, and the extended time will take effect after your current plan term is up. You will never lose time by renewing your plan before it expires.
  • If you have already renewed well into the future, no worries… simply wait until you are able to renew again (e.g. once your current plan rolls over to the next one) and you will stay on Legacy Pricing as long as your plan stays active.
  • Your plan MUST stay active in order to see Legacy Pricing. After the price increase, our current pricing will only be visible to current members through the My Account page within FeedXL.

How to Check Your Account Expiry Date (+ Add More Time If You Need)

To find out when your plan expires, or to extend your current membership, click here to log into FeedXL and click the My Account page within FeedXL.


Image showing where to click on the FeedXL homepage to open the My Account page


In the top left of the My Membership panel, you’ll see two dates, ‘End of current period’ and ‘Paid until’.

‘End of Current Period’ refers to the date that your current plan is active until. If you have not yet extended your plan, the ‘Paid Until’ date will be the same and you will see the option to extend your membership. Click the ‘Extend Membership’ link, and follow the prompts to select the plan you’d like to take effect once your current plan expires.

If you have already extended your plan you will see a different (future) date in the ‘Paid Until’ field. In this case, you’re all set. You won’t see the option to ‘Extend’ again until your next plan takes effect.


Image showing where to see the account expiry dates and the link to click to Extend Membership in FeedXL


Tip: You will get emails from us reminding you to renew before your account expires so you don’t miss the date. Keep an eye out for these!

If you have any questions or need help with your account, feel free to email us at and our Customer Support Team will be in touch.

Thank you so much for being here with us. We appreciate your ongoing business and support!


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