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Discussion on Aloe vera juice and ulcers

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Danielle Smith
Username: dsmith6

Post Number: 15
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 - 10:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horse has ulcers. I have also written "dental surgery today" post. Just to re-cap, my horse has had severe ulcers. Treated him for a month on ulcerguard 1 tube/day, re-scoped him, minor ulcers were still there but not as bad as before. They are getting better, but still not clean. Has anyone heard of aloe vera juice helping with ulcers? If so, I would like to start adding it to his feed possibly. Will try anything at this point. We are now on 1 tube ulcerguard a day and rantidine 2x a day. thanks!
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Username: hpyhaulr

Post Number: 506
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 - 6:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't know about your horse, but the Aloe vera juice worked for my ulcers. Good luck. We will all be interested in hearing of your continued treatment and results.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 23155
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 - 7:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The former treatment length you used of one month is associated with a high degree of recurrence of gastric ulcers. The article discusses proper treatment time and dosage with omeprazole. I would also note that the treatment/prevention of ulcers is primarily a management issue so read through the prevention section carefully and be sure you have instituted as many of these ideas as possible.

Concerning aloe vera juice, some experiments with rats have found some protective qualities while other studies have found mixed results with improvement at some rates of administration and problems with other rates. All research is preliminary and some have criticized the lack of standardization of the carrier. One study noted the improvement was similar to that seen with sucralfate (see article for dosages).

At best it did not heal ulcers but did reduce severity of those induced by acid but not those induced by histamine. If you choose to use this experimental treatment you should consider it as an adjunct to omeprazole and not a replacement.
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Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 258
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 - 9:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


I agree with Dr. O, this is a management issue, but until the issues with his teeth are completely gone, you will probably need the medication to deal with it.

I have racehorses, this is probably the most stressful job a horse can do. They ship everywhere, are exposed to all types of environmental stresses. They race at high speeds. A good many of them spend their lives in a stall (not mine), Many have their hay, grain & water pulled before they race to empty them out(not mine).

In comparison, my horses are eating almost all day, either hay, grass, or a high fiber feed so they just about always have something to digest in their stomachs. Because of this the acid in their stomachs does not have time to build up and cause the ulcers in the first place. My horses are not fat because of the level of exercise they get.

Your horses teeth problems may have caused the ulcers because he was not eating properly. By completely treating & healing the ulcers now you may be able to keep their reoccurrence to a minimum once his diet gets stabilized and he is no longer uncomfortable when he eats.

You may be able to wean him from full tubes of Ulcergard to half and eventually a quarter tube as a maintenance dose.

Good luck with your horse.
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Username: dustee

Post Number: 15
Registered: 1-2007
Posted on Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Danielle--I have used Aloe Vera juice for both horses and dogs. I have purchased it at Walmart in a gallon jug in the medication/otc products area, and it has been under $10.00 per gallon. I mixed it both directly into the feed and orally. There has never been any reluctance with horse or dog, and it has been used to promote healing in the stomach/intestinal track. I have always been pleased with the results. I do not know how bad your horse is compared to my animals, however, it is a soothing juice. Oh, I guess I have used it myself, too. I forgot initially as it was about four years ago. IMO, I would certainly try it again, too, for the soothing and healing properties. Good luck!! Dustee
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Jennifer R.
Username: jjrichar

Post Number: 146
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Thursday, Jun 11, 2009 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Danielle, I feel for you as I had to go thru an ordeal of severe bleeding ulcers a few years ago with my one gelding. That gastrogard might as well be gold in a tube - it is SO expensive.

I have not used Aloe Vera but for a milder case, one vet gave me the gastrogard to use for a few weeks and then had me give my mare 'Nutrient Buffer'. It's a big jug of nasty smelling white stuff that, at best guess, acts as an antacid and coats the stomach. He had me give it to her before meals for a month. It seemed to work and it was 100 times cheaper.

For my more severe case, once I got thru the initial treatment of gastrogard for a month, I found some stuff at valley vet called 'U-gard'. It is like the nutrient buffer but much easier to manage and feed. It seemed to work very well.

Like the others mentioned, ulcers require close watch on the feed and hay you give as well as environmental stress management. I have discovered that like people, some horses just produce more stomach acid than others and are more sensitive to stress.

The vet hospital I use were part of a trial study with gastrogard, so I trust their advice on ulcers. Anyhow, my vet recommended alfalfa and higher quality pellets, as they are less abrasive and easiest on the stomach, and require a horse to produce less acid to digest them. But since my gelding can't have alfalfa, he gets Strategy pellets and bermuda hay, as well as a lot of turnout on the pasture grass. In the stall, I keep hay in front of him as much as possible so that he doesn't sit with an empty stomach for long periods of time. So far it has worked well for a few years now. If I notice him eating really slowly or him pacing when he eats I put him on ulcergard for a few days and he seems to go back to normal. I also give it to him when we haul him or during periods of stressful events, etc.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Marnie B. Finan
Username: mfinan

Post Number: 29
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Monday, Sep 30, 2013 - 10:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Doctor Oglesby,
Is there any current information (2013) on aloe vera juice for ulcers. I have a mare that has developed the symptoms while taking bute for an injury. I received a tube of ranitidine for the ulcers today. Still curious about the aloe vera, a friend of mine swears by it. She uses it for a competition barrel horse.
Thank you, it has been quite a while since I posted.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 26639
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013 - 6:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nothing new in the research Marnie.
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