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HorsePower Herbs' vision for all equines is for a healthy, balanced, nurtured existence in the care of man and nature.

The Ulcer Horse
GutProof™ as a Treatment Protocol

Ulcers in performance horses are caused by a variety of factors including feed, drugs, environment, stress, and certain forms of bacteria. The horses’ stomach is relatively small and unlike a human, the entire stomach wall does not contain a full measure of protective coating (mucous membranes) and is therefore damaged by excessive amounts of feed and pharmacuetical drugs.

Horses in the wild (free-grazing) eat an average of 106 pounds of fiber in 16 hours. These horses are on the move which adds gentle exercise to their digestive process. Of course grain is not an option and with each bite of fresh wild grass the horse would be getting probiotic rich bacteria to feed the healthy intestinal system. Performance horses are fed huge amounts of grain and some forage but can only manage to eat and turn a few feet. Couple this with dry, sprayed, processed feed that requires an overflow of acid into the unproctected stomach wall and you will see where the trouble begins.

Currently there is a trend to use acid supressing drugs to manage ulcers in horses. These drugs shut down the HCL (hydroclouric acid) that is necessary to split fats, digest protein and carbohydrates while also aiding with calcium absorption. HCL is key in killing much of the bad bacteria in the gut which feed yeast, molds, allergies, and viruses. Side affects of low acid include lung infections which occur when bacteria is allowed to grow unchecked, incomplete absorption of nutrients from feed and incomplete mineral assimilation. Calcium is acid dependent for absorption. Without enough HCL in time joints and bones will weaken, bad bacteria will flourish and complete digestion will be compromised.

Another major disruption of gut integrity is the popular overuse of NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which include Bute, Aspirin, Bantamine, Dexamethizone etc. These drugs inhibit the production of Cox one and two, both pro and anti-inflammatory compounds needed by the horses’ system for various tasks.

The most common side affect of NSAIDS is an upset stomach caused by inflammation of the stomach wall (gastritis) and the formation of gastric ulcers. Altough cox two creates inflammation, cox one is essential for the maintanance and integrity of the gut and upper part of the intestine. NSAID induced damage to the gut wall can lead to leaky gut. A leaky gut increases permability of the stomach wall, permitting incompletely digested proteins to enter the bloodstream which triggers inflammatory immune reactions. This worsens pollen allergies and contibutes to rheumatoid arthritis which may come and go with sporadic exposure to food allergens. NSAIDS also thin the blood, increasing bleeding time in the gut and slow healing to ulcerated lesions.

SEE OUR E-STORE for info on ORDERING GUT-PROOF™, addressing ulcers in horses

In medical journals it is well documented that regular use of NSAIDS have been shown to accelerate the breakdown of joint cartilage. The use of NSAIDS to relieve osteo-arthritic pain actually speeds up the underlying disease process. In humans, Vioxx is currently being investigated because of severe heart damage in close to 50% of the people using the drug.

Other contributors to gut damage include processed omega 6 oils, including corn and soy, which possess powerful pro-inflammatory substances. These substances stimulate inflammation causing chemicals such as protoglandin E2. Series two prostoglandins increase inflammation.  The unprocessed, unrefined Omega 3 and Omega 6 family of fatty acids (Equus Oil) supply the building blocks for a variety of powerful anti-inflammatory substances which help to heal the gut wall by making cellular membranes strong, flexible, and discriminating.

Cooking feed destroys live enzymes , needed for healthy digestion and gut integrity. Sweet feed contains cheap sugars which contribute to yeast, mold, and bacteria.  Racing and performance sports decrease beneficial bacteria in the gut with the overproduction of adrenaline and cortisol which destroy good bacteria.

Stress, isolation and fear add more damage to the ulcer horse, and many ulcer horses refuse to clean the feed tub because of the painful lesions .This creates added stress and frustration.

Antibiotic therapy destroys healthy bacteria that protects the gut from bad bacteria. Probiotics (Udo’s Choice) should be used after Antibiotic use.  GutProof contains a proven combination of herbs designed to restore gut integrity by soothing inflamed mucous membranes and delicate ulcerated tissue while aiding digestion. While drugs are built around a single molucule with a singular purpose, herbs have hundreds of different constituents designed to heal in various ways. Herbs in their whole form are powerful ,mineral rich aids to the digestive process.

Horses, as herbivores, respond in a much more favorable way to herbs for healing and support in both accute and chronic conditions.-Long term benefits from herbs are often preferable to short, symtomatic relief from drug use.

  SEE OUR E-STORE for info on ORDERING GUT-PROOF™, addressing ulcers in horses

HorsePower Herbs
Cathy McGlory



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