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Symptoms of stomach problems

Does your horse show fussiness when presented with new or unfamiliar-tasting food? Does it react sensitively to any change in feeding? Does it show girthiness or is it “ticklish” on the belly? Does it alternate between concentrated feed and hay when eating? Does it lick at the salt block, metal rails, wooden wall or other objects while eating? Does it not like drinking cold water, but does it drink plenty of warm water? Does it occasionally “burp” or stink from its mouth, even though its teeth are fine? Does it show stereotypical behaviour such as cribbing or grinding its teeth when something is not to its liking?

In such cases, there is a risk that your horse may develop stomach problems, possibly progressing to gastritis or even stomach ulcers (

These stomach problems are not only prevalent in racehorses and sport horses but also affect a relatively high proportion of leisure horses.

The veterinary treatment of stomach problems should always be complemented with optimisations in the areas of keeping, feeding, and training.

Horse is given feed from a bucket
Does your horse show fussiness when presented with new or unfamiliar-tasting food? Could stomach ulcers be the underlying cause?
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Optimisation of housing, feeding and training

Essential measures include the reduction of stress and ensuring access to hay as roughage around the clock. The inclusion of starch-containing feed should be urgently minimized, or preferably eliminated entirely from the diet.

The keeping situation should be reviewed for possible stress factors and optimised as a matter of urgency. During training, ensure ample relaxed exercise in walk or easy trot, without placing undue pressure on success.

Avoid the excessive use of alkaline powder (sodium bicarbonate, baking soda), as it solely neutralizes stomach acid without any additional therapeutic effect. An age-old household remedy for stomach problems involves feeding thoroughly boiled linseed (approximately 50-100 g per day, boiled for a quarter of an hour, and fed lukewarm).

If this is impractical from an organizational standpoint or if the horse should not be given such quantities of linseed due to its weight, an alternative is to mix OKAPI Whole Psyllium with warm water or aniseed-caraway-fennel tea (available at drugstores or pharmacies), although the result is not entirely comparable to that of linseed.

The administration of OKAPI GasterCare Forte, specially developed for stomach-sensitive horses, has proven to be particularly supportive. It can also be administered preventively or before significant stress phases, such as moving to another stable, to support the physiological balance of the stomach membranes.