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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Stomach Ulcers/Excess Acid and Their Treatment

Hello Dr. Getty,

I own a 14 y.o. TB gelding who my vet suspects may have stomach ulcers/acid reflux. I have had difficulty keeping weight on him and his appetite was not good. A year ago, I put him on Neigh Lox and have had remarkable results. He put weight on, has an improved appetite, and has developed a wonderful attitude about his work (lower level dressage.)

Recently, my vet expressed concern about Neigh Lox because it contains aluminum phosphate. She suggested I try another product called Tract Gard. Also suggested to me, not by my vet, was to change my horse's diet from his current sweet feed (10/12 -protein, fat) to oats, beet pulp, and corn.

I just read a response you wrote, which said oats would not be good for a horse with now I'm confused. What would you suggest?

Thank you so much!

Where are you from? Massachusetts

How did you locate this forum? Internet Search for Equine Nutrionist

Re: Stomach Ulcers/Excess Acid and Their Treatment

Hi Suzanne,

Tractgard is a better approach than Neighlox but, in my opinion, should not be used indefinitely. It is far better, as I'm sure you would agree, to heal the ulcer, rather than simply neutralize the acid. Acid plays an important role in your horse's health, and continually neutralizing it can lead to infestations (bacterial, viral, and even parasites).

So, I have a few suggestions...

The best thing you can do is to offer him as much grass hay as he wants or continual pasture grazing. This will prevent the stomach wall from being exposed to acid on a constant basis.

Grain, which contains large amount of starch, and sweet feeds (which are high in sugar) actually stimulate more stomach acid formation, so I do not recommend changing to oats or corn. Beet pulp, on the other hand, is an excellent choice.

You could also give him a complete ration that is low in starch. There are several available. I believe in your area you are able to obtain Poulin feeds and they offer a Low Carb option. There is also Purina Ultium, and Triple Crown has several low starch options.

But, in addition to this, there are a few supplements that you may want to consider that will boost his digestive tract's ability to heal itself:

1. Flaxseed meal, such as Nutra Flax, for the omega 3 fatty acids.
2. Ration Plus to boost the health of the bacterial flora in his hind gut so that he can produce more B vitamins naturally.
3. Vitamin E to counteract the free radical formation from the inflammatory response he is experiencing.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Re: Stomach Ulcers/Excess Acid and Their Treatment

Thank you Dr. Getty. I plan to share this information with my vet because I would ultimately prefer to resolve these issues through diet as opposed to supplements. The grain I currently feed is from Poulin so I will investigate their low carb options.

Thanks again and I will keep you posted.

Where are you from? Massachusetts

How did you locate this forum? internet search for equine nutritionist