When deciding whether to treat equine ulcers with omeprazole or sucralfate – it’s important to first identify the type of ulcer you’re treating. In general terms, omeprazole is effective on while sucralfate can alleviate symptoms of both gastric ulcers, and hindgut ulcers. When used inconjunction omeprazole and sucralfate is effective for glandular, pyloric ulcers of the lower stomach.
Treating with omeprazole or sucralfate
Sucralfate helps horses with ulcers by creating a protective coating on the surface of the ulcer. It provides relief to the horse nearly immediately. However, if you treat a horse with sucralfate alone – you may just be masking the problem.
Sucralfate is a good preventative treatment for horses in stressful ‘ulcer causing’ situations. For example stress caused by long distance travel or competition. The protective coating will help prevent ulcers forming in the first place.
Gastric Ulcers: Omeprazole works to reduce the production of stomach acid. This will stop the formation of new ulcers, while sucralfate heals existing ulcers.
Hindgut Ulcers: Sucralfate provides a protective coating to the horse’s hindgut, allowing existing ulcers to heal.
However, omeprazole wont stop the formation of new ulcers in the hindgut. This comes down to diet, lifestyle and balancing hindgut bacteria with a probiotic supplement.
Healing a horse with ulcers
Ulcers are notoriously slow to heal – so while sucralfate will help a horse feel better, you need to identify and treat the core problem during that healing process. First and foremost the lifestyle and diet of the horse should be considered to eliminate stressors and acid production.
Omeprazole and sucralfate are available is easy to administer granules.