Causes Of Ulcers In Horses
There are several different causes of the development of gastric ulcers in horses. Ulcers can be very mild or quite severe. Causes can include:
- Feed that does not allow the horse to produce saliva
- Too much exercise
- Stress increases the amount of blood flow to stomach
- Overuse of anti-inflammatory medications
How Do You Know If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
If you have a stomach ulcer, you may have:
- Burning/dull pain or gnawing pain in the center of your tummy
- Pain that worsens between meals
- Vomiting in the middle of the night
Visit the doctor/gastroenterologist if you
- Vomit blood that is bright red or dark brown
- Are passing dark, sticky, tar-like poo
- Have sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets worse steadily
- These could be the signs of internal bleeding, and this can be fatal.
Reduce Stress In Daily Life
Stress reduction techniques can help control signs and symptoms. To relieve stress, try:
Identify stressors in your current life. Learn how to manage stress. Exercise, if your doctor confirms its safe, and listening to soothing music can help.
Learn and practice relaxation techniques. May include relaxing breathing, meditation, yoga, and muscle relaxation.
Pursue relaxing activities. Spend time doing things you enjoy, such as hobbies or sports.
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Treatment Of Ulcers In Horses
Treatment of gastric ulcers in horses may vary depending on the severity of the ulcer. Treatment methods may include:
Specific acid inhibitors may be prescribed to your horse to treat his ulcer. Called Proton pump inhibitors, these prescription medications may be given by your veterinarian to decrease the amount of acid that the stomach is producing.
H2 Blockers are medications that may be chosen by your veterinarian to prescribe to your horse to block any histamine in your horse. Histamine encourages the stomach to produce more acid. Common histamine blockers are ranitidine and cimetidine.
Antacids are effective at blocking or & ldquo buffering& rdquo any stomach acid from affecting your horse. Antacids, though, are only effective for a limited amount of time. Your horse& rsquo s stomach is always producing acid, so large amounts are needed of this type of medication. If your horse is a performance horse, antacids may be beneficial to give sporadically, such as on the day of a performance.
Changes in Lifestyle
Effective treatments for ulcers also include making changes to your horse& rsquo s lifestyle. This may include increasing feeding times throughout the day, putting your horse to pasture, lessening his intake of grain, adding supplements, increasing roughage in his diet, and administering probiotics to help his digestion.
What Is A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are painful sores that develop in the lining of your digestive system. They usually form in the stomach but can also sometimes develop in the small intestine or the esophagus.
Heres the basics of how ulcers work:
Ulcers form when any combination of excess gastric acids, bacteria, drugs or other toxins cause damage and small openings to the mucosa, the tissue that lines the stomach, parts of the small intestine, and other organs. Mucosa normally protect particles from leaking out.
When someone has an ulcer, hydrochloric acid and pepsin build up and destroy parts of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The stomach usually manages acid/pepsin by creating a thick mucus coating that is supposed to act as a buffer between the stomach lining and the acids inside the stomach. The mucus coating itself usually produces certain chemicals that help repair the stomach lining, keep blood circulating and carry out cellular renewal processes. But some part of this process can become disturbed, and the lining of the GI tract can become exposed, forming small sores .
When you eat a meal, food washes the acid in your stomach away temporarily, as its used to break down the nutrients in the recently consumed food. But then once your food is digested, the acid once again accumulates in the stomach and can wash against the raw base of the ulcer, exposing and opening it up. This causes a burning, painful sensation, sometimes one thats very strong.
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Could I Have An Ulcer And Not Know It
5 min Read Time
Around 25 million people will have a stomach ulcer in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite their prevalence, the symptoms of an ulcer can frequently be mistaken for other conditions, like heartburnand some people may not show any signs at all. Its also unlikely that stress or your diet is the culprit. If youre concerned that your stomach pain could be something more serious, read on to find out the causes, proper treatment and prevention methods for peptic ulcers.
Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
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What Happens During Exposure To Stress
Your body activates the fight or flight response, more formally known as the sympathetic response. Following exposure to stress, this evolutionary mechanism interprets the stimulus as a threat, something that is putting you in danger. This was useful during times of a hunter-gatherer society when large predators hunted humans.
Epinephrine is released into the blood stream from the adrenal glands and causes an array of rapid changes.
Heart rate increases to circulate blood through the body at a quicker pace, delivering oxygen to the many muscles working hard to fight off or flee the beast. The blood vessels constrict, causing the blood pressure to increase while the airways dilate to allow a greater amount of air to enter the lungs. The pupils become larger to allow more light in while the perception of pain is reduced.
While all of these changes sound extreme, they help us in the moment and are balanced by the parasympathetic response that counteracts all of these processes. The real danger is when the stress becomes chronic and the body has difficulty ‘turning off’.
Lifestyle Change To Treat Stomach Ulcer
Reveal certain lifestyle enhancements to treat stomach ulcer. Quit smoking, drinking, and taking Nsaids. Smoking and drinking can both cause unbalanced qualities in digestive fluids, while Nsaids can agitate the adjustment if taken in high measurements. Stop each of the three while you are sitting tight for a determination from your doctor.
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What Is A Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a sore or hole that forms in the lining of the stomach or intestine.
The word “peptic” refers to the digestive tract. An ulcer in the lining of the stomach is a gastric ulcer. An ulcer in the first part of the small intestine is a duodenal ulcer.
The lining of the stomach is a layer of special cells and mucous. Mucous prevents the stomach and duodenum from being damaged by acid and digestive enzymes.
If there is a break in the lining , the tissue under the lining can be damaged by the enzymes and corrosive acid. If the ulcer is small, there may be few symptoms. The wound can heal on its own.
If the ulcer is deep, it can cause serious pain or bleeding. Rarely, acids in the digestive juices may eat completely through the stomach or duodenum wall.
Peptic ulcers are very common. They become more common as people age.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is believed to cause most peptic ulcers. This bacteria causes inflammation in the stomach lining. This probably makes the lining vulnerable. But only a minority of people infected with H. pylori develop ulcers.
NSAIDs block the formation of some prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are chemicals that normally help protect against ulcers. With less prostaglandins, ulcers are more likely to form.
- Family history
- Excessive alcohol use
When To See The Doctor
Peptic ulcers will get worse if theyre not treated, so contact your doctor if you have symptoms or any signs that you could have one. Unfortunately, a lot of the time the way people find out they have an ulcer is by developing bleedstheyre taking a lot of aspirin or NSAIDS and they either start vomiting blood or have black tarry stool, says Marcus.
Your doctor may be able to diagnose a peptic ulcer by talking with you about your symptoms. Be sure to disclose the frequency of NSAID use.
However, some tests are usually used to confirm the diagnosis. For instance, to see if you have an H. pylori infection, your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool. They may also look inside your stomach and duodenum by doing an endoscopy or X-ray. An endoscopy is a procedure where a lighted tube is inserted through the throat and into the stomach to check for abnormalities.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Each persons symptoms may vary. In some cases ulcers dont cause any symptoms.
The most common ulcer symptom is a dull or burning pain in your belly between your breastbone and your belly button . This pain often occurs around meal times and may wake you up at night. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
Less common ulcer symptoms may include:
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Bloody or black stool
- Vomiting blood
Peptic ulcer symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Do Stress Ulcers Go Away
The healing of a stomach ulcer is facilitated by the fact that the cells forming the stomach wall have a high turnover rate, one that is increased in those with ulcers. This makes sense because the cells in this environment are exposed to acids, large muscle movements as the food is churned, different spices, foods of various textures, etcetera. This means cells can ‘wear out’ quickly and need to be replaced. The larger danger occurs when the tissue is ulcerated for so long, that the cells begin to mutate, potentially placing you at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
However, if the tissue hasn’t reached a state with mutations, then given enough time and with a reduction in stress, the tissue will eventually return to its pre-ulcerated state.
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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
In addition to doing a physical examination, the doctor will take a medical history by asking about any concerns and symptoms you have, your past health, your family’s health, any medications you’re taking, any allergies you may have, and other issues. If you have stomach pain or other symptoms of an ulcer, the doctor will perform some tests to help make the diagnosis.
One test is called an upper gastrointestinal series. This is a type of X-ray of the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus, the muscular tube that links the mouth to the stomach. A person drinks a whitish liquid called barium while getting an X-ray, and if he or she has an ulcer, it should be outlined on the X-ray.
Another common procedure to look for an ulcer is called an endoscopy . During this test, the doctor uses an endoscope, a skinny, lighted tube with a special camera on the end.
A person getting an endoscopy is given anesthesia and will have no memory of the procedure. For an endoscopy, the doctor gently guides the endoscope into the throat and down into the esophagus, and finally into the stomach and upper intestines. The doctor is able to look at the inner lining of these organs from the camera on a television screen and can even take pictures. Tissue can be removed during an endoscopy and then tested for H. pylori bacteria.
Will Stomach Ulcers Heal On Their Own
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What If I Have An Ulcer And H Pylori Infection
The medicines described earlier heal ulcers whether you have H. pylori infection or not. But, if you have H. pylori infection too, your doctor also will treat the infection. H. pylori is hard to get rid of. No single medicine can cure this infection. The best way to cure H. pylori infection is to take several medicines at the same time.
To treat an H. pylori infection, your doctor will prescribe several medicines: one or two antibiotics plus bismuth or a medicine to block stomach acid production. This means taking a large number of pills every day. Some combinations that use fewer drugs also might help. Tritec is a pill that combines bismuth and a drug to reduce acid in the stomach. It is used with an antibiotic. Helidac is another medicine that combines bismuth and two antibiotics. Your doctor will tell you which medicines you should take.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who thinks they may have an ulcer in their stomach should consult their doctor. Any stomach symptoms that last for more than a few days or keep happening need evaluation and treatment.
A slow-bleeding ulcer can be signaled by symptoms of anemia, such as being tired and breathless. More serious bleeding is an urgent medical problem and can be signaled if blood is vomited up, or stools are black and sticky.
Perforation, or a hole in the stomach, is also an emergency. Without quick treatment, the wall of the stomach can become infected. Sudden stomach pain that gets worse can indicate perforation, and any signs of being very unwell with infection need treatment as soon as possible.
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If Your Ulcer Was Caused By Helicobacter Pylori
Most stomach ulcers are caused by infection with H. pylori. Therefore, a main part of the treatment is to clear this infection. If this infection is not cleared, the ulcer is likely to return once you stop taking acid-suppressing medication. For more information, see the separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori.
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How Is A Peptic Ulcer Treated
Some peptic ulcers heal on their own. But if you donât treat them, the ulcers tend to come back.
They can erode the blood vessel wall in your stomach or small intestine. The ulcers also can eat a hole through the lining and get infected. Or they can cause swelling, which may block food from moving from your stomach into your small intestine.
If H. pylori is the culprit, your doctor may prescribe a mix of antibiotics to kill it. If aspirin and other NSAIDs are behind the ulcer, you may need to cut down on them, stop taking them altogether, or switch to another pain reliever.
Your doctor may also give you antacids to fight stomach acid, or prescribe medicine to lessen the acid your body makes. Prescription drugs called cytoprotective agents can help protect the lining of the stomach or small intestine so the ulcer can heal.
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Family History And Peptic Ulcers
There is often a family history of peptic ulcer disease but reasons for this are unclear and peptic ulcers are not strictly a genetic disease.
Smoking also carries an increased risk of ulcers. Complications of ulcers, including delayed healing, are more common in smokers than in non-smokers. Lastly, ulcers may very rarely be the result of a hormone-producing tumor which leads to massive acid production. Ulcers in this condition are often multiple, aggressive and resistant to therapy. This condition is rare and accounts for only approximately 1% of all ulcers.
Whats The Best Thing To Do For A Poodle
4- Exercise your dog. A well exercised Poodle is a healthy Poodle! Dogs are not meant to live sedentary lives and daily moderate exercise is strongly recommended. With this said, very excessive exercise can be harmful (strenuous walking during hot weather without breaks for water and rest in the shade]
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What Is The Treatment For Peptic Ulcers
The choice of treatment depends on whether or not the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori. Correct diagnosis is key to whether a treatment works or not. If the bacteria are the cause, treatment focuses on killing the infection. Regardless of whether the bacteria are the cause, reducing acid in the stomach is another important focus of treatment.
The following treatments are recommended for ulcers:
- Lifestyle changes: Quit smoking, avoid alcohol, aspirin, and NSAIDs
- Acid-blocking medications
- Medications that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum
- “Triple-therapy” or “dual-therapy” regimens for ulcers caused by H pylori
No single medication works to get rid of H pylori infection. Two combinations have been found that work well in most people.
These treatments are generally given for two weeks.
Once H pylori bacteria are eradicated from a person’s digestive tract, usually it will not come back. The ulcers usually heal completely and do not return.
Treatment for bleeding ulcers depends on the severity of blood loss and includes:
It is important to remember that treatment may not work if the diagnosis is not correct. If the doctor diagnoses an ulcer, it is important to determine whether the ulcer is caused by infection with H pylori.