Friday, April 1, 2011

and the verdict is...

We have ulcers!

This is before she was sedated. This horse was SO MAD that she didn't get breakfast. I was in her stall with her to clean it before the vet arrived and she was trying to eat the pitchfork. I left her door open with the chest guard up for two minutes and she had Gunner's halter in her mouth. She didn't care what it was; she wanted to eat it. Poor girl!

Pretty soon, though, the vet sedated her and she went to LaLa Happy Land for an hour. Sweet dreams, Lucy!

The gastroscope, all 5,000,000 feet of it. Just kidding, but there was a lot.

Some of the ulcers we found :( Poor sweet girl, no wonder she has been a rank b*tch. The vet said this would feel like constant heartburn to her.

The computer set up on top of the gastroscoping machine. The whole kit was impressive. I understand now why just the scope by itself was $400+.

The vet prescribed three weeks of GastroGard. My bill came to $1500 exactly, but that included a Lyme test and two vaccinations (today was the second round of Spring shots for the barn). She gets one tube of GG a day and each tube is about $50. I know I could have gotten it cheaper online, but since the insurance is paying for it, a) I don't really care how much it costs and b) I felt better getting it from the vet so that I would have just one bill to forward to the insurance company.

I also got to watch another horse get his hocks injected, which I have never seen before. Very interesting and surprisingly quick. I think they spent more time disinfecting the injection sites than actually doing the injections themselves.

I am excited to see if there are any changes in her level of happiness. I gave her the first tube of GG when I was at the barn earlier and most people say you start to see a difference within a week, usually after three days. Wouldn't that be nice :) I am just glad we got to the bottom of this nonsense and that she'll be feeling better soon.

As a reward for being such a good patient, Lucy got an extra special warm mash for brunch ;) and lots and lots of treats. She'll get a good dinner, too.

I am also very happy to report that she LOVES the new hay I got her. She ate every morsel of it last night! Good girl.


  1. That's great news! (Sort of!) Hopefully she'll be a new horse after the treatment. Are you going to put her on some kind of maintenance thing, too? I have Promise on G.U.T. from SmartPak and it seems to be working out really well, in addition to going herbal for pain meds, rather than Bute.

    Yes the joint injections are super quick...other than the disinfecting. I swear my vet spends 30 minutes scrubbing for a 5 second injection!!

  2. PS, I have literally been stalking your blog for hours waiting for an update ;)

  3. Hahah you are too cute :) I'm sorry I kept you waiting so long! I was at the barn by 7am to get the rest of her hay and water out of the stall, and then the vet got there at 11. I left the barn around 1 but have been zoning out on the couch because I did not sleep at all (I kept having nightmares that she ate too much hay and the vet couldn't see anything...I think I am losing it) so I am really exhausted. It's going to be an early night tonight!

    She has been on SmartGut for a couple months now and I think I will just keep her on that. She gets ProBios any time there's a change in her diet or if she needs bute. At the vets suggestion, I will also buy some U-Guard to keep on hand for when we go places this summer to give her some extra protection.

  4. That's right, I forgot she's been on SmartGut. I might be getting senile.

    No worries, blog-stalking has been a great way to avoid working on a Friday afternoon. :)

  5. I'm sorry to hear she has ulcers, but glad you have an answer. I also want to say that she may be the best LOOKING horse I've ever seen with ulcers and that says something about your horse care :)

  6. Boy, it's a good thing you had her checked! That was quite the set up, must have been cool to watch. I can't wait to see if resolving the ulcers gives you a more settled mare!

  7. Awww Dom <3 That's really sweet of you to say. Honestly the reason I was still on the fence about the ulcers is because she really does look so good, and it's not difficult for her to thrive. She doesn't even get very much grain anymore but isn't having through keeping on the weight, and she is generally happy and looks very healthy from the outside. But I'm glad we checked!

    Thanks Sarah, me too :D Boy wouldn't that be lovely...

  8. Woohoo! Congrats....sorta lol :P Like the above said, glad you have answers and now prayerfully she will feel much better! If I had insurance (or that kinda money lol) I would probably have Moose checked but he doesnt have any ALARMING symptoms or behavioral issues. Just minor once that lead me to think he may have\ or have had ulcers. Good luck!! :)

  9. Thanks Summer, I honestly don't know how people afford GastroGard without insurance. My vet charged me $50 a tube. That is so outrageous that I almost can't even wrap my head around it. The real issue is that Merial, the drug company that makes GG, has the rights on the technology and no other company can sell a similar product. That's why it's so expensive, and there isn't any competition out on the market. The good news it that their patent expires soon and I think this will mean that other companies will make identical products, and the price will come down significantly.

  10. Hey, I think there is a cheaper version out to Frizzle about it at
    Glad to hear you are working on it for Miss Lucy..I'm sure she'll be happier and more comfortable.
    I know those costs..I had Laz on GG forever it's worth it though.

  11. Thanks Kristen, it didn't matter to me what the cost was because the insurance company covers it. I have read lots on GG alternatives and nothing but GG has been proven to heal ulcers, therefore I didn't want to mess around with treatments that *might* work; I wanted to get it done and over with. The insurance company has been great to work with and was happy to pay for whatever the vet recommended.


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