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Stress on the Showground: Quick Tips to Reduce Horse Show Stress

Every competitive horse owner knows that showtime is stressful. However, stress from training to trailering can affect horses, too.1

Horses can continue feeling the stress even after stepping off the trailer. Situations such as increased stall time — especially at an unfamiliar facility — and limited turnout, along with training and competing, can often lead to Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS).2 In fact, 63 percent of nonracing competitive horses can suffer from EGUS.3

EGUS can diminish the hard work spent preparing for an event with poor performance1 and even a change in attitude,4 meaning horses simply aren’t at the top of their game.

Even for a seasoned show horse, the competitive environment is a prime place to potentially develop painful stomach ulcers.3 Interrupted and infrequent meals, little turnout, frequent handling, bright lights, loud speakers,3 longer workouts and little downtime could cause ulcers to develop before the show is over.4 While it may not be possible to turn off speakers or regulate other horses in the barn, EGUS may be prevented with a few simple travel tips:

-While at the show, try not to change the normal feeding schedule and allow horses ample rest.

-Between extra practices, schedule regular downtime to allow horses to relax.

If possible, turn off overhead lights at night.

-Additionally, turn off any radios left on at the stalls. A recent study found that a radio left on in the barn could be considered a cause of stress for horses.5

Simple changes in the show routine can help reduce stress, but nothing can prevent it entirely. Even seasoned show horses can still fall victim to horse show stressors and EGUS.3 To help prevent EGUS and help keep horses at the top of their game, ask a veterinarian about ULCERGARD® (omeprazole).

ULCERGARD is the only product approved by the FDA for the prevention of EGUS and has been proven effective in preventing stomach ulcers with just one daily dose.*,6 The active ingredient of ULCERGARD inhibits acid production at the acid pump, while the patented formula ensures the omeprazole is stabilized to work effectively in the stomach.

After the long hours of practice and preparation, don’t let stomach ulcers take your horse out of the winner’s circle. Ask your veterinarian about ULCERGARD.

*When treated for 8 to 28 days, ULCERGARD is proven to effectively prevent stomach ulcers in horses exposed to stressful conditions.

ULCERGARD® (omeprazole) can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. The effectiveness of ULCERGARD in the prevention of gastric ulcers in foals and weanlings has not been evaluated. ULCERGARD may be used safely in breeding stallions. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.

1ULCERGARD product label.

2McClure SR, Carithers DS, Gross SJ, Murray MJ. Gastric ulcer development in horses in a simulated show or training environment. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227(5):775-777.

3Mitchell RD. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in hunter/jumper and dressage horses evaluated for poor performance. Association for Equine Sports Medicine. September 2001.

4Andrews M. Ulcers in the stomach and colon; diagnosis and treatment: a pain in the gut! International Veterinary Information Service. Available at: http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/aaepfocus/2005/Andrews.pdf. Accessed September 8, 2008.

5Lester GD, Robertson I, Secombe C. Risk factors for gastric ulceration in thoroughbred racehorses. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, Australian Government. Available at: http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/HOR/08-061.pdf. Accessed September 1, 2008.

6Freedom Of Information Summary for ULCERGARD Oral Paste.

®ULCERGARD is a registered trademark of the AstraZeneca Group of Companies. ©2008 Merial Limited. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. LAGEUGD883 (11/08).


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