Best Ulcer Supplements for Horses 2022

Equine Ulcer Medication & Gastric Health Supplements

A staggering 60% of performance horses have gastric ulcers. Discuss with your vet the possibility of dietary and management changes as well as prescription medication. To support your stomach health, you might also consider adding a targeted gastric supplements, such as those found here.

Horse ulcers can be indicated by poor appetite, boredom, shifting attitudes and decreased performance. There may be discomfort in the stomach or teeth grinding in difficult situations.

To prevent and treat stomach ulcers, you should purchase the Best Ulcer Supplements For Horses. Make sure that the product is FDA approved and specifically marked for stomach ulcer treatment. Make sure to give the therapy for at least one month before you check for healing with an endoscopy.

Best Ulcer Supplements for Horses

Although there are many products that are geared towards ulcer prevention, not all products are the same.

A survey of horse owners found that Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome was the most common reason to change a horse’s diet.

Horses with ulcers may need to be given supplements and increased forage.

There are many natural and safe ingredients that can help heal the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is not enough research to prove their effectiveness.

Horse antacids and other ingredients will temporarily mask the symptoms of ulcers but work against the horse’s natural physiology. Supplements can cause digestive problems and may increase the risk of acid rebound or recurrence.

Horses can develop ulcers up to 90% of the time. Although ulcers are more common in endurance and performance horses than other breeds, they can affect all horses.

Consult a veterinarian if you suspect that your horse may have ulcers. Gastric ulcers can cause pain in the stomach. You don’t need to choose a supplement for them.

We review the 16 most widely used supplements that can reduce ulcer risk and improve gut health in horses.

An Overview of Equine Ulcers

Open sores or lesions in the horse’s gastrointestinal tract can cause Equine Ulcers. Gastric ulcers are most common in the stomach. Most ulceration occurs in the upper region.

This area is most exposed to stomach acids, and has a lack of defenses. The buffering effects of acidic environments are provided by Mucous, bicarbonate and the glandular area of the stomach.

The squamous region is unable to produce mucous, and it does not have a comparable defensive strategy. Instead, the squamous area relies on saliva and food to create a buffer against acids.

Medications for Ulcer Treatment

Equine ulcers are often treated with drug therapies . omeprazole and ranitidine are some of the available drugs.

These drugs can be effective in treating ulcers. However, they may have side effects.

Drug therapies act to reduce the production of gastric acid. The ability to reduce acid secretion can increase stomach pH , and allow ulcers to heal.

However, ulcer rebound is a common problem in horses after receiving drug therapies. After treatment is over, the stomach produces an excess of acid.

This phenomenon is called rebound acid hypersecretion, or RAH. It results in a low pH. This acidic environment can lead to new ulcers.

Natural Supplements

Many horse owners look for natural alternatives because of the chance of rebound and side effects from medications used to treat gastric ulcers.

Supplements to equine ulcers may work in different ways and can be helpful in preventing them. They may be useful in reducing ulcer rebound when used in combination with drugs .

We provide a summary on 16 popular supplements to treat equine stomach ulcers. Based on current research and clinical trials, also rate these supplements .

Before making any dietary changes, it is strongly recommended that you consult an equine nutritionist. Mad Barn provides a complimentary evaluation and personalized recommendations for horses when you submit a horse’s diet online.

Top 16 Supplements for Ulcers in Horses

1) Visceral+

Visceral+ is an all-in one supplement for horses suffering from ulcers. It has been clinically tested and proven to work.

Visceral+ was created in collaboration with Equine Veterinarians, who were frustrated by the frequent ulcer rebound when using Conventional Drug Therapies.

They felt there was a need to provide a supplement to horses receiving GastroGard (omeprazole), and UlcerGard to reduce the chance of relapse after treatment.

Visceral+ supports the function of the immuno system, and maintains stomach health2. It integrates with horse’s biology to help support the intestinal barrier, which protects stomach tissue against ulceration.

Visceral+ Ulcer Supplement for Horses


  • Clinically proven for ulcers
  • Restore integrity to gut lining
  • Prevent stomach upset recurrence
  • 100% safe & natural


Mad Barn’s Visceral+ formula combines multiple trusted ingredients for gastric ulcers including:

  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae – a specific strain of yeast developed to support digestive health
  • 20 billion CFUs of a 5-strain probiotic blend
  • Dietary Oils
  • Lecithin
  • Magnesium
  • Marshmallow Root Extract
  • Meadow Sweet
  • Slippery Elm Bark
  • Glutamine

The benefits of combining multiple ingredients in one product are likely to be greater than single supplements. These components have different actions and could be combined to provide a synergistic effect or enhanced effect.

Visceral+ offers complete nutritional support to your horse’s digestive system. Clinically tested, this supplement helps maintain healthy stomach and hindgut.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Supports the mucosal layer of the gastrointestinal tract by supporting normal mucin production
  • Supports healing of epithelial cells
  • Promoting digestive comfort to minimize stress
  • Supporting normal defenses against pathogens by helping to maintain immune health
  • Nourishing the equine microbiome with high-CFU supplementation of probiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to minimize pain and discomfort


Visceral+ was developed to address the high incidence of ulcer rebound following treatment with omeprazole.

Horses with gastric ulcers were subject to a clinical trial. They received omeprazole for 15-30 days, and Visceral+ for 30 more days.

The horses that were fed Visceral+ at 80g per day showed significant improvement in their condition and healed their ulcers.

Visceral+ also has been shown to support gastric health with no need for omeprazole.

THE VERDICT: Suitable evidence of efficacy in horses with ulcers.


2) Pectin-Lecithin Complex

Lecithin refers to a type phospholipid that is found in plants.

Phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine, are important fatty-acid-containing compounds that form cell membranes and have other important physiological roles.

Lecithin is often derived form soybeans and used in supplements.

Pectin is a sugar that’s commonly found in fruits, vegetables, and polysaccharides. Pectin can be described as a type fiber with prebiotic benefits.

Research has shown that pectin and lecithin can help protect the gastrointestinal system from acid damage.

Natural plant-derived compounds, such as lecithin and pectin, may help support intestinal barrier function. Supplementation with a pectin/lecithin combination may be beneficial for horses suffering from ulcers.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Forms a barrier within the gastrointestinal tract to protect cells of the intestinal lining from stomach acid
  • Increases digestibility of fats prior to entering the hindgut which reduces acid production from fermentation
  • Pectins form a gel by binding to bile acids, preventing them from causing damage


Ulcer Prevention

In a seven-day study of 8 ponies undergoing periodic food deprivation, administering a 250 g pectin-lecithin supplement daily did not prevent ulcers from forming. [9]

In another study over a longer duration of four weeks, mares fed hay and concentrate for two hours daily were given a pectin-lecithin supplement at 50 g per 100 kg of body weight. This is approximately equivalent to 250 g per day.

After four weeks, the researchers induced ulcers by depriving the horses of food. The supplementation protocol did not protect against the formation of ulcers or gastric lesions.

Ulcer Healing

In a different study, researchers fed the same pectin-lecithin supplement to horses affected by gastric lesions. The supplement was fed at a dosage of 300 grams three times per day.

Supplementation with the pectin/lecithin complex resulted in an increase in lesion severity.

Another study looked at the effects of the supplement on ten racehorses suffering from different levels of ulcer severity. Over 30 days, the horses were fed 50 grams per 100 kilograms of body weight (approximately $250g)

Significantly decreased ulcer severity in horses who were fed pectin and lecithin after treatment. After supplementation, three of the ten horses experienced complete healing of their gastric ulcers.

Although this study did not include a control, it supports the efficacy and healing of gastric ulceration with pectin-lecithin.

Although this supplement may not prevent ulcers from developing, it could help heal stomach lesions. To determine the optimal dosage, more research is required.

THE VERDICT : Suitable evidence of efficacy for healing ulcers. Ineffective for preventing gastric ulcers.


3) Glycine

Glycine, an conditionally essential amino Acid that is used to make proteins in our bodies, can be found here.

conditionally necessary Glycine is because the body’s requirements for this amino acids are often met by exogenous production. Horses can make enough of this compound in most cases to not need it in their diet .

Extra glycine might be useful in times of high demand, such as when there is rapid tissue turnover and ulcer healing. This amino acid is essential in times of rapid growth and healing.

Glycine serves many purposes in the body. Glycine is used to create collagen and muscle tissue . It is also required for the synthesis other amino acids like glutathione and creatine, as well as DNA.

Glycine also plays a role in maintaining tissues, which form the lining and digestion enzymes.

Glycine is essential to maintain the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, a mucous membrane that runs along the intestinal wall. Research has shown this. Supplementation with glycine may provide additional health benefits for your horse, as well as supporting gastric health.

Glycine, an amino acid, is involved in tissue repair as well as maintaining the integrity and health of the intestinal wall.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Involved in antioxidant reactions and increases the antioxidant capacity of cells
  • Enhances protein synthesis to reduce tissue damage and improve wound healing
  • Supports intestinal barrier function by maintaining gastric mucosa
  • Inhibits the secretion of stomach acid
  • Protects the mucosa from chemically and stress-induced ulcers


Glycine supplementation has been shown to support tissue repair and reduce wound severity in other species like humans and pigs.

Glycine supplementation decreased the severity, number, size and frequency of gastric ulcers in rats. The study involved a glycine dose of 25 to 35 mg per kilogram body weight. This is equivalent to 12-17 grams for a horse weighing 500 kg.

This study found no effect of Glycine on the secretion of stomach acids . However, other studies have shown different results.

Another study found that glycine protected rats from alcohol-induced ulcers. Researchers believe that glycine has a protective effect by acting as an antioxidant or free-radical scavenger.

There are very few studies that have evaluated the effects on horses of glycine supplement. There are however studies that include glycine and other anti-ulcer substances.

A pelleted supplement with several ingredients, including Glycine, was found to prevent more severe ulcers from the horses’ squamous regions. [14]

The study involved six weeks of stall confinement on horses. The horses were fed high-grain feed, with or without the pelleted supplements.

The supplemented group seemed to be protected against the recurrence of ulcers after treatment for gastric ulcer.

Mad Barn’s Visceral+ Supplement contains Dietary escape Microbial Protein (EMP(tm),). This is digested by the small intestine, and provides glycine and other amino acids that help make proteins for tissue repair.

Although there are very few studies that have examined the effects of Glycine on horses’ ulcers, many benefits can be found in other species to reduce ulcer severity. Further research should be done on the direct effects of Glycine in horses.

THE VERDICT There is some evidence that glycine can reduce ulcer severity. To understand the effects of glycine isolated on horse gastric ulcers, more research is needed.

Some Efficacy

4) Glutamine

Another non-essential amino acid that is involved in tissue repair and building is glutamine.

During times of illness or stress, however, glutamine is conditionally necessary. In times of extreme stress, such as travel or intensive training, the horse’s glutamine levels can quickly drop.

Horses that are prone to ulcers in competition season may benefit from supplementation, as their glutamine needs are higher during competition.

Glutamine could counteract the adverse effects of NSAIDs upon the digestive system. The intestinal barrier can be damaged by long-term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. This could increase the likelihood of developing ulcers.

Research has shown that NSAIDs can increase gut permeability. This could lead to the condition Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Toxins and bacterial products can be absorbed when the gut barrier function is compromised. This can lead to an immune response and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. It is also known as colitis.

Supplementation with glutamine may help to stop this increase in gutpermeability .

An amino acid called glutamine is used to stimulate tissue growth and repair. Horses can benefit from adding glutamine to their gastric health supplements.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Promotes the building and repair of tissues
  • Is a major source of energy for cells lining the gut


In a study on humans, NSAIDs increased intestinal permeability. This effect was partially blocked if glutamine was added at the same moment.

glutamine decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory genes in rats suffering from colitis. It could help reduce inflammation in the intestinal tracts of colitis-affected rats.

For seven days, the glutamine intake was 25mg per kg bodyweight. This is 12 grams per horse of 500 kg.

The researchers noticed significant improvements in the damage to the digestive tract after treatment with glutamine.

in vitro experiment examining the colon tissue of euthanized horses revealed that glutamine enhanced mucous composition. It may also support intestinal mucus barrier function.

These horses’ colons were exposed to inflammatory agents and NSAIDs in order to increase permeability, and cause damage. Glutaamine administration improved colon recovery.

This amino acid is not well studied in horses. However, it is well-known that glutamine is one the main energy sources to cells of the digestive system.

These cells are supported by adequate amounts of this amino acid, as well as adequate mucosal production. This protects against damage from stomach acids.

Mad Barn’s Viscosal+ supplement contains glutamine.

THE VERDICT: Strong evidence of efficacy for ulcers.


5) Yeast

Single-cell organisms, yeast, naturally populate horses’ digestive tracts. Most horse supplements use yeast from the Saccharomyces genera, which includes several species.

Saccharomyces cerevisaie, and Saccharomyces Boulardii have been well-researched yeast species that offer a variety of benefits for digestive and immune health.

Horses can benefit from the probiotic effect of Yeast. Yeast supports hindgut function in horses. It improves fibre digestion and stabilizes hindgut pH.

Horses can benefit from yeast’s digestive health benefits. Although it may reduce the risk of equine gastric ulcers, more research is needed.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Increases gastric fluid pH levels
  • Improves nutrient digestibility
  • Reduces volatile acid production


There is a lot of research that Saccharomyces can be used for overall digestion health in horses but very little information about its effectiveness for treating gastric ulcers.

Studies that have examined the effects of Saccharomyces yeast in horses with equine ulcers used supplements with or a combination of other ingredientss. It is difficult to determine what role yeast played.

A 2014 study on Thoroughbred horses that had been subject to high-intensity exercise examined the effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, along with a pectin/lecithin complex as well as magnesium hydroxide (an antacid).

2 grams of yeast was fed along with 95 g pectin-lecithin and 20 g magnesium hydroxide.

The severity of ulcers was not reduced by this supplement combination. It did decrease the chances of developing more severe ulcers after intense exercise.

Another equine study found that horses were given a high starch diet in an attempt to lower their hindgut pH levels. This diet made the hindgut acidic.

Hindgut ulcers can be caused by excessive acidity in the hindgut (also known as hindgut Acidosis).

Yeast supplements stabilized the pH levels of these horses by reducing acidic concentrations in their hindguts. This could be a benefit in reducing hindgut ulcers.

There is strong evidence that yeast supplementation can improve digestive function and overall gut health. However, more research is required to determine if there are any benefits for gastric ulcers.

The Verdict: Some evidence of efficacy in horses. More research is required with a focus on gastric ulcers.

Some Efficacy

6) Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm Bark is derived from the American Elm Plant. Slippery Elm bark is believed to soothe irritations in the digestive tract and aid in healing ulcers.

This natural plant extract could be of benefit because it contains high levels of mucilage as well as high amounts calcium, flavonoid and vitamin.

Slippery elm bark has been said to relieve gastric irritations and ulcers. Supplementing it with horses may prove beneficial.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Soluble fibre content delays gastric emptying, keeping the stomach full for longer
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Supports mucous barrier function
  • Acts as a prebiotic, supporting the growth of beneficial probiotic microorganisms within the digestive tract


Supplementation with slippery Elm was found to improve symptoms in people with gastric irritation. This was based on self-evaluation.

Large observational studies on horses showed significant benefits from slippery elm mucilage for ulcers.

Four days of slippery-elm supplementation in horses suffering from ulcer-related colic led to improvements in 85% of horses.

This study showed that 23 horses with gastric ulcers experienced complete healing after the use of the slippery-elm supplement. These results were not influenced by any other treatments.

Slippery Elm Bark appears to increase the mucous barrier and reduce gastric irritation.

THE VERDICT: Moderatae evidence of efficacy for equine gastric ulcers.

Some Efficacy

7) Marshmallow Root Extract

Marshmallow root extract can be used to reduce irritation and inflammation in your respiratory system and soothe your digestive tract.

Marshmallow ( Altheaofficinalis), has been used for centuries as a digestive treatment . This herb’s roots contain high amounts of polysaccharides, which form mucilage and flavonoids that support healthy cell growth.

Marshmallow root extract can reduce inflammation and oxidative stresses in the gastrointestinal tract. It can also help with tissue healing.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Polysaccharides bind to mucous membranes to soothe irritated cells of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Antioxidant and anti-histamine effects can support healthy cells lining the digestive tract


Horses have not had extensive studies on marshmallow root extract. Marshmallow root extract can be used to support the mucous membranes in other animals, such as humans.

The severity and number of gastric ulcers was reduced by feeding rats marshmallow flower extract for 14-days. The oxidative stress was significantly decreased and inflammatory histamines were released in significant amounts.

in vitro experiment showed that marshmallow root extract supports healthy gut cells by creating a protective layer. These results indicate that marshmallow root extract aids in healing tissue beneath this protective layer.

THE VERDICT: Some evidence of efficacy for gastric ulcers in other species. More research is needed in horses.

Some Efficacy

8) Meadowsweet

The active ingredient in aspirin is Meadowsweet ( Filipendula Ullaria). It is a natural source for salicylic acid from the herb, called Meadowsweet.

It is used as an antifever, anti-inflammatory, and pain relief supplement in traditional medicine.

Horses suffering from arthritis and digestion problems such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, and indigestion are recommended to Meadowsweet products.

In animal models, Meadowsweet seems to prevent gastric ulcers. To relieve pain and soothe irritation, it is often added to complete digestive health supplements.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Tannins in meadowsweet are thought to protect the gastric mucosa and reduce irritation in the intestine
  • Salicylates have anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects


Meadowsweet was shown to protect animals from experimentally induced gastric ulcersHorses have not been subject to research on gastric ulcers and meadowsweet.

It is used primarily in gut health supplements to relieve pain from ulcers or intestinal irritation. It can be used to support comfort, aid in resuming normal behavior and increase feed intake.

THE VERDICT: Some evidence for minimizing gastric ulcers in other species. More research is needed in horses.

Some Efficacy

9) Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a perennial succulent plant that makes aloe gel. This gel is used medicinally because of its anti-inflammatory qualities.

Anthraquinones and salicylic acid are some of the bioactive components. Aloe vera also contains many vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Aloe vera gel has been used to treat digestive problems in humans since many years. There is strong evidence that it works.

Aloe vera leaves gel is well-known for their soothing properties. It may also have healing benefits for horses suffering from ulcers.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • May inhibit pro-inflammatory mediators, specifically prostaglandin E2 and interleukin 6
  • Acts as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Improves the integrity of the mucous barrier due to its glycoprotein content
  • May help regulate gastric acid secretions


Ulcerative Colitis is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, (IBD), in which ulcers form in the large intestinale (colon).

The effects of aloe gel on ulcerative colitis in patients were compared with a placebo to achieve clinical improvement, remission and response.

Patients who consumed 100ml of aloe gel twice daily for four consecutive weeks saw significant improvements in all three variables, compared to patients who ate the placebo-control group.

Aloe vera was used to treat horses suffering from gastric ulcers.

Forty horses suffering from squamous or glandular lesions were treated with aloe gel (17.6mg/kg bodyweight) or with omeprazole (4mg/kg bodyweight) for 28 days.

Aloe vera supplemented horses showed that 56% of them experienced a decrease in their ulcer severity, and 17% had complete healing. This study showed that omeprazole was more effective than aloe versa, with greater improvement and healing rates.

Although not as effective as Omeprazole, aloe vera gel treatment was effective in treating gastric lesions. Future studies are needed to determine dose response.

Pregnant mares shouldn’t be given aloe vera. Adverse effects may occur in pregnant mares.

THE VERDICT Some evidence of efficacy. More research is needed in horses.

Some Efficacy

10) Bioactive Proteins

Bioactive proteins are protein molecules that have been derived from either blood plasma, or serum. They are usually derived from bovine (cow), or porcine (pig), species.

Different animal species have demonstrated benefits for tissue repair and gut health with bioactive proteins.

Supplementing horses with bioactive protein can have many benefits. To prevent ulcers, more research is required.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Exerts an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing different inflammatory mediators
  • Maintains mucosal integrity by preventing damage from acids in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Promotes tissue repair by supplying growth factors


In pigs with ulcers, supplementing the diet with plasma proteins improved tissue repair. These results are attributed to an increase in growth factors.

Ulcer Prevention

Horses were treated with bovine bioactive protein in order to prevent ulcers .

One study found that horses were given 210g of serum active proteins twice daily for 21 days. They were subject to high-intensity training for the purpose of inducing ulcers over the past two weeks.

Only 14% of horses in the supplemented treatment group suffered from ulcers , compared with 86% in the control group.

In this study, researchers also looked at the effects of twice daily feeding of 80g of serum bioactive protein. The efficacy at this rate was lower, suggesting that it is dose-dependent.

Ulcer Healing

Porcine collagen was shown to improve the efficacy of omeprazole in treating ulcers.

Thoroughbred horses were treated using omeprazole, and supplemented daily with porcine collab at 45 g for 56 consecutive days.

Omeprazole decreased acid secretion from the stomach resulting in a higher gastric pH.

Horses treated with omeprazole alone had significantly less severe ulcers in their squamous regions than horses that were supplemented by porcine collagen.

There are many other benefits to bioactive proteins in horses such as better performance in raceshorses.

THE VERDICT: Effective under specific conditions and doses.

Some Efficacy

11) Corn Oil

Corn oil is a common source for fat in Equine Diets. This oil has a high level of the omega-6 fatty acids – Linoleic acid.

Human research has shown that duodenal ulcers can be caused by low intake of linoleic acids.

Linoleic acid could also lower the production of gastric acids , which may help to prevent horses from developing ulcers.

Although corn oil can reduce the number of ulcers in the glandular region, it is not likely to help with more common squamous ulcers.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Impacts the rate of gastric emptying
  • May reduce gastric acid secretion
  • Anti-inflammatory effects by increasing prostaglandin concentrations


Corn oil supplementation at 45ml per day for five week in ponies resulted in lower gastric acid production, and higher anti-inflammatory prostaglandins levels.

In another study, there was no preventative effect on the formation of gastric ulcers when corn oil was added to horses’ diets for six weeks.

Recent studies evaluated the effect of corn oil supplementation upon healing gastric ulcers.

Researchers divided fifteen horses in three groups, each receiving either 0 mg, 70 mgl or 90 mg per 100kg BW corn oil.

Corn oil did not affect levels of volatile fat acids (acetate and butyrate) found in horses’ gastric fluid. Gastric ulcers are often caused by elevated levels of volatile fatty acids in your stomach.

Corn oil was able to improve the mucous and aid in healing ulcers in the glandular area. It did not affect ulcers in the squamous.

Despite the mixed evidence, it may be beneficial to give corn oil to your horse to treat ulcers in their glandular region.

The Verdict: Mixed evidence. Preliminary results suggest a benefit for glandular ulcers.


12) Zinc

Zinc, an essential trace metal for horses, has many roles to improve overall horse health.

Zinc is involved in protein synthesis and immune function. It also has antioxidant properties. Zinc is important for wound healing, and it may help prevent gastric ulcers.

Zinc Sulphate has been used for years to heal gastric ulcers.

This mineral has a Cytoprotective Effect. It stimulates mucus production and increases blood flow to the intestinal wall.

Zinc is an important mineral for horses. Zinc supplementation may reduce ulcers in horses.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Is a component of antioxidant enzymes
  • Improves the mucous barrier in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Supports circulation to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Promotes tissue repair to help heal ulcers


Zinc has been shown to be effective in ulcer healing in both animal and human models. Zinc’s ability to reduce ulcer severity and development was demonstrated in a study done in rats.

Rats fed zinc-deficient diets had lower rates of healing ulcers than those who met their zinc requirements.

A human study found that oral zinc sulphate of 220 mg three times daily improved the healing of benign gastric ulcers. The group that received zinc supplementation had a higher rate of complete ulcer healing than the placebo.

There is less research on the effects zinc supplementation for horses with ulcers.

zinc-methionine () supplement was tested in horses. It showed promise for reducing the risk of ulcer recurrence. The equine diet is often deficient in methionine, an essential amino acid.

Ulcers in 32 horses were treated with omeprazole and then supplemented with zinc-methionine over a period of 49 days.

To induce ulcers, food deprivation was used. All horses were tested for ulcer severity by researchers. Zinc-methionine supplementation reduced the severity of.

This study did not include a control group, so it was difficult to draw clear conclusions about other factors that may have contributed to the severity of ulcers.

This study does not prove that zinc can heal gastric ulcers.

THE VERDICT: Some limited evidence of efficacy for gastric ulcers in horses. More research is required

Some Efficacy

13) Sea Buckthorn Berries

The seabuckthorn plant and Hippohphae Rhanoides have promising results in humans for stomach ulcer prevention.

The extract is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for tissue repair and wound healing . It also contains amino acid, which is the building blocks for protein.

Sea buckthorn extract contains nutrients that promote wound healing. Horses could be less likely to develop ulcers by taking this supplement.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Supports healthy tissues with antioxidants (vitamin C and vitamin E)
  • Procyanidin, found in sea buckthorn, may promote healing and repair of mucosal cells by increasing growth factors
  • Amino acids support protein synthesis and help with tissue repair


Sea buckthorn extract from rats appeared to treat and prevent ulcers caused by high levels of Acetic Acid.

The preliminary results are encouraging in rodents, but there is very little evidence in horses.

Eight Thoroughbred horses from Thoroughbreds were given 3 oz sea buckthorn extract two times daily. Researchers determined the pH level of the stomach and assessed the severity and number of ulcers that were present in the squamous area.

There were no changes in ulcers after 30 days. Horses that were starved of food to cause ulcers did not develop further ulcers . However, horses treated with seabuckthorn berry didn’t experience any additional increases in their severity or number.

Notably, the gastric acid environment was not altered by the addition of seabuckthorn berry extract.

These benefits were not observed in a separate study. The horses were given 35.5g (4 oz.) of seabuckthorn berry extract for five consecutive weeks, before being deprived of food to induce stomach ulcers.

Researchers found that seabuckthorn berry extract could not prevent an increase in the severity of ulcers . Supplementation did little to reduce the number of ulcers in squamous regions.

They found that horses given the extract supplemented by it had less ulcers and a lower severity of ulcers in their glandular region.

The researchers found that the extract supplementation did not affect the gastric pH.

THE VERDICT: Mixed evidence for reducing ulcer severity in horses. More research is required.


14) Wei Le San

Wei Le San or Xilei San is an old Chinese herbal formula that contains nine different herbs.

This herbal mixture may be helpful for decreasing inflammation and providing antioxidant protection.

It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for a long time, but there has been very little research into its mechanism and effectiveness.

However, it can increase epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) in rats, which could help support the healing of gastric ulcers.

Both rodents as well as humans have seen the benefits of Wei Le San in treating ulceration. This has yet to be proven in horses.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Reduces inflammation in the intestinal tract
  • Helps maintain appropriate blood flow
  • increases EGF, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1)


Study in rats and mice with colitis revealed that administration of Wei Le San decreased pro-inflammatory mediators, and supported tissue repair.

Four weeks of Wei Le San supplementation was given to patients with ulcers in their rectal regionof large intestine. Supplementation was shown to improve ulcer clinical conditions.

Researchers fed five grams of Wei Le San to horses over five weeks. The severity of gastric ulcers was not affected by Wei Le San when compared to a control group.

THE VERDICT Some evidence of inefficacy in horses which contrasts with results from human and rodent studies.


15) Licorice

Licorice root extract is a herbal remedy that comes from the Glycyrhiza glabra plants. It is one of the most ancient remedies known to mankind. It is used to treat digestive problems such as acid reflux and heartburn.

Saponins are bitter-tasting glycosides found in licorice root that have bioactive effects on the body. Saponins may have surfactant effects which can improve the integrity and the mucous membrane.

Different modes of action can be found in licorice extracts for ulcers. deglycyrrizinized (DGL) is the most popular form of licorice used for supplementation.

To reduce irritation in the stomach, people often use licorice extract. It is worth further research to determine if it can benefit horses suffering from ulcers.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

  • Stimulates mucous production
  • Improves mucous composition with incorporation of glycoproteins and protein synthesis
  • Inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2
  • Reduces degradation of anti-inflammatory mediators


Supplementation with Licorice appears to be very effective in the prevention of and treatment of ulcers in rodents.

Extracted DGL exbihits antiinflammatory effects comparable to traditional drug treatments in rats

Another study on rats revealed anti-ulcer effect of licorice after ulcers were inducible by Aspirin in their stomachs.

Traditionally, licorice was used by humans to relieve ulcers.

DGL was reported to have significantly reduced symptoms in patients suffering from gastric irritation. On a self-rated scale, licorice was better than the commonly used antibiotics to reduce irritation.

No studies have been done to evaluate the effects of licorice supplements on horses suffering from ulcers. This ingredient is frequently added to herbal supplements for horses.

DGL was one of the ingredients in the pelleted supplement that prevented horses from developing ulcers. 

THE VERDICT High efficacy for ulcers in rodents, and potentially humans. More research required in horses.

Some Efficacy

16) Antacids

Antacids can be used to treat gastric upset in many animals, including horses.

Ulcers can be caused by acidic erosion of the intestinal wall from gastric acids. To prevent ulcers, lower the acidity in the stomach.

Although it is common wisdom to feed horses antacids in order to reduce ulcer risk, there may be adverse side effects. may not prove useful for long-term prevention of gastric ulcers.

The most common antacids for horses are:

  • Aluminum hydroxide
  • Magnesium hydroxide
  • Calcium hydroxide
  • Dicalcium phosphate

Antacids are used to buffer the stomach and increase its pH through neutralizing acid gastric acids. Antacids can cause pH to rise above the natural levels in your stomach.

The stomach’s purpose is to activate digestive enzymes and acidify foods . Antacid supplements can inhibit the function of stomach acids and affect digestive health and nutrient absorption .

Additionally, there is a chance of acid rebound if antacids are removed from your diet. This could lead to the recurrence or worsening of ulcers.

Antacids are short-term relief for gastric ulcer irritation. They may cause more harm than good.

Proposed Mechanism of Action:

  • Maintain and/or neutralize gastric pH
  • Neutralizes hydrochloric acid


An antacid made of magnesium hydroxylide (4.8 g), and aluminum hydroxide (8.8 g) were compared to rantidine (and famotidine), two commonly used treatments for gastric ulcers.

For 6 hours, the researchers measured the gastric pH after administration.

The horses’ gastric pH was approximately 1.8 before treatment. With antacid solutions, the pH rose slightly but only for a brief time. ranitidine and famotidine treatment increased pH to 6 for horses treated for 1.5 to 2 hour.

Alternately, the gastric pH levels were increased to 5 after 2 hours of administration. Five healthy horses were given a treatment containing 30 g aluminum and 15 g magnesium hydroxide.

Lower than that did not cause a significant increase in pH of the gastric juices.

Recent research evaluated an combination of an antacid, yeast and an vitamin for the prevention of ulcer severity in Thoroughbred racing horses.

Twenty-four horses suffering from mild gastric ulcerations had been fed 20g of magnesium hydroxide and two grams of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or a pelleted placebo.

Horses who were given the placebo had a significantly worsening of ulceration. However, horses who were given the antacid-yeast complement didn’t have any.

There were no improvements in ulcers. These horses did not have ulcers that were worsened by the antacid.

It is not recommended to raise stomach pH levels for prolonged periods of time. This study showed that pH levels were higher than the preferred concentrations for horses.

The effects that antacids have on horses are also short-lived. Horses will need to be supplemented every few hours in order to maintain their efficacy.

This is a false assumption and will ultimately lead to no long-term effectiveness for giving antacid supplements your horse.

An antacid can provide temporary relief. Other supplements and treatments can provide better long-term outcomes.

The Verdict:Poor efficacy for long-term prevention and treatment of ulcers in horses.


How to Reduce Ulcer Risk for your Horse

Horse ulcers can be relieved by current drug therapies such as omeprazole. These treatments can lead to relapse once the drug has been removed.

Natural dietary supplements are preferred because they support horses’ biology to promote healing of ulcers , and maintain gut barrier function.

There are many things that can lead to equine ulcers. It is crucial to determine the cause of ulcers in horses.

Factors that can affect ulcer risk include:

  • Intermittent feeding or limited access to forage throughout the day
  • Dietary components, such as high-grain or high-concentrate diets
  • High-intensity exercise regimens
  • Environmental stressors such as stall confinement and transport
  • Social stress such as herd changes

This is not a complete list of supplements to treat equine ulcers. This review will give you some information on selecting the right supplement for your horse .

Mad Barn created Visceral+ to treat all types of ulcers. It uses the most advanced science to eliminate the need for individual supplements.

When adding nutritional supplements to your horse’s food, consult an equine nutritionist.

Online, you can submit your horse’s food for a free analysis. One of our qualified equine nutritionists will give you advice about how to feed your horse to lower ulcer risk.

These are the signs and symptoms that can indicate that your horse may have gastric ulcers. Follow up with your veterinarian

Visceral+ Ulcer Supplement for Horses


  • Clinically proven for ulcers
  • Restore integrity to gut lining
  • Prevent stomach upset recurrence
  • 100% safe & natural

Why Should You Use The Horse Ulcer Supplement?

Why Not Medicine?

The following are reasons why Veterinary Clinics of North America researchers suggest the following:

  • The long-term use of expensive FDA-approved medicines is not recommended. A prescription from a veterinarian is required for pharmacological agents.
  • Gastric ulcers often recur after discontinuing medication. This requires ongoing treatment.
  • Omeprazole may cause stomach acidity to drop and can have a negative effect on digestion when taken for a prolonged period.
  • Certain medications are not allowed in horses for performance reasons, so it is necessary to use alternative or complementary remedies.
  • Omeprazole can be used to treat or prevent Equine Gastric Ulcer syndrome (EGUS). It also includes stomach protectors and antacids.

Why Should Supplement?

According to the above-mentioned researchers, treatments for EGUS should identify and conquer the causes and manage the environment, food and pharmacological interventions. To support digestive health, owners should look for items with the following components:

  • Pectin gels up when exposed to acidic conditions and binds bile acid, conserving the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Lecithin reduces surface tension.
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Sea Buckthorn (living yeast) (rich vitamins and antioxidants).
  • A healthy balance of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acid is provided by dietary oils.
  • Minerals, such as zinc, can improve skin healing and immune function.


How Many Types Of Ulcers Are There In Horses?

Although most ulcers occur in the stomach they can also develop in the colon. These are also known as Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, (EGUS) and can be diagnosed in two ways:

  • Equine Glandular gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGGUS), a rare form, is more common in racehorses than endurance horse breeders. The epithelial line can resist solid acids and is less susceptible to pain or damage.
  • ESGUS (Equine Saquamous Gastric Ulcer Syndrome), also known as ESGUS, can be found in 60 to 80% of horses suffering from gastric ulcer symptoms.
  • Warning: Horse stomach ulcers can lead to colon or hindgut ulcers. These are more difficult to diagnose and require conservative treatment.

What Causes Ulcers In Horses’ Stomach?

To determine the cause of the ulcer, you should consult your veterinarian. Knowing the causes will help you plan for long-term treatment and successful therapy. These are the reasons:

  • EGGUS is caused when the mucosal membrane, which covers the horses stomach glands, becomes damaged. It is also caused by acid in horse stomach. The use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), regularly, and bacterial infections are other causes.
  • ESGUS can also be made from stomach acid, germs or parasites because squamous lacks protective systems for the glandulars.
  • EGGUS and ESGUS both impact on colonic ulcers. They develop from stomach ulcers.

What Do You Feed A Horse With Stomach Ulcers?

You can reduce the severity and recurrences of ulcers by combining medical therapy with food and nutrition management.

Increase in graze

Horses that graze on meadows are less likely to develop ulcers than horses who graze in installed areas. Avoid giving your horse two large meals per day, restricting his water intake, isolating him from other horses and not giving him enough exercise.

Your foraging potential can be increased

Alfalfa is rich in calcium, magnesium and protein, which protects the stomach lining. Each 100-kg body weight gets 1-1.5kg of high quality grass or hay every day.

Reduce your consumption of grain

Limit your daily grain intake to 0.5kg for every 100 kg of body weight. Avoid ulcers by giving hay first and then grains, and limiting the time between grains. You can substitute high-quality grass or lucerne hay for sweet meals, barley or oats.

Make sure you have plenty of water

It is important that horses have access to safe drinking water. Horses that are deprived of water will eat less and become more sensitive to stomach acid. This can increase the likelihood of developing ulcers.

Horses in training should not be given mucus or hypertonic sodium electrolyte replacement solution orally. They could get stomach ulcers worsened. You should feed your horses small amounts.

What is the time it takes for horses to heal from ulcers?

It can take up to a week for ulcers to heal depending on how severe they are and what kind of therapy was used. Even if symptoms disappear, it is important to continue with the treatment program. Although the symptoms may be relieved by the active medication, the ulcers will not heal completely.

Veterinarians should perform follow-up diagnostics such as fecal blood tests or endoscopy before discontinuing treatment. They should be consulted before you give your horse vitamins and probiotics. They will be able to advise you about dosage, drug use, side effect, and how to change your stalling and eating habits.


You are now aware of the fact that essential nutrients can be used to treat horse ulcers. If you have any questions about the ulcer symptoms or conditions of your horse, consult your veterinarian. After using this supplement, we have seen horses gain weight and heal from their ulcers.