ULCERS/STRESS - "He’s not really a stressy type, so I don’t really know why he got ulcers in first place."
No horse or human needs to be a stressy 'type' to get ulcers - unless ulcers are directly caused by poor nutrition, stress itself builds up. We start with coping with it, then as more stressors get added into the equation, we struggle to cope with the fact that we're no longer coping, but just about hang in there. However, it all starts going properly wrong when we're no long coping with not coping anymore - this is when the fight/flight mechanism kicks in - the survival response, which is great in itself as it keeps us alive, but ... it's very act triggers the survival hormones (adrenalin/cortisol/norepiniphine) which apart from creating toxic residue in the body also switches off the gut function - after all, who need digestion when we're being chased by tigers? And so the stress cascade begins ...
This is all explain in our Stress page and Ulcers page, but to give you a flavour, the opening para of the Ulcer page says:
"Here’s a thing – ulcers are there because the gut environment is already altered, usually due to either some form of stress, inappropriate feed, or stress caused by inappropriate feed. Both these factors are the cause of why our horses – and us humans – get ulcers. Stress and/or the wrong food/food management destroy the gut environment, literally, which means that without a strong, healthy protective mucosal gut lining, the foregut (stomach) acid will leak and create a wound, aka an ulcer, because it’s almighty strong hydrochloric acid, same as a car battery."
However, you need to read on to appreciate just how important having that acid in the foregut is, and also how compromising to health those PPIs are, which this client had been prescribed by her vet for her horse.