Health

Protecting a Trusted Partner

Quarter Horse enthusiast named Merial Stay on Guard spokeswoman.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Lyndsey Tait and her American Quarter Horse Skys Blue Star have been together since he was a yearling and she was just 13.

During the decade since the two became partners, they have developed a rare and special bond. Lyndsey, even though she was so young, was the first one to ride Sky. She could also go into his stall while he was napping, and the big gray simply continued to doze with Lyndsey sitting on top of him.

“He was just so quiet and trusted you. He really wanted to please you,” she says. Even when “Sky” grew into his long legs and big ears, towering at 17.2 hands, he remained just as gentle.

Today, with a successful and busy competition schedule including more than 20 shows a year, Lyndsey knows how important it is to help her gelding feel his best. That’s why she and her trainer decided to use Ulcergard (omeprazole) as a part of Sky’s horse show health care routine.

In the AQHA FREE report Laminitis Treatment, you’ll hear a first-hand story about how Dr.  Micheal Steward’s technique took a critically ill horse and gave him renewed life.

“Most of the summer, we are at shows almost every week for at least four to five days, so I understand how it would be stressful for him, especially at longer shows like the (All American Quarter Horse) Congress and (AQHA) World (Championship Show). I want to be sure to prevent stomach ulcers from making him feel bad. Ulcergard really helps, and that’s why I use it.”

In the two years since Sky and Lyndsey were first introduced to Ulcergard, Lyndsey has become a firm believer in the product as a way to help prevent stomach ulcers from occurring. Her positive experience with the product inspired her to enter the Merial Stay on Guard spokesperson contest. She was selected as a finalist in the English division and went on to win. In addition to Lyndsey, three other Stay on Guard spokeswomen were named: Kari Kemper Hickam in the western category, Christina Zehender in the racehorse category and Amie Allen in the veterinarian/veterinary technician category.

Since becoming one of the Stay on Guard spokeswomen, Lyndsey is even more aware of how and why horses are susceptible to stomach ulcers. As Dr. April Knudson, equine specialist for Merial’s Large Animal Veterinary Services explains, “Horses are creatures of habit. When they are removed from their home, loaded into a trailer and taken to a strange place, it can cause stress.1 The show environment in particular involves a lot of different experiences -- including new arenas, unknown barn mates and odd working times. All these things can be stressful.”

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A horse’s stomach is already more delicate and susceptible to stress than one might think for such a large animal, says Dr. Knudson.

“A horse’s stomach can produce up to 16 gallons of acid every day.2 In a grazing situation, horses have a high roughage diet, which results in a decreased level of acid due to a buffering effect of the grass itself and the horse’s own saliva. Once they are out of that grazing environment, the chance for ulcers to develop increases,”3 she says.

For more information about equine stomach ulcers and how Ulcergard can help prevent them, visit www.ulcergard.com.

About Merial:
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is a Sanofi company.

For more information, please see www.merial.com.

Important Safety Information:
Ulcergard can be used in horses that weight at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.

1 Ulcergard product label.
2 Kitchen DL, Merritt AM, Burrow JA. Histamine-induced gastric acid secretion in horses. AJVR 1998;59(10):1303-1306.
3 Mitchell RD. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in hunter-jumper and dressage horses evaluated for poor performance. Association for Equine Sports Medicine. September 2001.

®Ulcergard is a registered trademark of Merial Limited.
©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIUGD1136 (09/11)