Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lady in Waiting (for Omeprazole)


  After spending hundreds of dollars on prescription U Gard last year for Penny, I decided to bite the bullet and order what I have heard as the ulcer "good stuff" from HorsePreRace.com.  From what I have read on CoTH and relayed between other bloggers and friends, this is the good stuff that will "cure" ulcers.  With the Canadian U Gard, I found Penny did improve dramatically but would slowly go back to showing signs of discomfort over time after she had been taken off.  The U Gard wasn't curing it, but helping with the symptoms.

  I placed my order last week and it I received confirmation it was shipped out right away.  The package was scheduled to arrive 2 days later, on Thursday at 5:00pm.  But it never came.  Friday came and went, then Monday, then today.  My Fed Ex tracking changed and was showing this for the last 5 days;

  Hmmmmm.  Ok then.  I called Fed Ex who told me the package has left the building and gone to customs, where they have seized it.  She gave me a number to call and said to speak with them to find what's going on with my package and where it is.

  So I called customs.  The guy on the other end of the line told me he couldn't find any information on my package.  He said it wouldn't be seized because I would be arrested by now.  He said if it was drug or medication related it might be in the area where Health Canada checks packages every Wednesday.  He told me it is either being examined now or will be examined shortly, or it is being sent to Ottawa for further investigation.  I asked him what that meant.  He said if it goes to Ottawa, they take the objects apart and do testing at the molecular level.  I laughed - "to see if there are hidden drugs"....he laughed, "you can probably figure it out".  So I asked him what happens if it goes to Ottawa.  Will I ever see the package again or be notified of the find?  He said not likely.  Great.

  The guy was really nice and helpful, he said to call back tomorrow and he will head down to the Health Canada research office and see what he can find if he doesn't have any other answers.  Hopefully we can find the package and he can explain what the contents are - otherwise I'm out 300 bucks and Penny is still waiting for some higher grade ulcer meds.

  To be continued.


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  2. Noooo!!! Okay, so another alternative is to get compounded omeprazole at your local vet clinic -- I am not sure exactly how you will be able to convince them to do it for your horse if they don't already, but it's available for dogs and cats. Mine was compounded at 150 mg/mL and definitely (well, definitely without scoping....) fixed my horse's ulcers.

    One thing I did was make sure to taper the last week or so of my omeprazole treatment, otherwise the body can experience a huge rebound of gastric acid that just makes ulcers worse. I also observe a whole bunch of little habits that, I hope, help with ulcers, like never riding Murray on an empty stomach (even just a few handfuls of hay before I ride) and giving him a little more omeprazole whenever we trailer. I am sure you've got all those management things on your mind already, though. :D

    GOOD LUCK! I know how it is to need your ulcer meds in and keeeeep waiting for them!

  3. Yeah I'm wondering why you'd order something from the US when we have compounded Omeprazole here. Or was it the "pop rocks" stuff I've heard about? Compounded omeprazole doesn't work as well as GastrGard though, that's for sure, and it works better for some horses than others, but it's worth a try.

  4. From what I have read it doesn't have the appropriate coating to make it through the stomach - and thus the strength is strongly diluted. I've used script Ugard here and it just didn't have the healing capabilities.

  5. I literally hate the post office. So unorganized and ridiculous. I hope you get your package ASAP!

  6. The thing to be careful with the compounded omeprazole and ordering it online like that is that there is no regulated consistency. What they say you are getting and what you are actually getting can be two very very different things...

    Also Gastro Guard and Ulcer Guard don't heal ulcers per se...omeprazole limits the production of of acids in the stomach and changes the pH of said stomach, allowing old ulcers to heal and diminishing the likelihood of new ulcers forming.

    So that's kind of when you get into a hard place. Omeprazole is not studied in horses long term (though OTC Prilosec in humans is and the results aren't all that favorable). Some horses are going to be more prone to ulcers than others and when you take away the GastroGuard, the problem can very well come back, which is when we get into the thought process revolving around the idea that is there something else we can do maintenance wise to prevent the ulcers from forming in the first place? Maybe, maybe not. There's also some interesting reading out there about omeprazole causing a dramatic INCREASE in stomach acid when a horse is done a course of it...so some vets will tell you to tapper towards the end.

    Just some thoughts:)

    Ulcers are definitely no fun to deal with!

    1. Thank you for your thoughts....the UGard in Canada is generic and not the same potency as the Gastro or Ugard from the states. This is all we have available here - aside from straight generic Omeprazole, which doesn't include coating to make it through the stomach acid.

      As for Penny she has 12 hr turnout, free choice hay, a haynet inside and flakes on the ground, 3 feedings a day with lots of beet pulp, Equine Choice probiotic. I think she has had them for quite some time and is most likely why she developed into a weaver. She was a severe weaver when I got her now only starts if something stresses her. I spoke with a vet last night and got some other ideas to help her in the meantime.

  7. ugh boo!! hopefully it arrives safe and sound soon - and that Penny gets the relief she wants!

  8. LOL great. do you know if ottawa will at least provide a refund on the product that they've decided to destroy? and don't they have drug sniffing dogs to sort that sort of thing out? o.O seems like a lot of work... at least i know where my tax money is going.

  9. My Boy is a manager at FedEx, I will tell him to check on that ;)

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