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Gastric Ulcers in Horses

The horse in its natural environment should spend up to 16 hours per day feeding in a herd, with the occasional need to move at high speed to evade predators. In this state the horse’s naturally acidic stomach contents are buffered by saliva produced in response to regular eating.

What causes gastric ulcers?

There are several factors that contribute to ulcers. A lack of fibre is one of the major caHappy Horsesuses as the horse’s natural trickle grazing would normally provide protection against ulcers – the presence of fibrous material in the stomach acts as a physical barrier literally stopping the acid coming into contact with the stomach lining. Constant chewing produces saliva that helps to neutralise acid produced in the stomach. Any horse or pony that has restricted access to forage can be vulnerable to ulcers, which is why it is a problem that can affect racehorses as well as good doers.

Other factors that contribute to ulcers include exercise and stress

Could my horse have ulcers?

Not all horses and ponies show classic symptoms of ulcers, but the following are indicators that suggest you may want to ask your vet to check for ulcers:

  • grumpy behaviour particularly when girthing up· stereotypic behaviour such as cribbing or wind-sucking· poor condition· weight loss· repeatedly suffers from ‘gassy’ colic after eating· starts to eat but keeps stopping· reluctance to eat

Managing a horse prone to ulcers and stomach upsets

There are various antacid medications that your vet may prescribe and alongside these it is important to feed and manage your horse or pony in a way that reduces the risk of ulcers recurring. The following tips should be implemented:

  • Feed plenty of forage. This promotes chewing and naturally regulates the level of acidity in the stomach.
  • Continuous access to forage when stabled
  • Use low calorie forages for good doers to provide chew time without the weight gain.
  • Reduce the use of cereals or – even better – remove them completely from the ration. Cereals create more acidic conditions in the gut.
  • Use higher energy forages to supply energy without the need to use cereals.
  • Include alfalfa in the ration. Independent research at Texas A&M University has shown alfalfa is a natural buffer to acidity due to its protein and calcium content.
  • Exercise intensity may need to be reduced to allow recovery from ulcers.
  • Turn out as much as possible to supply fibre, relaxation and avoid any unnecessary stressful situations.

Feeding Cats

Cat eating guide

Like all animals, your cat needs a diet that’s properly balanced and contains all the required nutrients in correct quantities. These nutrients are water, protein, fats and oils, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins. Any manufactured pet food should provide your cat with this basic nutritional balance. The choice of serving canned or dry, or a mixture of the two, is really a matter of personal preference between you and your cat.

Recent developments in pet nutrition mean there is now a wide range of commercially produced cat foods designed to match more accurately your cat’s specific needs. If your cat spends most of his time indoors, for example, he may benefit from a special indoor formula, while less-active cats require less fat, so feeding a ‘light’ formula could help to avoid weight gain.

You can feed your cat on wet or dry food, or a combination of both. Some cats prefer to be fed wet food in the morning, for example, but have dry food left out during the day to snack on. Unlike many dogs, cats prefer to crunch on their dry food and generally find it less attractive when soaked, so keep it dry.

With dry food, you can expect your cat to chew it more actively and take longer to eat; to drink more water; and to return regularly to the food rather than eating it all at once. Dry food is convenient in that it will stay fresh all day, so it can be left out for your cat to eat whenever it wants. Dry food must, however, be stored in a dry, clean environment.

With wet foods cats tend to eat more in one sitting rather than going back and forth, and will drink less. Serve the food at room temperature to ensure your cat can taste and smell it properly. Warming up an opened can may take up to two hours from being taken out of the fridge, microwaving canned foods for a short time is always an option. Don’t keep wet food opened for longer than 24 hours as it will go off and cause upset tummies.

Make sure fresh drinking water is always available for your cat, but don’t give cow’s milk. Cow’s milk isn’t suitable for cats, as most cats lose the ability to digest lactose shortly after weaning. Pastuerised yoghurt doesn’t contain lactose, however, so this can be an alternative for some cats.

Remember also that cats are confirmed meat eaters and cats will go blind, suffer other debilitating conditions and ultimately die if fed on a vegetarian diet. Meat is the only major source of arachidonic acid, and cats lacking the ability to synthesize niacin from protein. Cats need meat to survive!

It’s always a good idea to feed on a surface that is easily cleaned, like a tiled floor or a mat. Place feeding bowls away from the litter tray and, if you have two cats, keep the bowls a reasonable distance apart to avoid confrontations or bullying. Ensure you provide clean, fresh water in a large metal or ceramic bowl. This helps to keep the kidneys healthy and reduce the risk of Urinary infections.

Older cats may benefit from an adjustment to their diet, changing to foods that are more easily diet, changing to foods that are more easily digested.

Borrowed from

Food4paws and Licences

Food4paws is a business supplying Animal Medicines (equine,avian and companion animal) and our premises are approved and inspected by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.  Assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicine sales.  Our premises number is 2028020.

To confirm our premises registration status please follow this link –

If you have any comment or complaint about our internet services please contact
or telephone us on 01254 427113

If for any reason our response does not satisfy you then you may contact the Veterinary Medicines Directorate in relation to VETERINARY MEDICINE PRODUCTS ONLY (

Tips To Avoid Laminitis

1. Ensure your horse is a healthy weight as obese horses are at greater risk of developing the disease.
2. Limit the soluble sugars your horse consumes: molasses, cereals and lush grass can all be high in either sugar or starch.
3. Restrict grazing by either strip grazing your pasture or placing a grazing muzzle on your horse.
4. Avoid turnout on days when it is very cold but very bright and sunny as the fructan concentration will be at its highest. Wait until the temperature has risen and any frost on the grass has melted.
5. Ensure you feed a high fibre, low sugar, low starch diet.
6. Avoid high energy forages such as haylage. It may be an idea to soak your hay also, as this will remove any soluble sugars that remain in the forage from the harvesting process.

Suitably Qualified Persons

An SQP is a category of professionally qualified persons who are entitled to prescribe and/or supply certain veterinary medicinal products under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations.

It is the duty of an SQP to ensure that the statutory requirements in respect of the prescription and/or supply of certain veterinary medicinal products are respected.

The SQP is responsible for ensuring this irrespective of how the product is supplied, e.g. supply from a registered retail premises, postal supply, from a website etc.

An SQP is entitled to prescribe and/or supply specific categories of product that fall within the scope of the qualification they have obtained and the registration they hold (see below).

The range of veterinary medicinal products available for SQPs to prescribe and/or supply fall within the following distribution classifications:

•POM-VPS (Prescription Only Medicine – Veterinarian,Pharmacist, SQP)
•NFA-VPS (Non-Food Animal – Veterinarian,Pharmacist, SQP)
•AVM-GSL (Authorised Veterinary Medicine –General Sales List)
•POM-V (Prescription only medicine- Veterinary only
Our Suitably Qualified Persons are;
Lisa Gill QC50550 •C-SQP – Companion animal medicines only
Paul Brown QJA24000 •J-SQP – Equine and Avian medicines only
Craig Brown QR16486 – R-SQP – All Animal Medicines
Kimberley Aspinall – QE16752 – Companion and Equine Medicines Only
The list of registered SQP’s can be found HERE

Some Chicken Facts

A common misconception; hens do not need a cockeral to lay an egg, only to fertilise one.

  • A chicken is called a pullet until it is a year old; when they reach a year old they become hens.
  • Pullets start laying eggs at about six months old.
  • Chickens live approximately eight to ten years depending on their enviroment.
  • There are more chickens in the world then people.
  • Cockerels don’t just crow at dawn, they crow all day long.
  • Chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs and those with white ear lobes lay white eggs.
  • A chicken can lay more than 600 eggs in her first two years.
  • Eggshells have a natural outer coating that keeps bacteria out.
  • Straw is the best kind of litter for the coop.
  • You can encourage hens to lay eggs in the nest box by placing a golf ball or plastic egg in the nest.
  • Chickens need 14-16 hours of light each day in order to lay.

Poisons and Toxins for Chickens

Most  poultry  will  avoid  eating  poisonous  plants  due  to  their  bitter  taste  but  chickens are  at  risk  from  laburnum  seeds,  potato  sprouts,  black  nightshade,  henbane,  most irises,  privet,  rhubarb  leaves,  rhododendron, oleander,  yew,  castor  bean,  sweet  pea, rapeseed, corn  cockle,  clematis,  common  St. John’s Wort, meadow  buttercup, vetch, ragwort and  some fungi.

Blue-green algae  is  quickly fatal,  so  water containers should be  kept  clean,  especially  in  hot  weather  and  access  to  stagnant  water  should  be prevented.

Phenol-based  disinfectants  are  toxic,  as  is  zinc  from  rusty  galvanised drinkers.

Access  to lead (old paint) should be prevented.

Pet Food Ingredients

A Comprehensive list of ingredients that are used in the pet food industry.

Animal Fat

Animal fats are a mixture of fats rendered from different animals. The source of these are diverse and include restaurant grease and factory by-products. The mixture of different animals makes it hard to avoid particular ingredients if your pet has an allergy or intolerance.

First you can never be sure which animal fats are present and secondly they can vary batch to batch so that even if your pet can tolerate it, this could be different in a later batch of pet food.

Due to the nature of animal fat, they tend to be preserved with artificial preservatives such as BHT, BHA or Ethoxyquin to prevent rancidity as it is hard to preverse them naturally.


Ash content is given as a percentage. It isn’t an ingredient that is added but the total mineral content of the product after incineration.


Although a good source of protein, beef is known to cause intolerances in some pets. It is also lower down the digestibility scale from chicken, turkey and lamb.

Brewers Yeast

A a by-product from the brewing industry. It contains high levels of vitamin B

By Products of Vegetable Origin

This term allows the use of anything that is not classed as a cereal. It is generally waste material from the Human food preparation industry. By the time it is processed at high temperature, it contains no nutritional value except as another fibre source. It is inexpensive to use and is classed as another bulking agent.


A good source of beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals.


A term used to cover many different grains used in pet foods. When you see this as an ingredient, it means that you cannot be certain what is actually in your pet food because they are not using a “named” ingredient. This allows manufacturers to use the cheapest grain available at the time of manufacture and this can change batch to batch.

Chicken (fresh)

A good protein source with a balanced amino acid acid mix.
“Fresh” is the term used when the % given is for the meat quantity before processing when it is weighed in its wet form. This can be misleading as you are perceiving the % of wet quantity, yet 70% of the water is lost during processing leaving you with a much smaller meat content in the final product.

Chicken (meal and dried)

Chicken meat and meal is an good protein source with a balanced amino acid mix. This is the same as fresh chicken but with the water removed which means that it gives a better guide to the actual quantity in the final product. Can be described as “The dried, clean rendered flesh of the animal with the water and fat removed”.

Chicken Fat

A high quality fat source that is highly palatable.


Frequently used as a pet food ingredient, however it can be difficult for pets to digest. Used as a carbohydrate source, it is cheap and could be described as a filler.

Derivatives of vegetable origin

A generic term used to describe by-products of vegetable origin. This is yet another term that is commonly used in pet foods that covers many different ingredients so that pet food manufacturers can use the cheapest available.

Official definition:
Derivatives resulting from the treatment of vegetable products in particular cereals, vegetables, legumes and oil seeds.

EC permitted additives

Covers a large range of different chemicals, allowing a pet food manufacturer to use any of them without having to individually name any of them. This includes artificial colours and flavourings which are known to cause hyperactivity. More worryingly, pet foods using this term can contain preservatives such as BHA, BHT and Ethyoxquin.


Egg is the most digestible source of protein as well as providing vitamins and minerals.


An excellent quality protein source that is also highly palatable. It also contains good levels of omega 6 and omega 3 which consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA. DHA is known to help brain function.

Fish oil

Contains good levels of omega 3 which consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and EPA. DHA is known to help brain function.


A good protein source. It is rich in calcium and a good source of zinc. Lamb meal is used in many hypo-allergenic pet foods.

Definition of meal:
Prepared by the heating, drying and grinding whole or parts of warm blooded land animals from which the fat has been partially extracted or physically removed. The product has to be free from hooves, horn, bristle, hair and feathers as well as digestive tract content.

Meat and animal derivatives

A generic term that covers all animals and parts such as heads, feet, guts, lungs, hair, feathers and wool! This term can be used to hide undesirable ingredients and allows the manufacturer to change the meat source from batch to batch to whatever is the cheapest available at the time of manufacture. Meat and animal derivatives are used in many successful pet foods because most consumers don’t know any better.

Official definition of meat and animal derivatives:
All the fleshy parts of slaughtered warm-blooded land animals fresh or preserved by appropriate treatment, and all products and derivatives of the processing of the carcase or parts of the carcase of such animals.


A versatile ingredient used as a fibre source, also providing a good source of energy.


A high quality carbohydrate. It is often used as an alternative to rice and therefore a good ingredient for pets with rice intolerances.

Poultry by products

Clean parts of slaughtered poultry, such as heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, feet, abdomen, intestines and heads.

Propylene Glycol

A preservative that is used in pet foods. It is best avoided as it known to cause problems such as hair loss, dull coat, diarrhoea etc.


The most digestible of all grains and is known to be low in allergy risk and so is found in many “hypo-allergenic” pet foods. Rice is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and B Vitamins.

Rosemary/Rosemary Extract

Used in pet foods as a preservative as it is a natural antioxidant.


A great source of iodine and minerals


Widely used in pet foods as a protein source. However, Soy is commonly known as a cause of food allergies in pets.

Sugar Beet Pulp (beet pulp)

Beet pulp is a good source of insoluble and soluble fibres.

Tocopherols (vitamin E)

A naturally occuring antioxidant which is used to preserve pet foods. Tocopherols are often made from edible vegetables oils. The use of Tocopherols in a pet food is a good indication of a better pet food.

Official definition:
All products of vegetable origin in which the proteins have been concentrated by an adequate process to contain at least 50% crude protein, as related to the dry matter, and which may be restructured or textured.

Wheat/Wheat Gluten

A grain used as a carbohydrate source in pet foods, however it is associated with causing allergies in many pets.

Loyalty Points

Food4Paws Loyalty Scheme

Why not get even more for your money whilst shopping with Food4paws

Well, with our fantastic Loyalty Points Scheme, you can! With every purchase you make,
you’ll receive Loyalty Points, which can in turn be exchanged for money off future orders.

How to Start Collecting & What are they worth?
Spend £1 get 1 point (1 point is worth £0.01). So these you can quickly add up: eg.
Spend £30 get 30 points which is £0.30 off your next order alternatively you can store
your point towards future orders!

Subject to the following Terms;
Points only awarded to items with value of £5.00 or more (Whole Pounds Only)
Excludes all Animal feeds which are awarded points as follows;
Horse Feed 2 Points a Sack
Stock Feed 2 Points a Sack
Poultry Feed 2 Points a Sack
Bird Feeds 2 Points a Sack
Dog and Cat Food 5 Points a Large Bag
Dog and Cat Food 3 Points a Medium Bag
Dog and Cat Food 2 Points a Small Bag
Points WILL Expire After 90 Days

Terms and Conditions Apply
Subject to Change or Withdrawal Without Notice

Licenced Veterinary Medicines

VMD Regulations

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate gives information on the responsibilities and safe and effective use of veterinary medicines. If you have had or the animal has had a adverse reaction to the licensed product used you can report a suspected adverse reaction or a side effect involving a veterinary medicine by using a form through the website to do so. The VMD adverse reaction reporting scheme is used to collect information from veterinary professionals and the general public on suspected adverse reactions to veterinary medicines. The VMD collect both licensed and unlicensed veterinary medicines and human medicines used to treat animals. The information that is provided through the form can help to improve the safe and effective use of veterinary medicines.
You can also get Animal Health Product information from the information database.

A copy of the code of practice is available on the VMD website for all rules and regulations which need to be complied with.

Adverse Reaction Form
If you need to report an adverse reaction that you have seen please click on the following link to the form.

Adverse Reaction Reporting Form

Product Infomation Database
Please find a link below to view infomation about products that we have listed on our website, on this link you will find details of all veterinary medicinal products currently authorised in the UK together with a list of suspended and recently expired products. Homeopathic products are also listed.

Product Information Database

Sale of Animal Medicines
Rules Governing the Sale of Animal Medicines
Veterinary Medicinal Products in the UK can only be supplied and prescribed by a Registered Qualified Person (RQP) – Veterinarian, Pharmacist or Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) and from premises approved by the Secretary of State can only supply them. Prescription Only Animal Medicines available from Northolm Pet Supplies are prescribed and supplied to you by a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP).

To be able to supply a product to a customer a Suitably Qualified Person must first prescribe the product, the act of prescription is taken to be the decision made by the Suitably Qualified Person as to which product should be supplied taking the following into consideration:

The available veterinary medicinal products that are authorised
The competence of the person who will by administering the product to the animal
The circumstances of the holding and the animals being treated
The requirement for the person receiving the product to use it for an authorised use according to the marketing authorisation
The responsible use of the medicines and the requirement to prescribe the minimum amount of product necessary (subject to the minimum pack size manufactured and any authority to break bulk in the regulations)

Prescribing a Regulated Product
When prescribing a regulated product the SQP must always:

Be satisfied that the person who will use the product is competent to use it safely and that they are using the product for an authorised use
Give advice on any warnings or contra-indications on the label or package leaflet
Provide advice on the safe administration of the product

The SQP may only supply the product specified in that prescription and must take all reasonable steps to ensure that it is supplied to the person named in the prescription

It is a legal requirement that all SQPs who prescribe a product record the following information relating to all customer transactions. These records must be kept at the approved premises and made available on request by an inspector appointed under the Veterinary Medicines Regulations .
The date
The name of the product
The batch number
The quantity
The name and address of the recipient

When ordering a product from use please ensure that you have read the most up to date information about any veterinary medicine product, please view its SPC on the VMD’s Product Information Database here

Please note: products with indications for food species and horses/cats/dogs can only be supplied for administration to horses/cats/dogs we are not permitted to sell VPS medicines for food-producing animals.