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The two types of Gastric Ulcers

There are two types of equine gastric disease – ESGD and EGGD

What to look out for

  • Poor performance
  • Wind sucking
  • Lying down
  • Colic
  • Dull coat
  • Change in temperament
  • Change in ridden behavior
  • Poor body condition
  • Reduced appetite
  • Girthy

Remember – your horse can be displaying one, some or none of the above symptoms and still be suffering from ulcers.

Equine Squamous Gastric Disease (ESGD)

  • Occurs in the upper part of the stomach
  • This area has little protection against acid exposure

Risk factors

  • High starch/sugar in diet
  • Low forage
  • Intermittent feeding
  • Stress
  • High intensity and long duration of exercise


  • Allow socialising (if suitable for individual horse)
  • Maximise turnout
  • Reduce intensity of exercise
  • Maximise forage in diet
  • Ensure feed is provided at least every 6 hours
  • Minimise carbohydrates
  • Constant access to water
  • Minimise travel time/frequency
  • Access to forage before exercise

Equine Glandular Gastric Disease (EGGD)

  • Occurs in lower part of the stomach
  • Glandular mucosa has a protective mechanism to prevent disease

Risk factors

  • High frequency of exercise/low rest periods
  • High frequency competition/intense exercise
  • Lack of consistency with handlers and field friends


  • Reduce exercise to less than 4-5 days per week OR allow regular rest periods
  • Reduce frequency of competitions and intense exercise
  • Minimise management changes and potential stress
  • Avoid changes in herd dynamic
  • Avoid changes in people who look after the horse

Despite your best efforts with the above, your horse may still be suffering with ulcers. If you suspect this to be the case, book on to our next gastroscopy clinic. Ring the team on 01323 815120 or email