Gastric ulcers are very common in the equine population and are thought to affect between 50 and 90% of horses.
Symptoms can be varied, and ulcers affect all horses differently. These are some of the common signs, but many horses will only display one or two of these symptoms and in some cases not at all.
- Poor performance
- Resistance to being tacked up
- Reluctance to go forward under saddle/ planting
- Stopping or running out at jumps
- Running away from the leg under saddle
- Wind sucking
- Reduced appetite/ weight loss
To diagnose stomach ulcers, we perform a gastric endoscopy, known as a gastroscopy. To perform this, your horse will require fasting for 16 hours and have water withheld for 2 hours prior to the procedure. Your horse will then be sedated to reduce stress. Our vet will then enter a small camera through your horse’s nostril and advance down to the stomach. Our vet will check the oesophagus and stomach lining and assess any damage or ulcerations.
If ulcers are found, then our vet will discuss treatment options with you and advise you of any changes of management that are necessary. There are several treatment options depending on the type and location of the ulcers and our vets will discuss these with you. Treatment is usually a minimum of 4 weeks and involves either oral or injectable medication being administered. Follow up gastroscopes will be required to ensure the treatment has been successful.
Most insurance policies will cover gastric ulcers, but we advise notifying and checking this with your insurance provider prior to investigation.
We run several clinics each year with discounted gastroscopy rates. Having several horses to scope in one place is economical for us and we pass the saving on to you. If you do not wish to wait for the next clinic you can book an appointment earlier at the normal price.
The Next Gastroscopy Clinic