We are now offering gastroscopy services for our patients. Gastroscopy is used to detect gastric and esophageal ulcers in horses. Ulcers are an erosion of the lining of the stomach or esophagus that leads to pain and discomfort. Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is a common condition in horses who are in competition, travel frequently, or have changes to their routines. Stress and some medications can also cause ulcers. However, ulcers can appear in any horse, regardless of lifestyle or age.
common symptoms of ulcers
Ulcers can cause a range of symptoms in your horse. Symptoms can be subtle or overt. Some horses are unwilling or resistant to go forward under saddle due to ulcers. Agitation when being groomed or handled can also be a sign. Frequent colic episodes, poor hair coat, weight loss and changes in eating habits are also symptoms of ulcers. If your horse is exhibiting any of these behaviors, we can come to the farm and perform a physical exam to see if ulcers may be the cause.
A gastroscope is a long flexible instrument with a camera on one end. It is used to look inside the esophagus and stomach to see if ulcers are present. Ulcers may be affecting the esophagus, upper (squamous) or lower (glandular) stomach, as well as the pylorus (the very bottom of the stomach).
We are able to perform this exam on your farm, so there is no need to trailer to a different location to have the study done.
Depending on their location and severity, equine ulcers are treated with oral medications such as Omeprazole (Gastrogard), Misoprostol, and Sucralfate, among others. Your veterinarian will prescribe a course of treatment at the time of the gastroscopy that is best suited for your horse’s condition.