WERNER EQUINE – HORSE HEALTH – GASTRIC ULCERS

Gastric-Ulcer-1Gastric ulcers are erosions of the inner lining of a horse’s stomach. Ulcer size and numbers vary. In extreme cases, erosions can completely penetrate the stomach wall. In horses, the condition is called Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome or EGUS.

HOW DO HORSES GET ULCERS?

Gastric ulcers occur when the stomach lining is exposed too long to excess acid. Ulcers can be triggered by administering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stress of disease, injury and/or athletic training and some feeding and husbandry practices.

ARE MORE HORSES AFFECTED NOW THAN IN THE PAST?

We could not measure the incidence of equine EGUS before we had the 3-meter videoendoscope to examine suspected cases. Dr. Werner has been performing videoendoscopy (gastroscopy) since 1999. Findings now tell us that 50% of foals, 60% of performance horses and 90% of racehorses are afflicted with gastric ulcers.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EGUS?

Gastric-Ulcers-3Symptoms can be many, varied and subtle. Common symptoms include: irritability, reduced athletic performance, dullness, un-thriftiness, poor appetite, colic, back pain and teeth grinding.

HOW ARE ULCERS DIAGNOSED?

Only gastroscopy can definitively confirm or rule out a diagnosis of EGUS.

During the gastroscopy procedure, Dr. Werner can visualize the interior of your horse’s stomach to accurately diagnose your horse’s condition.

If you treat your horse with anti-ulcer medications before getting an accurate EGUS diagnosis, you may make diagnosis more difficult and be giving your horse unnecessary, expensive medication.

If your Primary Care Veterinarian refers your horse to Werner Equine for gastroscopy, that veterinarian can provide any necessary treatment following a diagnosis of gastric ulcers.

Call us at 860.653.5088 to learn more about Gastric Ulcer diagnosis at Werner Equine.