Gastric Ulcers


Equine Gastric Ulcers has a prevalence as high as 90% among sport horses. The cause is multifactorial and includes: age, breed, training level, fasting and  temperament of the horse1. Stress (training, showing, trailering, etc.) is frequently cited as the leading triggering cause of the repetitive nature of the condition.

The only definitive way to diagnose the presence and severity of gastric ulcers is by Gastroscopy. Gastroscopy is the examination of the different parts of the stomach using a 3-meter flexible video endoscope while the animal is mildly sedated. It is mandatory to fast the horse for 8-10 hours before the procedure, otherwise we are unable to see the different parts of the stomach that could be affected. During the gastroscopy the esophagus and important parts of the airways are also examined. 

Equine Gastric Ulcer Scoring System*

0 The epithelium is intact and there is no appearance of hyperkeratosis

I The mucosa is intact, but there are areas of hyperkeratosis

II Small, single or multifocal lesions

III Large single or extensive superficial lesions

IV Extensive lesions with areas of apparent deep ulceration

*European College of Equine Internal Medicine Consensus Statement—Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Adult Horses. J Vet Intern Med. 2015 Sep-Oct; 29(5): 1288–1299

Taken from:

  1. Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome. Frank M. Andrews, DVM, MS, DACVIM. American Association of Equine Practitioners. https://aaep.org/horsehealth/e...

*Overnight hospitalization for fasting is available upon request (additional fees apply).

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