Gastric Ulcers – FAQ

It’s estimated that up to 100% of racehorses and 63% of performance horses1,2 could suffer from gastric ulcers, but many don’t show any clinical signs. The only certain way to check is to examine the horse’s stomach by performing a gastroscopy.

What causes ulcers?

Travelling3, competing and training4,5 can all increase the risk of gastric ulcers developing.

How can you tell if your horse is at risk?

Signs are difficult to spot but they can include poor appetite, impaired performance, poor body condition, change in temperament and colic.

Can they be treated?

If a horse is found to be suffering from gastric ulcers an effective oral treatment is available.

What to do if you suspect your horse could have a gastric ulcer.

The only definitive way to diagnose gastric ulcers is with an endoscope. Please call us and we can arrange the procedure.

1.Mitchell RD. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in hunter/jumper and dressage horses evaluated for poor performance. Proceedings of the Association of Equine Sports Medicine Annual Meeting 2001. 2. Nieto JE, Snyder JR, Beldomenico P, Aleman M, Kerr JW, Spier SJ. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in endurance horses – a preliminary report. Vet J 2004 Jan; 167 (1): 33-37. 3. McClure SR et al. Gastric ulcer development in horses in a simulated show or training environment. JAVMA 2005; Vol 227 (5): 775-777.  4. Manohar M, Goetz TE, Saupe B, Hutchens E, Coney E. Thyroid, renal and splanchnic circulation in horses at rest and during short-term exercise. Am J Vet Res 1995; 56: 1356-1361.  5. Lorenzo-Figueras M et al. Effects of exercise on gastric volume and pH in the proximal portion of the stomach of horses. AVJR 2002; 63(11): 1481-1487.