Gastroscopy

What is Gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy involves visualisation of the inside of the horse’s stomach and is most commonly carried out in order to diagnose equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS).  The procedure involves using an extra long 3 metre flexible video endoscope which allows direct examination of the stomach lining.  It is carried out under sedation and is well tolerated by most horses.

Symptoms are often vague and can include:

  • Poor performance
  • Changes in behaviour or grumpy temperament
  • Picky appetite
  • Weight loss/ failure to maintain condition
  • Colic
  • Girthing pain or resistance to girthing
  • Resistance to riding aids
  • Poor coat condition

It is important to note horses can display no clinical signs, yet have potentially severe gastric ulcers when confirmed by gastroscope. Also clinical signs of stomach ulceration may be vague and can often be mistaken for other conditions or behavioural problems.

Normal stomach lining
Stomach with small single ulcers
Stomach with deep ulceration

Gastric ulcers are graded on severity from 0-4. This allows us to monitor healing and evaluate the efficacy of treatment. Once diagnosed gastric ulcers can be treated quickly and effectively with medication and horses usually return to their former level of performance. We will monitor your horse’s treatment progress with regular visits and gastroscopy and may also suggest management and feeding changes.

How do I arrange for my horse to be Gastroscoped?

Milbourn Equine offer twice monthly gastroscope clinics where you can book in to bring your horse along for a gastroscope at a reduced price.

How do I arrange for my horse to be Gastroscoped?

Horses must be starved prior to the procedure in order to ensure that the stomach is empty. In order to facilitate this it is possible to have your horse admitted to the clinic the day before the procedure (Ashford clinic only). To arrange an appointment or to discuss your horse’s symptoms with a vet please contact your local branch.

If you decide to admit your horse on the day of the procedure you must:

  • Give your horse their last feed at 6pm the night before
  • Stabled on inedible bedding
  • Remove hay and feed bucket after last feed
  • Water must be taken away as early as possible on the morning of the procedure
  • No hay net whilst travelling to the clinic

Please remember to bring your horse’s bridle with you when bringing your horse to the clinic.

To arrange an appointment or to discuss your horse’s symptoms with a vet please contact one of the clinics.

Gastroscopy Clinics

We are offering our clients the opportunity to have Gastroscopy carried out at a reduced cost. Places are limited and are available on a first come first served basis. Please contact the surgery to arrange an appointment.