Gastric Ulcer Awareness Month – October

Upcoming gastroscopy clinic!

The only way to definitively diagnose equine gastric ulcers is by gastroscopy.

What is gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is the diagnostic test that involves passing a flexible camera down the horse’s oesophagus and into the stomach.  This allows us to see the inside of the horse’s stomach and look for any signs of ulcers.

  • Horses are sedated to reduce anxiety and stress
  • Takes around 15 – 20 minutes
  • Not painful

What are the advantages of gastroscopy?

Gastroscopy is the only diagnostic test available that is definitive for equine gastric ulcers.

  • Reliable and straightforward test
  • Distinguish between squamous and glandular ulcers

It is important to distinguish between squamous and glandular ulcers as the recommended management and treatment is dependent on the location and severity of the ulcers.

Take advantage of our gastroscopy clinic offer!

During our October clinics we will be offering one week’s free treatment for any horse diagnosed with equine gastric ulcers following gastroscopy.

First Timers £150.00 including sedation for horses being scoped for the first time

£200.00 for all other horses

Please note: Any medication or hospitalisation if needed will be extra

Scoping in your yard is also available by appointment – please ring for details

To book your horse in please phone us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gastroscope Clinics – Special Offer

Gastroscope Clinics

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.

 Gastroscopy Information Booklet

Sevington Dates 2019:

  • 6th August
  • 3rd September
  • 1st October
  • 5th November
  • 3rd December

Bodiam Dates 2019

  • 31st July
  • 28th August
  • 25th September
  • 23rd October
  • 20th November
  • 18th December

Clinic Gastroscope Days Special Offer

First Timers £150.00 including sedation for horses being scoped for the first time

£200.00 for all other horses

Please note: Any medication or hospitalisation if needed will be extra

Scoping in your yard is also available by appointment – please ring for details

Gastric Ulcer Awareness Month – October

Since the first Gastric Ulcer Awareness Month in 2007, awareness of equine ulcers among horse owners appears to have increased significantly. However, it is believed that many horses and ponies are still going undiagnosed and untreated, possibly due to the vague and often subtle nature of the clinical signs associated with this disease.
Whilst it’s generally recognised that around 90% of racehorses in training have ulcers, it’s perhaps less well known that about 60%, of performance horses and 40% of leisure horses and ponies are also affected – it would appear that ponies are equally vulnerable to developing ulcers.

Clinical Signs

Due to their vague and non-specific nature, clinical signs are often put down to back pain, behavioural issues or unwillingness to work. Additionally, they vary from one horse to another, and do not always correspond to the severity of the ulcers – some horses appear to be more stoic than others!

The signs include:

• Poor performance
• Picky appetite
• Mild weight loss
• Dull coat
• Colic
• Discomfort on girth tightening
• Salivation and teeth grinding – foals

So why are horses so prone to ulcers?

Horses evolved as ‘trickle feeders’ with free access to light grazing and rest, 24/7, so their stomachs are designed to receive a constant supply of food. Because of this, acid is released into the stomach constantly, regardless of whether or not they are eating. Saliva, which helps to neutralise this acid is, on the other hand, mostly produced when they eat. In contrast, people produce acid only when they eat.

In natural conditions, the horse will have a constant flow of fibrous food. This fills and stabilises the lower part of the stomach, which is more resilient to contact with acid, and prevents acidic stomach juices from making prolonged contact with the more vulnerable upper part of the stomach, which has a different type of lining that is less resistant to acid damage.
With modern stabling and exercise, the risk of the more vulnerable, upper parts of the stomach being exposed to acid is increased. A regular and constant intake of forage will help absorb the acid, whereas restricted intake or a high cereal/low forage diet will make the stomach content very fluid.

Management regimes of many horses can result in relatively long periods with restricted food intake, increasing the risk of contact between acid and the upper part of the stomach, and ulcers can start to form. Also, during exercise, pressure from the abdomen compresses the stomach, which in turn pushes the fluid level to the upper, more vulnerable area.

We also know that training affects gastric acidity, and horses fed the same diet will have higher levels of gastric acid during training than when out of training. Other factors affecting the development of ulcers include travel, separation from peers and solitary confinement. The horse ‘show’ environment can also result in interrupted meals and irregular schedules.


Treatment and prevention 

Examination via gastroscopy is the only definitive way to diagnose ulcers, and studies have shown the most effective treatment is the acid inhibitor, omeprazole, the only active ingredient licensed for the treatment and prevention of equine ulcers. For those horses where the risk factors remain high, due to the training regime for example, studies have shown that an ongoing preventative dose of omeprazole can help prevent the ulcers from returning.

Milbourn Equine Vets regularly hold Gastroscope Clinics and during October we are offering our usual great discounted promotion rates at our Ashford and Benenden clinics on 3rd and 18th October
For first timers – £105.00 including sedation. All other horses – £198.00
N.B. Any medication or hospitalisation if needed will be extra. In addition to this animal health company, Merial are also helping support our Awareness Month and if your horse requires treatment for ulcers Grade 1 and above, we can provide a 4 week course of ulcer treatment for the price of 3.
Please call our Ashford Clinic on 01233 500505 or Hawkhurst on 01580 752301.

For more information on our Gastroscope Clinics click here

Milbourn Equine Gastroscope Clinics

Do you suspect your horse is suffering from gastric ulcers?
Gastric ulcerations are very common, recent studies have shown up to 98% of racehorses and up to 53% of leisure horses are affected.

Symptoms are often vague and can include:

• Poor performance
• Changes in behaviour
• Weight loss/ failure to maintain condition
• Colic
• Girthing pain
• Poor coat condition

Once diagnosed gastric ulcers can be treated quickly and effectively with medication and horses usually return to their former level of performance. Milbourn Equine offer twice monthly gastroscope clinics at Benenden and Sevington, where you can book in to bring your horse along for a gastroscope at a reduced price.

Scoping in your yard is also available by appointment – please ring for details

2

Benenden Gastroscope Dates

18th November 2015

16th December 2015

20th January 2016

17th February 2016

Gastroscope Clinics

Do you suspect your horse is suffering from gastric ulcers?
Gastric ulcerations are very common, recent studies have shown up to 98% of racehorses and up to 53% of leisure horses are affected.

Symptoms are often vague and can include:

• Poor performance
• Changes in behaviour
• Weight loss/ failure to maintain condition
• Colic
• Girthing pain
• Poor coat condition

Once diagnosed gastric ulcers can be treated quickly and effectively with medication and horses usually return to their former level of performance. Milbourn Equine offer twice monthly gastroscope clinics at Benenden and Sevington, where you can book in to bring your horse along for a gastroscope at a reduced price.

Scoping in your yard is also available by appointment – please ring for details

2

Sevington dates         Benenden dates

7th July 2015                  17th June 2015
4th August 2015             15th July 2015
1st September 2015        19th August 2015 and 16th September