Stomach ulcers: a risk for all horses!

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Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is the result of a lesion of the gastric mucosa. Such a lesion is caused by the fact that acid, which is constantly formed in the horse's stomach, cannot be sufficiently and independently buffered by the horse and therefore attacks the gastric mucosa.

Symptoms and signs of peptic ulcers in horses are often not easy to recognize. But there are typical warning signals, such as:

  • loss of appetite, poor feed intake
  • recurring colic
  • weight loss
  • tucked up belly
  • teeth grinding
  • chewing when the mouth is empty
  • dull, shaggy coat
  • discomfort when ridden, unwillingness to perform

Interpreting symptoms is important; having them checked is absolutely necessary! A gastroscopy of the horse provides certainty!

What is a gastroscopy?

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Only a gastroscopy of the horse makes it possible to diagnose a stomach ulcer with 100% certainty.

This is an expert examination method carried out by a veterinarian.

A special endoscope (gastroscope) is inserted through the nostrils, past the larynx and esophagus, and into the horse's stomach. With the help of the gastroscope, the vet can detect possible stomach ulcers or mucosal irritations.

Ulcers (EGUS) are often not detected in time, because the symptoms of peptic ulcers in horses may go unnoticed by their owners. Some horses are only a little weak and listless at an early stage.

Typical clinical symptoms of stomach ulcers in horses include loss of appetite and poor feed intake; recurrent colic; weight loss; tucked up stomach; grinding teeth; frequent flehmen response; chewing although the mouth is empty; dull, shaggy coat; discomfort when ridden; and lack of motivation.

Photos from a gastroscopy: Left: Healthy stomach mucosa, right: Stomach mucosa damaged by ulcers

If your horse suffers from ulcers, you should determine the cause!

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What are the causes of stomach ulcers in horses?

Stomach ulcers can develop within just one week...

For example, changes in training routines or stable management, highly concentrated feed with low crude fiber content, various stresses, or intensive training can lead to the development of ulcers—and within only seven days. Horses under a lot of stress are particularly susceptible to stomach ulcers. Stomach lesions can also be caused by long-term medication.

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... and need at least eight weeks with the right treatment to completely disappear.

How long does it take to treat an ulcer in a horse? 

With optimal treatment with medication such as GastroGard, the horse feels better after just a few days. Nevertheless, this therapy must be continued over a period of at least eight weeks to allow the gastric mucosa to completely regenerate. An undetected and untreated ulcer is a long-lasting and permanent problem that increases over time. In the worst case, it can go through the inner stomach wall.

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Treating the ulcers is the first step. The second is to keep your horse healthy in the long term.

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The long-term alternative to deal with stomach ulcers: Prevention with Equine 74 Gastric

You can do something so that your horse does not have to suffer the pain associated with an ulcer again. Equine 74 Gastric is a 100% natural food supplement that helps your horse absorb excess gastric acid.

When fed daily, Equine 74 Gastric helps create a balanced pH in the stomach. Thus, it is the optimal alternative to the regular treatment of stomach ulcers with expensive omeprazole cures.

Thanks to its high calcium content and unique sponge structure, Equine74 Gastric has up to 2.5 times the acid buffering capability of other supplements on the market.

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