Does my horse have ulcers?

The pain and discomfort caused by gastric ulcers often present some well recognised symptoms and changes in your horse’s behaviour. As an owner or rider, it’s crucial to know the signs of horse ulcers because they seldom heal on their own. Only 4-10% of equine ulcers heal without treatment.

Pain and discomfort caused by gastric ulcers may change your horse’s behaviour

Each horse is different, but here are some of the common signs that your horse may be suffering from ulcers.

Please note: The only way to definitively diagnose ulcers is through gastroscopy. This involves passing an endoscope through the nostril and down the esophagus into the stomach. A camera and light at the end of the endoscope allows a veterinarian to observe the stomach lining.

Symptoms of gastric ulcers

Poor appetite or loss of appetite

Increased nervousness, irritability, or aggression

Dull and rough coat or hair

Weight loss or difficulty maintaining weight

Poor body condition or muscle loss

Colic symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, or discomfort

Performance related symptoms

Poor performance or reluctance to work

Resistance to extending or collecting their stride, or even refusing to jump

Early fatigue / lack of energy

If you suspect gastric ulcers, contact your vet without delay. Apart from being associated with poor performance, untreated ulcers can lead to stomach perforation, peritonitis, and can even be fatal.

Ask your vet about treatment and prevention of gastric ulcers with Equestra Equine Omeprazole. Omeprazole is the only approved medication that is proven to heal and prevent equine gastric ulcers.

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