Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Shortcut for Diagnosing Equine Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 23, 2016

Gastric ulcers occur more frequently in certain groups of horses: race and endurance horses in training, foals at the time of weaning, or any horse during times of stress. How do you know if your horse has one or more ulcers? Usually, a clear diagnosis can only be achieved if the horse undergoes endoscopic examination, which involves having the veterinarian pass a long flexible tube with a camera in the tip into the stomach to directly visualize and assess the defects.

“Despite being effective, endoscopy is expensive, invasive, and time-consuming, unfortunately,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist, adding “The number of veterinarians that have the necessary equipment is limited.”

As an alternative, some owners assume their horses have one or more ulcers if they display classic signs associated with the condition: colic, diarrhea, poor appetite, dull coat, decreased performance, and possibly behavior changes...

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