Equine Gastric Ulcers

April 2, 2024 18 view(s)

EQUINE GASTRIC ULCERS

 

Diagnosing & Treating Gastric Ulcers in Horses by Dr. Corey Paradine, DVM from Cleveland Equine Clinic

 

What are Gastric Ulcers in your Equine?
Gastric ulcers are lesions in the mucosa of the horse’s stomach that can vary in size, number and severity. Mild lesions can be small and superficial, with only little reddening and thickening of the mucosa. Severe lesions can present as large, multiple ulcerations in the mucosa. 

 

Dr. Corey Paradine's seminar presentation is located: 

https://www.bigdweb.com/media/wysiwyg/ProductAttachments/EquineGastricUlcersSeminarPresentation.pdf

 

WHAT CAUSES GASTRIC ULCERS?

  • Management
    • Stalling/limited turnout
    • Feeding meals rather than continuous grazing
  • NSAIDs
    • Bute, Banamine, Equioxx
  • Domestic horses have added stress from training, traveling, herd changes, the wind blew differently, etc etc
  • ???
    • Lots of research still being done
      • Differences between non-glandular ulcer disease and glandular/pyloric ulcer disease

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF GASTRIC ULCERS?

• Weight loss
• Reduced appetite
• Poor hair coat
• Recurrent colic
• Attitude changes
• Poor performance 

NOT USUALLY SPECIFIC!

 

DIAGNOSING GASTRIC ULCERS

  • Gastroscopy!!
  • Sucralfate trial
    • Acts as a band-aid over lesions
    • Horses usually respond positively after a few days
  • Fecal blood test??
    • Not shown to be reliable

      NOT by symptoms alone!

WHAT ARE GASTRIC ULCERS?

  • Equine Squamous Gastric Disease
    • Grade 1 lesion
      • Mucosa is intact, but there are areas of hyperkeratosis or gastritis
    • Grade 2 lesion
      • Small, single or multi-focal lesions; superficial
    • Grade 3 Lesion (Moderate Ulceration)
      • Large single or extensive superficial lesions
    • Grade 4 Lesion (Severe Ulceration)
      • Extensive lesions with areas of apparent deep ulceration 
  • Equine Glandular Gastric Disease/Pyloric lesions
    • Not usually graded, described instead
      • Fibrinosupperative
      • Erythematous, hemorrhagic
      • Raised, flat, or depressed

TREATMENT OF GASTRIC ULCERS?

  • Omeprazole
    • Only FDA approved treatment – Gastrogard
    • Only FDA approved drug for prevention - Ulcergard
  • Sucralfate
  • Misoprostol
    • Primarily used for glandular/pyloric ulcers
  • H2 antagonists (cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine)
    • Used occasionally but not as effective as Ulcergard
  • Compounds?
    • Not worthwhile; omeprazole needs an appropriate carrier agent to get through stomach acid into the small intestine to be absorbed
  • Antibiotics?
    • Bacteria not shown to be a causative agent in equine gastric ulcer disease

FEED AND MANAGEMENT

  • Alfalfa
  • Continuous hay
  • Low-starch grains
  • Oil
  • Turnout
    • As much as possible, with friends
  • Stress management
  • Number of work days
    • No more than 5 days/week, split up, for glandular ulcers

ULCER SUPPLEMENTS

  • Soooooo many
  • Ones I routinely recommend
    • Protek GI
    • Purina Outlast
    • Relyne
    • Platinum Performance GI
    • Succeed
Previous article:
Next article:
Related posts