Horse Health

Gastroscopy 101

April 28, 2016

A horse-health primer on what to expect if your veterinarian suggests a gastroscopic examination.

The American Quarter Horse proves itself a jumping horse at the Ford Youth World. (Journal photo). Scroll to the bottom to see more photos.

Staying aware of your horse’s health and comfort is crucial, especially when that horse is competing regularly. Journal photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

Did you know two out of three non-racing competitive horses have stomach ulcers?1 How do you know if your horse has stomach ulcers? Signs such as poor performance, decreased appetite, recurrent colic or poor body condition2 may point to stomach ulcers, but how do you get a definitive diagnosis?

Your veterinarian may recommend a gastroscopy, the only way to definitively diagnose equine stomach ulcers, if your horse is showing signs.3


The instrument used to see inside your horse’s stomach is called an endoscope. Most endoscopes are about 3.5 meters (almost 11.5 feet) long and 11-13 millimeters (approximately a 1/2 inch) in diameter. The endoscope is inserted through the nostril and into the stomach via the esophagus.4 The veterinarian views the stomach lining via a light and camera on the end of the endoscope and controls the view by moving switches.

Your horse’s health should be top priority whether you are a three-day eventer or simply enjoy your time on the trails. Enroll today in the AQHA Horseback Riding Program and earn great rewards for the time you spend in the saddle.

The veterinarian will be trying to see several parts of the stomach and will be looking for anything abnormal, such as ulcerations, erosions, reddening, thickening, abnormal coloring and sometimes parasites such as bot larvae.


Before your horse is scheduled for his gastroscopic examination, your veterinarian will likely ask you to withhold feed (including all hay, grass and grain) for 12 hours and water for four hours.4 The absence of food residue will help to accurately view the horse’s stomach. To help keep your horse at ease during the gastroscopy, your veterinarian will probably check vital signs and lightly sedate your horse before beginning the examination.4


If ulcers are found, your veterinarian may recommend a course of treatment with GASTROGARD® (omeprazole), the only proven and FDA-approved product for the treatment of equine stomach ulcers.2 Following treatment, it is possible for ulcers to return, particularly during times of stress.5 To prevent recurrence, administer ULCERGARD® (omeprazole), the only proven and FDA-approved product to prevent stomach ulcers. 5

Talk to your veterinarian if you think your horse is showing signs of stomach ulcers.

In the Horseback Riding Program, the more time you spend riding your horse, the more hours you can log, therefore, the more rewards you earn! Find out more about your potential rewards by enrolling today!


ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.

Caution: Safety of GASTROGARD in pregnant or lactating mares has not been determined.

®ULCERGARD and GASTROGARD are registered trademarks of Merial. ©2016 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIUGD1602 (01/16)

1Mitchell RD. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in hunter/jumper and dressage horses evaluated for poor performance. Association for Equine Sports Medicine. September 2001.

2GASTROGARD product label.

3AAEP Equine Gastric Ulcers: Special Care and Nutrition.


5ULCERGARD product label.




The Stomach to Win

April 22, 2016

Merial is committed to bringing quality products to performance horse owners that improve horse’s health and well-being.

Take a look at Merial’s new and improved packaging for ULCERGARD and GASTROGARD. Merial photo

Put your horse’s health and well being first by regularly screening them for ulcers and using ULCERGARD and GASTROGARD for your go-to ulcer remedy and prevention. Merial photo.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial, with contributions from Camille Graupman, AQHA Digital Marketing Intern.

Equine stomach ulcers can be a simple diagnosis with major repercussions. Stressors like limited turnout or grazing, travel, competition or even a change in horses’ daily routine can increase their chances of developing stomach ulcers. Read the rest of this entry »

Emergency Horse Health Care: How to Stop Bleeding

April 14, 2016

Remain calm, call the vet and follow these steps to keep your horse safe.

mare without foal

Know what steps to take when your horse could be in an emergency situation. Journal photo

By Cynthia McFarland for AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Every horse owner should know what to do if an injury occurs. In an emergency, such knowledge could save your horse’s life.

No matter how the injury occurred, whenever a wound is bleeding, your first concern is to limit blood loss. You may have already called the veterinarian, but until help arrives, you need to take action. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Health 101: Equine Joints

April 8, 2016

The FAQ’s of Degenerative Joint Disease and Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan)

Journal photo

Know the facts when treating your horse’s degenerative joint disease. Journal photo

Answered By Dr. Marian Little, DVM, Technical Services Veterinarian, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals

Q: Is there a specific equine conformation type that may be more likely to develop non-infectious degenerative joint disease (DJD)? Read the rest of this entry »

Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan): The Winning Formula for Champions

March 31, 2016

For optimum performance, a horse’s joints must be happy and healthy. Adequan® i.m. has been striving to meet this equine industry need for nearly 30 years.


Don’t take chances on your horse’s joint health. See what Adequan® i.m. can do for your American Quarter Horse. Journal Photo

By Betsy Labelle and Audrey Bolte for AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan®

For the past 27 years and counting, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), has been dedicated to advancing joint health in the equine industry. Veterinarians and horse owners have depended on Adequan® i.m. to help improve joint function in the face of degenerative joint disease. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Wound Care Tips

March 24, 2016

Horse health tip: Staying prepared and being aware of your horse’s well-being is a sure way to keep them healthy and happy.

You or your vet should take action when your American Quarter Horse encounters an injury. Gabe Trevizo illustration

You or your vet should take action when your American Quarter Horse encounters an injury. Gabe Trevizo illustration

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Tip No. 1: Be Prepared

Cuts and wounds are inevitably going to happen to your horse. Are you prepared? Wounds require immediate attention and first-aid treatment, and serious wounds should be treated by a veterinarian.

Every horse should have an annual physical exam, and this is the ideal time to ask your veterinarian about how to handle emergency wound care.

A good veterinarian will want you to ask questions and be happy to answer them. Read the rest of this entry »

Leather Care

March 10, 2016

Clean that saddle properly and make it last

Caring for your expensive leather is easy with these tips from Farnam. Journal photo

Caring for your expensive leather is easy with these tips from Farnam. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Thousands of years ago, someone figured out that strapping a piece of animal hide to their horse’s back made riding more comfortable. Saddles have certainly come a long way since those first primitive incarnations. They also cost a lot more.

Today’s horse owners often have significant investments in tack and equipment. A quality, well-made saddle should last far longer than the horse you’re currently riding. With proper care, it can easily last your lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

Equine Ulcer Protection

February 25, 2016

Ulcergard® (omeprazole) and Gastrogard® (omeprazole) have a new look with updated dosing instructions but the same protections for horse health.

Take a look at Merial’s new and improved packaging for Ulcergard and Gastrogard. Photo courtesy of Merial

From AQHA Corporate Partner Merial

For more than 10 years, veterinarians, horse owners and trainers have trusted Ulcergard® (omeprazole) for the prevention of equine stomach ulcers1, and Gastrogard® (omeprazole) for the treatment2 of them. That’s because they are the only proven and FDA-­approved products for gastric ulcers in horses3. Read the rest of this entry »

Equine Wound Care

February 11, 2016

Cuts and lacerations can be a serious threat to horse health; make sure you know to how to handle them and when to call the vet.

Photo courtesy AQHA

Photo courtesy of AQHA

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Whether your horse is at home, in the trailer, on a trail ride or at a competition, there’s never a “good” time for an injury. But because accidents can and do happen, you should know ahead of time what to do when your horse gets hurt. Read the rest of this entry »

Sweating the Small Stuff

February 4, 2016

This vet keeps equine athletes sound and healthy by addressing minor horse-health problems before they become major.

reining horse

Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Adequan

As the United States Equestrian Federation Reining Team veterinarian since the 2002 World Equestrian Games, it is the responsibility of Dr. John Newcomb to keep these equine athletes at the top of their game. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Health: Parasite Patrol

January 28, 2016

Farnam outlines your options to protect your horse from parasites.

Regular deworming is important to horse health.

Regular deworming is important to your horse’s health.

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

For effective parasite control, you must have your horse on a regular deworming program. Several options are available. Pick the one that works best for you. Read the rest of this entry »

Selecting Hoof-Care Products

January 14, 2016

Your horse’s environment — wet or dry — influences his hoof health and what he needs on his hooves.

Spending time in hot, sandy soil can leave a horse with hard, dry feet. Journal photo

Living in hot, sandy soil can leave a horse with hard, dry feet. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Farnam

Without four good feet to stand on, your horse is in trouble. No matter how well bred, athletic or personable he may be, he’ll never reach his full potential if his feet can’t hold up.

While genetics do arguably play a role in equine soundness and foot quality, conscientious owners will also do everything they can to give their horses the best hoof care. Read the rest of this entry »