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Stomach Ulcers in Horses

September 12, 2011

Stomach ulcers can be a hidden cause of poor performance in horses.

Learn the causes, signs and treatments of stomach ulcers, a common problem in horses.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, ulcerations have been found to affect 90 percent of racehorses. Their demanding conditioning routines and travel are just two sources of stress that can lead to ulcers.

The FREE Stomach Ulcers in Horses report dives deep into the issues of this condition that’s more common than you might think.

You’ll learn:

  • Causes
  • Signs
  • Treatment
  • Prevention

Horses are unique grazing animals as they only have one stomach compared to other grazing animals, or ruminants, which have four stomachs. The structure of the equine stomach is more sensitive, especially in the upper portion of the stomach, which is where most ulcers are found. The FREE Stomach Ulcers in Horses report explains the biology of the equine digestive tract and why it is more prone to ulcers than other species.

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Once you’ve grasped an understanding of the structure and function of the equine digestive system, learn more as Stomach Ulcers in Horses breaks down the different causes of ulcers, with most common causes resulting from management issues. Find out why common horse nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs or pain relievers), such as phenylbutanzone (bute) and banamine, can actually lead to stomach ulcers. Also learn about acidity levels in the stomach and how they play a role in creating ulcers.

Find expert advice and insight from two top veterinarians: Dr. Martin Ivey, who practices at Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery in Weatherford, Texas; and Dr. Brain Saathoff of Equine Sports Medicine in Cypress, California.

“In general, your more carbohydrate-loaded grains would probably tend to cause ulcers more than your non- or less-carbohydrate, more fibrous grains,” says Dr. Ivey.

Learn how to identify the signs of stomach ulcers in both horses and foals. Weight loss, poor condition, a long hair coat and change in appetite are just some of the common signs of possible ulcerations. But be aware; Many horses suffering from ulcers will not show any clinical signs if the ulcers are not severe enough. Develop an eye for these signs and others before its too late.

The FREE Stomach Ulcers in Horses report discusses practical treatment and prevention methods.

“Some horses, especially upper-level horses, are routinely given GastroGard medication as a preventive. But for other horses where cost might be an issue, we usually recommend scoping to be sure that we make the proper diagnosis and don’t unnecessarily use expensive medication,” Dr. Saathoff says.

Stomach Ulcers in Horses also informs you about research suggesting that horses who suffer from stomach ulcers will also be prone to further ulcers in the rest of the digestive tract. Read more about Dr. Franklin Pellegrini’s study, where he examined more than 200 horses.

“The reality is that the stomach is really just a small part of the digestive system as a whole,” Dr. Pellegrini says.