St Davids Equine Services
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Investigation Of Gastric Ulceration In Horses

Recent studies have shown gastric ulceration to be a common problem in competition horses (more than 75% are thought to be affected) and even in pleasure horses and donkeys.

The signs can be difficult to recognise by clinical examination alone and gastroscopy is the only reliable method of diagnosis.

St David’s Equine Practice have invested in a video gastroscope and run regular gastroscopy clinics for diagnosis of this condition.

What Are The Symptoms Of Gastric Ulceration In Horses?
The clinical signs in adult horses vary. Horses displaying one or more of the following symptoms may be appropriate candidates for further investigation by gastroscopy:


Ulcers are graded from 1 (mild) to 4 (severe) according to their severity.
  • Poor performance
  • Reduced appetite
  • Poor physical condition
  • Mild or recurrent colic
  • Changes in attitude (depression or aggression)
  • Behaviour change around feeding time
  • Resentment of girthing up or saddling
  • Diarrhoea

Risk Factors For The Formation Of Gastric Ulcers Are:

  • A cereal based diet
  • Reduced amount of fibre in the diet
  • Long periods spent without food
  • Travelling
  • Exercise
  • Other causes of stress

If you have a horse that you suspect may be suffering from gastric ulcers, we would be pleased to investigate the stomach and duodenum by gastroscopy (and biopsy if necessary) on your behalf.

For more information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, please visit the Equine Gastric Ulcers website

St Davids Equine Services

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  • For more information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, please visit the Equine Gastric Ulcers website