Scoping shows a wide variety of horses are at risk for stomach ulcers.
The only definitive way to determine if your horse has an ulcer is by having a veterinarian use a 3-meter endoscope, or “scope,” to look inside the stomach. Not every veterinarian has this specialized equipment, so Merial sponsors a number of diagnostic events at veterinary clinics and university campuses nationwide. If endoscopy isn’t available, your veterinarian may make a presumptive diagnosis based on history, outward signs – such as changes in eating and drinking, changes in attitude, weight loss or recurrent colic – and a physical exam.
Endoscopy events in 25 states identified stomach ulcers in a surprising number of horses:1
- 658 horses participated in total
- Horses from 1 to 41 years old were identified with stomach ulcers
- 254 horses that were diagnosed with stomach ulcers had no previous history of ulcers
- Horses with stomach ulcers were stabled in a wide range of environments, including box stalls, pipe stalls, a pasture alone and a pasture with other horses
- Horses fed supplements like beet pulp, flaxseed and corn oil were still identified with stomach ulcers
- Stomach ulcers were found in horses across a variety of disciplines
Stomach Ulcer Prevalence by Discipline
|Racing - 92%
||Eventers - 62%
|Harness - 86%
||Hunter Jumpers - 60%
|Saddleseat - 82%
||Western Pleasure - 52.9%
|Reiners - 76%
||Barrel Racing - 51%
|Cutting Horses - 69%
||Dressage - 44%
|Show Jumpers - 67%
What Endoscopy Reveals
When diagnosed by a veterinarian with an endoscope, stomach ulcers are graded from 0 to 3.