A Tale of Two Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndromes

Understand the distinctions between squamous and glandular disease, so you can help your horse avoid painful gastric ulcers

It’s been more than 20 years since the equine veterinary community adopted the term equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) to describe the painful lesions that can form in the upper squamous or lower glandular portions of the horse’s stomach. Since then, researchers have devoted significant time and resources to studying the syndrome, yet much remains unknown.

“The more evidence we get, the clearer it is that in most cases, (squamous and glandular disease) are two separate entities that just happen to occur in the same place,” says Ben Sykes, BSc, BVMS, MS, MBA, Dipl. ACVIM and ECEIM, PhD, FHEA, a veterinarian, gastrointestinal ​disease researcher, and associate professor in equine medicine at Massey University, in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Sykes compares equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD) and equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD) to lameness. A horse can have a foot or fetlock lameness, both of which affect the leg and produce similar clinical signs, but the reasons for the lameness are distinct. Likewise, ESGD and EGGD both affect the stomach, but their causes differ

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