Veterinarians Discuss How to Manage Equine Gastric Ulcers

From when to administer ulcer medication to how to deal with recurring ulcers, veterinarians offer tips and tricks on managing this common horse health condition.
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how to manage equine gastric ulcers
Andrews said he recommends gastroscopy to assess a horse's response to ulcer therapy, usually after the first month of treatment. He cautioned against relying on clinical sign resolution. | Photo: Courtesy Danny Holbrook

Dealing with equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) can leave owners with more questions than answers. And they’re not alone—it turns out veterinarians have questions about EGUS, too.

As a remedy, vets participated in a question-and-answer format Table Topic on managing EGUS during the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco, California. Frank Andrews, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, director of the Equine Health Studies Program and clinical medicine service chief at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, in Baton Rouge, and Sarah Reuss, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, a veterinary specialist with Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, co-moderated the discussion.

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome collectively refers to ulcers or erosions in either the squamous (upper) or glandular (lower) regions of the horse’s stomach. These painful lesions have been identified in a high number of horses, particularly those in intense training and competition, and a variety of dietary and management factors can make them worse. Gastric ulcers can cause performance issues and ill-thrift and might signal the need for husbandry changes. They also warrant aggressive treatment and management

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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