Gastroscopy is the examination of a horse’s stomach and requires a 3m+ long endoscope. We have the latest VES Optics viedo-endoscopy unit, which allows a fantastic visualisation of the lining of the stomach for both us and clients to see in the real time.
There are two types of stomach ulcers happening in horses:
1. Equine Squamous Gastric Ulcer Syndrom (ESGUS) – in this syndrome ulcers are found in the light pink part of the stomach (non-glandural part) and are caused by the acid stomach contents splashing up to the unprotected stomach lining.
2. Equine Glandural Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGGUS) – in this type ulcers affect the darker pink part of the stomach (glandular part), especially around the pylorus of the stomach. This is similar to human gastric ulcer syndrome and may be associate with certain bacterial infections (although this has not be proven to be the case in horses).
Thanks to gastroscopy we are able to distinguish between ESGUS and EGGUS and can also grade severity of the lesions, which is the only way to select appropriate treatment and predict the length of the treatment necessary to resolve the ulcers (ie. ulcers near pylorus need much longer treatment compared to ulcers in non-glandular parts).
Treatments generally include omeprazole and sucralfate, and in some cases misoprostol or antibiotics may be also added. Changes in management are of utmost importance also (feeding high fibre and oil, reducing high sugar feeds and allowing plenty of grazing). Supplement (contaigning gastric protectants and antacids) are also recommended following the successful treatment.
If you have any questions about gastroscopy or would like to book your horse in, please use the online booking form or contact us on 01304 364648.