Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) is a common ailment that horses of all ages, disciplines, and breeds can be affected by. There are many clinical signs that can alert owners that EGUS may be a problem for their horse.
- Weight Loss
- Poor coat quality
- Grinding teeth
- Recurrent colic
- Behavioral issues under saddle
- Temperament changes
- No signs at all
Unfortunately, many of these clinical signs are vague and can have multiple causes, meaning that the only way to truly diagnose EGUS is with gastroscopy. Gastroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that is tolerated well by horses. A small flexible camera is guided into the stomach to allow the doctor to view the stomach lining. Horse’s have two types of cells in their stomach: glandular cells which produce stomach acid, and non-glandular squamous epithelial cells. Traditional EGUS are lesions involving the non-glandular squamous epithelium. Horses can also develop lesions in the glandular portion of their stomach, which may not respond to traditional ulcer therapy and requires additional medications. Determining which types of stomach ulcers are present in each patient is vital to picking the appropriate medications and treatment success.