While stomach ulcers are often considered to be only a problem for racehorses, many horse owners do not realize that non-racing competitive horses are also at high risk.
A: Horses suffering from stomach ulcers may display signs of pain and discomfort such as:
A: In early stages of the disease it is the pain and discomfort of stomach ulcers that influence a horse's eating behaviour, temperament and well-being. Some horses tolerate ulcers better than others and clinical signs may not be obvious. In these animals, a relative improvement in appetite or temperament may be evident within days of commencing treatment. Haemorrhaging ulcers are common in horses that have been in training for longer than eight weeks and perforation of the stomach can result if a horse remains untreated, usually with a fatal outcome.
A: Is your horse showing signs of pain and discomfort for no obvious reason? If a few days of treatment with an ulcer medication corrects this behaviour, you can feel confident that the cause was stomach ulcers. A three metre endoscope is used by veterinarians to obtain a positive diagnosis, but placing the horse on an ulcer medication for a few days is valuable when an endoscope is not readily available.
A: Here are a few handy tips to keep in mind when you are trying to treat or prevent ulcers in your horse:
Don’t let untreated stomach ulcers affect your horse’s performance. Enteric coating provides a proven treatment that effectively heals and prevents gastric ulceration in competitive horses. Speak to your vet today or contact your Virbac Area Sales Manager for more information.
Is your horse at risk of developing gastric ulcers?