Equine Gastric Ulcers; A new approach for an old problem

Stomach ulcers in horses are quite common, actually becoming more of a problem that in the past for our equine patients.  It has been estimated that upwards of 80% of all horses, including sedentary and those in training, exhibit gastric ulcers but not all are clinically evident.  In some studies, it has been demonstrated that just by moving a horse into a barn or training facility, the incidence of stomach ulcers increases beyond 80% and upwards to almost 100%.  Some cases of ulcers are obvious with typical clinical signs, while others are more ‘quiet’ in nature and often only diagnosed incidentally.  The sad part is that for many of these horses, they live a life on constant medications to control the clinical symptoms, which not only is not solving the problem but also costing the owner money and even, based on some studies, potentially inflicting harm.  We need to dig deeper to find better ways of managing this problem.