On Tuesday 17th September, Dr Marcus Allan of Tauranga Vets held a successful day gastroscoping at the Tauranga Racecourse. Marcus was able to identify different degrees of gastric ulceration ranging from mild to severe.

Marcus says the horse owners enjoyed being able to see the live images displayed on the screen and could appreciate the ulceration present. “It was easy to relate the ulceration seen with the associated clinical and behavioural signs the horse was displaying,” he adds.

Below are images of two of the horses being scoped.

The first image shows a horse with mild-moderate gastric ulceration.

The arrow shows where there is an ulcer present. Surrounding the ulcer and particularly to the left of the image the stomach lining is thickened and yellowed. This is early chronic damage from stomach acid and often precedes ulceration.

An incidental finding in the same horse is seen below – Stomach bots.

The next horse showed severe signs of gastric ulceration.

The arrows point to two deep ulcers. There are also numerous smaller ulcers present and are seen better on other views. The area around the ulcers is also very yellow indicating chronic irritation by gastric acid and thickening of the stomach lining.

Marcus says the above horses required treatment with a registered product that is effective at treating ulcers. Other management practices are also required to help healing and reduce the incidence of new ulcers forming.

For more information about gastric ulcers in horses please visit our website or talk to Dr Marcus Allan at Tauranga Vets.