Managing Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS)
Gastric ulcers is known to affect over 60% of performance horses. This condition is commonly known as Equine gastric ulcers syndrome. While you can easily tell whether your horse has EGUS, sometimes the symptoms are so subtle that they can be missed. For this reason, keep a close eye on the day to day changes that your horse may exhibit gastric ulcers symptoms and treatment
Gastric ulcers symptoms and treatment
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Dull hair coat or poor general body condition
- Loss of appetite
- Attitude change(reluctance to work/train)
Supplements can come in handy to help manage EGUS. The supplements help in:
- Soothing the stomach (antacids)
- Form a protective layer on the stomach to shield against erosion from the acid (Sucralfate )
- Repair damaged stomach tissue (Licorice)
- Healing, building muscle, improving the immune system and repairing Intestine tissue (L-Glutamine)
How to Diagnose EGUS
Now that you noticed symptoms of EGUS, an exam needs to be carried out to examine the inside of the stomach. This exam is known as Endoscopy. It involves the use of a viewing scope to verify the presence of ulcers.
Medication used to treat EGUS should help in stopping the production of gastric acid. To ensure that the prescription will do that, check that Omeprazole is the active ingredient. Some medications are available without prescriptions. Medication can be in different forms: Tablets, oral paste or granules.
How to manage stomach ulcers in horses
The best way to prevent and manage stomach ulcers is by providing pasture turnout. This helps in saliva forming naturally and, at the same time cushions the stomach against gastric acid.
For your horse to perform well, it’s important to ensure that it is stress-free. Below are a few tips that will go a long way in your day to day prevention of ulcers;
- Turnout is a good way to start. There is freedom to move and feed at will.
- Do not keep your horse secluded. Your horse like any other animal needs interaction with other horses.
- Consistent feeding
- Consistent exercises
- Medication that may further contribute to gastric irritation should be used in minimum dosage/frequency. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are the major culprits.
Gastric ulcers symptoms and treatment cannot be overlooked. Whether you’re a trainer, a rider or a horse lover. It is worth noting that with proper treatment, use of supplements and good day to day management habits, you will not only treat but also prevent re occurrence of EGUS.