Ulcers are caused by stressful situations, such as:
An inconsistent feeding schedule
Altered eating / drinking behavior
Change in attitude (for the worse)
The only way to definitively diagnose the presence of gastric ulcers in a horse is through a Gastroscopic Examination. A small camera in a flexible cable is passed through the nostril, down the esophagus, and into the stomach to examine the stomach lining to check for the presence of ulcers. The horse must be fasted and sedated for the exam.
Massachusetts Equine Clinic is able to perform Gastroscopic Exams either in the hospital or at your farm. If gastric ulcers are present, the only approved treatment for equine ulcers is Gastrogard, a daily paste. The frequency and duration of treatment is determined based on the severity of the ulcers.