Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS), is a common digestive condition that can affect horses of all ages and breeds. The lower stomach acid buildup can lead to colic, decreased appetite, weight loss, poor performance, or even death. We will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of EGUS in this article.
Causes of EGUS
EGUS occurs when acid builds up in the stomach of horses. The horse can produce this acid, or it can be obtained from grain, hay, stress, or other sources. Horses who are given a high-grain diet or are subject to constant stress are more likely than others to develop EGUS.
Horses who are fed a high-grain diet will be more vulnerable to EGUS. Horses that eat a high-grain diet are more likely to develop EGUS. This is because grain is high in sugars and starch. The stomach lining can be damaged, which could lead to ulcers.
Horses can also be more susceptible to EGUS if they are stressed. The horse’s stomach can produce excessive acid and increase its sensitivity. This can increase the risk of developing ulcers.
Symptoms of EGUS
EGUS can lead to a variety of symptoms in horses. These include colic, decreased appetite, weight loss, poor performance and even death. EGUS can cause a variety of symptoms in horses, including:
- Appetite decrease
- Weight loss
- Poor performance
- Excessive salivation
Diagnosis and Treatment of EGUS
Because of the variety of symptoms associated with EGUS, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose. Endoscopy, laboratory tests, and physical examination are all necessary to diagnose EGUS. Endoscopy is often considered to be the best method of diagnosing horses because it allows the veterinarian access to the stomach and any possible ulcers.
The veterinarian can determine if the horse has EGUS by performing a physical exam. The veterinarian will examine the horse’s vitals (temperature and heart rate, respiration rate) and inspect the horse’s mouth for signs of ulcers.
EGUS can also be diagnosed using laboratory tests. These tests include blood, urine, and stool tests. These tests are used to determine if the horse has any abnormalities in its system.
Endoscopy is the best method to diagnose EGUS. The veterinarian will use a long thin tube with a camera at the end to view the stomach of the horse during this procedure. This allows the veterinarian see any ulcers and to determine the severity.
Treatment of EGUS
The severity of the ulcers will determine the treatment. Mild cases can be managed with dietary changes or medication. More severe cases may need surgery.
Changes in diet
For mild cases of EGUS, dietary changes are often the first line of therapy. This means reducing the amount of grain and horse hay that is being fed to them, and also providing plenty of water and roughage. This will reduce acid production and protect the stomach lining.
EGUS can also be treated with medication. These include both anti- acid medications, which neutralize acid in horses’ stomachs, and proton pump inhibitors which prevent acid from being produced in the stomach.
In extreme cases