Scoping shows a wide variety of horses are at risk for stomach ulcers.

The only definitive way to determine if your horse has an ulcer is by having a veterinarian use a 3-meter endoscope, or “scope,” to look inside the stomach. Not every veterinarian has this specialized equipment, so Merial sponsors a number of diagnostic events at veterinary clinics and university campuses nationwide. If endoscopy isn’t available, your veterinarian may make a presumptive diagnosis based on history, outward signs – such as changes in eating and drinking, changes in attitude, weight loss or recurrent colic – and a physical exam.

Endoscopy events in 25 states identified stomach ulcers in a surprising number of horses:1

  • 658 horses participated in total
  • Horses from 1 to 41 years old were identified with stomach ulcers
  • 254 horses that were diagnosed with stomach ulcers had no previous history of ulcers
  • Horses with stomach ulcers were stabled in a wide range of environments, including box stalls, pipe stalls, a pasture alone and a pasture with other horses
  • Horses fed supplements like beet pulp, flaxseed and corn oil were still identified with stomach ulcers
  • Stomach ulcers were found in horses across a variety of disciplines

Stomach Ulcer Prevalence by Discipline

Racing - 92% Eventers - 62%
Harness - 86% Hunter Jumpers - 60%
Saddleseat - 82% Western Pleasure - 52.9%
Reiners - 76% Barrel Racing - 51%
Cutting Horses - 69% Dressage - 44%
Show Jumpers - 67%  

What Endoscopy Reveals

When diagnosed by a veterinarian with an endoscope, stomach ulcers are graded from 0 to 3.


See why equine stomach ulcers happen

Diagnosing Equine Stomach Ulcers

Endoscopy, or “scoping,” is a procedure that lets your veterinarian look inside your horse’s stomach via a tiny camera attached to a long, thin tube. Your veterinarian will place the endoscope in through the nostril, then down the esophagus and into the stomach. There, the lining can be examined for the presence of ulcers. If endoscopy is not practical, then a presumptive diagnosis may be made based on clinical signs, history and a physical examination.

What endoscopy reveals

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.
CAUTION: Safety of GASTROGARD in pregnant or lactating mares has not been determined. For prescribing information click here.
*When administered for 8 or 28 days, ULCERGARD is proven to effectively prevent gastric ulcers in horses exposed to stressful conditions.
1 Data on file at Merial.
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