When it comes to gastroscopy size matters... Stables Equine Practice has a 3.9m video gastroscopy which means we can scope the largest of horses!
This fiber optic cable is the only way of diagnosing gastric ulcers and has become a common procedure as part of a poor performance work up as well as those displaying classic signs. So that we can assess the stomach lining, it is essential that the stomach is empty. Therefore, horses must be starved from the afternoon of the day before the procedure. Horses are sedated for gastroscopy to help make the experience less stressful for them.
Gastric ulcers affect both competition horses and happy hackers. It can be cured using a combination of drugs to temporarily reduce the acidity of the stomach and implementing management changes to help prevent re-occurrence. The signs can be extremely variable but the more common symptoms involve discomfort on girthing up, reduced appetite for hard feed and a dull coat. Horses may also have a poor body condition score and display other signs of discomfort such as bucking. Accurate diagnosis enables us to assess the severity and site of the ulceration and monitor response to treatment.