Horses possess a sensitive digestive system that can easily be disturbed by their diet and physical activity. This makes them susceptible to various digestive issues, with up to 90% of horses experiencing ulcers at some point in their lives. Performance horses are particularly at risk. If you suspect that your horse is suffering from a gastric ulcer or enterolith, it's time to contact a veterinarian for a gastroscopic examination. At Backstretch Veterinary in Groveland Sherborn, our equine vet can perform this investigative procedure to pinpoint the source of your horse's digestive problems.
What Is Equine Gastroscopy?
Equine gastroscopy involves inserting a camera through your horse's esophagus into its stomach to assess its condition. The camera is a thin, elongated device capable of reaching the stomach, allowing the vet to inspect it thoroughly.
Signs That Your Horse Needs Gastroscopy
Horses with ulcers or other gastric issues exhibit distinct signs of distress. They may lose their appetite, become reluctant to consume treats, and exhibit changes in behavior. Furthermore, their body condition and coat may visibly deteriorate due to their inability to extract essential nutrients and calories from their food. Mild colic episodes may also occur as their digestive system struggles to function effectively.
Conditions Diagnosed Through Gastroscopy
Gastroscopy aims to identify the source of your horse's digestive discomfort. The camera enables the veterinarian to assess the stomach's condition, detect signs of ulceration, and identify foreign objects, such as an enterolith. Once the issue is identified, the vet can establish a definitive diagnosis and create a treatment plan to address it.
Treating Common Gastrointestinal Conditions
Various methods can treat gastric ulcers, while enteroliths often require surgical intervention. If your horse is diagnosed with an ulcer, the vet will prescribe acid-reducing medications, discuss dietary changes to reduce acid production, and recommend increased grazing time. You may also need to adjust the training schedule to allow your horse's digestive system to normalize its acid production cycle. In cases involving foreign objects in the stomach, surgical removal may be necessary.
Contact Backstretch Veterinary in Groveland Sherborn, MA
Don't delay in addressing potential digestive issues in your horse that may be causing them discomfort. Are you looking for a veterinarian near you? Schedule an appointment with Backstretch Veterinary to have our veterinarian conduct a gastroscopic examination. Our equine vet can help your horse return to its normal self and resume peak performance swiftly.