In the past, stomach ulcers were thought to be a problem only for horses performing at extremely high levels (e.g., racehorses), but new research puts an end to that misconception. When any horse experiences stress, he or she can develop this painful and potentially debilitating condition.
Merial, the maker of medications to prevent and treat stomach ulcers in horses, commissioned veterinarians across the country to examine horses from all walks of life for ulcers. The veterinarians used endoscopes to look directly into the stomachs of 3,354 horses. The results are startling; over 58 percent of them had some degree of stomach ulceration.
Stress comes in many forms for horses. Transport, limited access to turnout and pasture, increased time in a stall, changes in training routines, and competition of any sort can all be stressful. Any stomach ulcers that result may lead to reduced performance, colic, and loss of weight and condition.
If you think that your horse may have stomach ulcers, talk to your veterinarian. Prescription medications like Gastrogard are available to treat and heal stomach ulcers. If you want to do something to prevent the formation of ulcers during stressful times, consider using Ulcergard.