Gastric Ulcers in Horses



  1. ESGD – Equine Squamous Gastric Disease
  2. EGGD – Equine Glandular Gastric Disease


1. Equine Squamous Gastric Disease (ESGD)

    • Affects the upper, non-glandular or squamous region of the stomach
    • Measured on a scale of 1-4
    • Occur in response to risk factors inherent in domestication and intensive management
    • Result of prolonged exposure to the normal hydrochloric acid in the stomach
    • Can be secondary to EGGD
    • Only identified via endoscopy 
    Risk Factors
    • Busy competition/travelling schedules
    • Exercising with an empty stomach
    • Gastric compression, caused by increased intra-abdominal pressure
    • Changes to routine
    • Low forage, high concentrate diets
    • Intensive training
    • Early weaning

                  Ongoing Management

                  • Omeprazole products
                  • Fibre pre exercise
                  • Low starch – high fibre diets
                  • Feeding little and often
                  • Preparing for stressful situations

                            2. Equine Glandular Gastric Disease (EGGD)

                            • Affects the lower, glandular or pyloric region of the stomach
                            • Measured on a scale of 1-4
                            • Cause is more complex than ESGD
                            • Can be the result of a breakdown of protective factors, primarily Mucas
                            • Usually slower to heal and can require prolonged/multiple treatments
                            • Only identified via endoscopy
                               Risk Factors
                              • High intensity exercise more than 5 times per week
                              • Breed – show jumping warmbloods are a high risk
                              • Stress
                              • Anti inflammatory drugs
                              • More than 3 riders

                                Ongoing Management

                                • Omeprazole products in combination with sucralfete
                                • Identify triggers
                                • Improving mucus quantity/quality
                                • Rest days – at least 2 x per week
                                • Minimise caregivers/riders
                                • Low starch diet