Signs and Treatment for Gastric Ulcer in Horses

Your horse may be in the prime of his health. Until suddenly, he starts getting irritated, and his desire to do physical activities reduces. Like other animals, it is quite tough to find the exact cause of this problem. 

Gastric ulcers are sores that form on the lining of your horse’s stomach. The prevalence of gastric ulcers in horses can range from 50% to 90%; hence it is a thing to be worried about.

Here we share with you the signs and treatment for gastric ulcers in the horses.

Signs of Gastric ulcers in horses 

Horse’s stomachs are smaller as compared to other animals. Therefore they cannot overeat or eat huge quantities at one time. They are built to eat and digest smaller quantities of feed instead of bulk eating in one go. 

Usually, making an error in the same routine can cause gastric ulcers in your horse. An Equine Veterinarian would check whether your horse is facing gastric ulcers. 

Some signs of gastric ulcers are:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Feeling dull and behaving same
  • Changes in mood and attitude
  • Decrease in the performance while doing athletic activities
  • Feeling reluctant to train 
  • Fall in the overall health and physical parameters of the body
  • Low quality of hair coat
  • Loss in weight 
  • Low-grade colic problem
  • Increase in girth

In some severe cases, the horse may experience pain in the abdomen and teeth grinding. Some horses prefer lying down on their back as it provides temporary relief to them.

In cases of foals, you could see signs like frequent recumbency, reduced nursing, poor appetite, and diarrhea. If a colt shows such symptoms, you should get it treated immediately.

Treatment of gastric ulcers  

The diagnosis of a gastric ulcer is done through a simple endoscopy procedure. For the treatment, there is only one medicine that is advised. Omeprazole is a paste formulation and is readily available. Even though it is expensive, it is quite effective, and you have to administer it once a day.

If you want to avoid the probability of gastric ulcers altogether, you could adopt the following tricks.

  • Take your horse frequently to graze in a pasture. This would reduce the acid that is produced in the horse’s stomach.
  • Reducing the amount of grain or concentrate in the diet. You could also add alfalfa hay to the diet and discuss these matters with your veterinarian.
  • Decrease the usage of any anti-inflammatory drugs. In case you have to administer the same, use new and safe medicines in the market.
  • Cut down on stressful situations like intense training.


Taking care of your pets is sometimes rather traumatic. This is probably because they are unable to tell the exact origin of their problems. If your horse has a gastric ulcer, you should immediately come to his rescue. 

Your vet would be the best person to guide you in this situation. In most cases, in a few days of rigorous treatment, your horse should be back to his usual self. The only thing is that you are prompt enough in his treatment schedule.


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