Gastric Endoscopy is the gold standard for diagnosing gastric ulcers. Many factors can contribute to a horse developing gastric ulcers including stress (changing barns, feeding schedules, or stall mates, etc.), scheduled feedings versus continuous grazing, stall confinement and NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) administration such as Bute, Banamine and Aspirin. Horses with gastric ulcers can present for unthriftiness, poor appetite, behavioral changes and/or colic.
This procedure is performed at the hospital and requires the patient to arrive the day before so that they can be properly fasted overnight allowing full visualization of the stomach lining using a 3-meter scope.