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How To Diagnose Stomach Ulcers In Your Horse

HorseHealthAndTraining.com - Stomach ullcerDoes your horse kick at you, or turn to bite you, when you tighten the girth? Is he sensitive around his withers? If so, he could have stomach ulcers.

Gastro-intestinal erosions – stomach ulcers – are the most common cause of intermittent colic, gas and diarrhea. Studies have shown that a horse can progress from having no gastric irritation to having a perforated ulcer in as little as 5 days. This progression will occur even faster if the horse is being treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as bute. Stomach ulcers are the single most preventable syndrome that are treated by vets.

Endoscopy is commonly used to diagnose ulcers. However, scoping can only identify ulcerated tissue in the esophagus and stomach and can’t get down into the intestine and cecum.

A less invasive diagnostic method, and one which you can learn to do yourself, uses palpation of acupuncture points that are closely associated with digestion. This can be a great indication of the presence of painful and debilitating ulcers.

In the video below, Mark DePaulo DVM, demonstrates how to find these acupressure points – it could explain why your horse is so cranky!

If you want to know more about stomach ulcers and how to treat them, here is a link to Dr. DePaulo’s website.


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