Gastroscopy is a valuable tool allowing equine veterinarians to visualize the stomach using digital endoscopy. The majority of race horses and high performing show horses have been shown to have EGUS (equine gastric ulcer syndrome). There can be many contributing factors to EGUS such as stress, diet, and housing. It is interesting to note that many horses that have been treated empirically with compounded products, still have severe ulceration. Those horses that may warrant gastroscopy include picky eaters, those suffering weight loss, horses with bruxism(teeth grinding), chronic loose stools, colic, and can affect adults as well as foals. Accurate diagnostics lead to effective treatment.
Gastroscopy images showing significant ulceration in a performance horse.
Endoscopic services are available for evaluation of the upper airways and the upper gastrointestinal tract. Endoscopy has been utilized in the diagnosis of laryngeal paralysis (“roarers”), aryepiglottic fold entrapments, dorsal displacement of the soft palate (“flipping the palate”), gastric ulcers, and stricture of the esophagus (food pipe).