Gastric ulcers are one of the most prevalent issues affecting performance horses. Aside from causing pain & discomfort to horses - it's one of most common reasons that competitive horses are unable to reach their full potential. 

However, there are medications and lifestyle modifications you can make to treat and prevent gastric ulcers occurring.

Causes of ulcers in performance horses

Modern horse management

Confinement (i.e. stabling), grain diet, limited grazing, lack of forage and removal from a herd environment are all causes of gastric ulcers in horses.

Stress as a cause of ulcers in performance horses:

 Stress is more than just feeling nervous.

It is a complex reaction of chemicals in the horse's body. For many competitive horse owners its not possible to avoid all causes of stress for horses. I.e travel, competition and stabling can all contribute to a horse's stress levels. However, there are a few pre-emptive measures you can make to minimize stress on your horse.

Gastric Splashing as a cause of ulcers in performance horses:

High intensity exercise combined with the design of a horse's stomach is a recipe for gastric ulcers.

Symptoms of ulcers in performance horses

While there are common signs of ulcers in horses like:

  • Reduced feed intake or poor appetite
  • Loss of condition
  • Rough or poor hair coat
  • Poor performance
  • Changes in behaviour and attitude – this may be either an increase in fear and  flightiness or dull and quiet.

Managing ulcers in Performance Horses

In Summary

In summary, the occurrence of gastric ulcers in performance horses is quite high and care and caution is required to ensure they don't suffer this painful condition, as much as possible.

Dietary measures can help with the prevention of ulcers such as those discussed above but often a high quality ulcer treatment.

Omeprazole is the active ingredient for gastric ulcer treatments.

You will find a range Omeprazole based gastric ulcers treatments that will suit your performance horse at our Shop Page