What is a gastroscopy?
In order to view the stomach of the horse an endoscope with a camera is passed through the nose and down the oesophagus into the stomach. The horse will have to be sedated in order to do so safely. The different parts of the stomach are then examined for lesions of the mucosa. Any gastric ulcers that can be found during this examination will be evaluated regarding their size and severity and a plan for treatment is made accordingly.
Preparing a horse for gastroscopy
If you wish to have your horse examined for gastric ulcers by gastroscopy make sure to book an appointment with your vet beforehand. Your horse will need to be starved before the procedure as only an empty stomach will result in a clear view of the mucosa.
Ensure the following before a gastroscopy:
- Remove all feed and hay or haylage the night before the gastroscopy.
- Offer plenty of fresh, clean water.
- Prevent your horse from eating the bedding. If the horse does not tolerate a muzzle or will not drink with it consider changing its bedding to shavings rather than straw.
As a general rule the horse should be allowed to rest until the sedation has worn off before return to feeding, turn out or transport. Clean water can be offered right away. Your vet will be able to give you detailed instructions on how to proceed in the given situation.