On Wed. February 17, SVS hosted a gastric scoping clinic. A team of Veterinarians and assistants from the U.C. Davis large animal clinic headed by Jack Snyder DVM, PHD, Diplomat ACVS arrived at 9 in the morning and worked all day scoping over 40 horses. Dr. Snyder is one of the most experienced Veterinarians in the world working with horses with gastric ulcers and the effects they can have on the animals well being and performance. Starting in the 1990s he worked with the drug company Meriel gathering information on ulcers and how to treat them. This helped with the development of Gastroguard, the ulcer medicine for horses which uses Omeprazole (the same drug found in the human drug Prilosec). Symptoms ulcers can show in horses are not eating well, poor coat condition, difficulty keeping on weight and intermittent colic. Scientific studies suggest that ulcers can also shorten the length of a horse’s stride which from a performance standpoint is very significant.
The team used a 3 meter video endoscope which was inserted into each horse’s nose, passed through the esophagus and into its stomach. Viewing on a large monitor allowed them to look for ulcers and grade their severity. Of the 40 horses scoped approx. 17 had ulcers significant enough that we felt they should be treated. Of those 17, 5 had ulcers that were considered moderate to severe and those horses will have to be treated with higher levels of medication. As a professional trainer, what made this valuable was having such experienced specialists working on our horses with top quality equipment. This allowed us to make a specific diagnosis on all the horses and feel confident in the treatment we decided upon for each. Everybody at SVS (and your horses) thank all that participated and especially the team from U.C. Davis.