On Friday I got Kachina scoped for ulcers.
Kachina's diet and living situation don't make her a prime candidate for developing ulcers, but multiple people have suggested I investigate or treat her for them based on her tension and girthiness issues. Her girthiness has changed a bit recently and I really wanted to know if there was a physical explanation. I know a lot of people decide to use ulcer treatments without scoping, but Kachina isn't consistent enough in her behaviour to determine if a change happens due to treatment so I really wanted to scope. My normal vet doesn't actually own a gastro-scope, and neither does my usual back-up vet, so I had to wait until last week for an appointment with the vet who does have the right equipment (but I feel really lucky that my area has multiple good equine vets to choose from).
Of course scoping her stomach meant that I had to keep Kachina off food and water for 12 hours previous. The food part I expected, but I didn't realize until the day before that you have to withhold water as well. Kachina lives in a pen with an automatic waterer so she had to spend the night in a separate isolated area which made me feel like a terrible horse-mom (I really need to work on making Kachina more confident when she's alone).
She ultimately survived and we hauled to the vet clinic Friday morning. This vet generally likes to keep horses awake for the procedure so they can swallow the scope more easily, but Kachina was pretty stressed out from her night alone and her general Kachina-ness so she had to get a double dose of sedative for vet to get the scope near her. Once the sleepiness set in, it was smooth sailing and we got a pretty good view of Kachina's stomach which appeared completely ulcer-free! (Sorry, zero media as I was busy supporting Kachina's head)
Doing the test in the first place may have been a bit excessive, but I think the $200 was well worth it for my peace of mind. Now that I have ruled out another physical problem I can more confidently address the training side of her issues. Also I am so glad that I didn't pay for a course of ulcer treatment without the test. In my mind that practically equals free money! (Which gave me perfect justification to spend it shopping at Mane Event...)
Has anyone else scoped for ulcers and not found any?