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?
Glad she was ulcer-free!ReplyDelete
That's great news! As a weird side question, what all do they scope? Henry is on a probiotic that is specifically helpful for hindgut ulcers (as per his nutrition lady) and I didn't even know if the hindgut was "scopeable".ReplyDelete
You're right, hindgut is not scopeable, this was just to look for stomach ulcers. I asked about hindgut ulcers but vet didn't think likely in Kachina's case (also I believe hind gut issues can show visible symptoms with runny or bloody poop which Kachina doesn't have)Delete
That's great that she was ulcer-free! One less thing to worry about!ReplyDelete
My vet did a fecal blood test to see if Candy had ulcers. Like Kachina, Candy's diet and living situation don't make her a prime candidate for them, but Candy was thin, not gaining weight, had dull hair, and was totally neurotic. The results of the fecal blood test indicated that she didn't have ulcers. It turned out that she's just a heavy shedder who needs to be dewormed more often than my other horses! Deworming her more frequently has fixed everything except the neurosis, haha!
Interesting. Actually a side effect of getting the scope done was that my vet was able to determine that Kachina's deworming is working. I guess they can actually see if things like bot eggs are present in the stomach when they do a scope which I didn't realize.Delete
I haven’t scoped because Katai’s behavior clearly changed when I started treating for them and basically every symptom she had that could have been related to ulcers went away. With that it made more sense to skip the test for her. If I hadn’t been able to tell I absolutely would have scoped.ReplyDelete
Those are the kind of stories I've heard from other people as well and that makes sense in that circumstance. Kachina was less typical so scoping was the right choice for us.Delete
That’s great news tho! I’m always happy to get that clean bill of health!ReplyDelete
Glad she doesn't have ulcers!ReplyDelete
I scoped Phantom a few years ago. I had long wondered if she had ulcers - but no, she's just a sensitive, opionated mare.ReplyDelete
The reason I had her done was because she was super grouchy about saddling and sore in her back, which continued after having her hocks done. In the past it had gone away after getting the hock injections. So after scoping we did another lameness test, and decided to try a course of Adaquan. That made an immediate difference. So now I know that when she starts to get crabby it might be more because she's uncomfortable in her body (likely her back).
I also changed up her girth to a Le Tixerant girth which I think made a huge difference. I used that for a couple of years and now use a TSF Stretchtec girth. She's been a bit crabby the last couple of weeks, but she's getting close to needing her hocks done again, so not sure if it's the change in girth, her hocks, or because it's a day that ends in y.
Have you tried a bute test to see if it's pain related?ReplyDelete