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Scoping for ulcers? What is involved, prep, etc?

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  • Scoping for ulcers? What is involved, prep, etc?

    Assuming I will need to trailer in to vet (vs. them coming to me?) Any fasting involved, and if so, how long?

    What was your experience, and how much did it cost? Thanks!

  • #2
    Yep, they'll fast for atleast 8hrs. My horse was fasted from 12am, scoped at 9am with no issue. Ran me about ~$275 with horse staying overnight at the vet. It was quick and easy, found lots of grade 2 ulceration. I watched the scope done.


    • #3
      Yep- overnight fast (no feed after midnight)- don't forget no grazing or hay on the trailer!!! You'll usually have to trailer to the vet since the scopes used for the stomach are the kind that aren't portable. Overnight stays aren't usually necessary and you'll pay somewhere in the $150- 300 range (usually including sedation)- depending on your location.


      • #4
        We had 3 of our event horses scoped this past summer. No food after midnight.

        The always crabby/nasty one that we thought would have ulcers didn't.

        The sweet/kind/ compliant one we thought wouldn't have ulcers was full of them.

        The other one, young/healthy, coliced after, possibly from the little bit of air that they pump into them to expand the stomach.

        Good info all in all. Just not what I was expecting LOL


        • #5
          No food after midnight. No water for 4 or 5 hours before?

          I was lucky to be able to participate in a free scoping clinic last winter. I had 2 scoped. The fresh off the track TB was clean as a whistle. My 7 yo, raced once as a 3 yo TB 'pet' had several ulcers! Go figure.

          Scoping is pretty straight forward! Sedate, scope, and it's over. I have to say it was fascinating to watch.


          • Original Poster

            Really torn. Horse is leaving food in pan again - morning feed. About 1/3 to half. Eats all his p.m. feed but he's in his stall all night with it. Hard to say if he is anticipating morning turnout and loses interest, excited to get out for the grass. We still have NICE grass at our barn. Eating few flakes of hay at night (alfalfa mix) Eats grass all day.

            Was crabby under saddle in ring over weekend - reluctant to trot/canter and took a while to get him going. (fine on trails Sunday and today). Not girthy. Had ulcers a while back but brought on by meds - ulcers "came out" full force with him refusing ALL feed...but looking back from that time, he had subtle signs I missed. We also just moved barns end of Oct. - adjusted fine but it was a big change in herd (went from being with 2 older geldings to a mare and 2 foals). I did give him Ulcergard 5 days "around" the move (day of, few days before, few days after)

            I know I can Ggard him as a test but I hate to medicate him for a month if he is clean. I am tempted to scope to get an answer once and for all.


            • #7
              the fasting can be...special. And it WILL ruin the scoping if you dont fast them, as all they can see is hay if they have had any hay at all.

              Other than that, unless your horse is particularly obnoxious, the scoping itself is pretty simple.
              "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


              • #8
                My vet has a portable scope (closest equine clinic is four hours away.) I think we fasted him for 24 hours, to be extra special sure there wouldn't be anything in there. He wasn't terribly upset about that, since he wasn't eating anyway. With sedation I think it ran me about $275. Definitely watch if they'll let you, it's fascinating.
                Pam's Pony Place

                Pam's Pony Ponderings


                • #9
                  I had to trailer to the vet clinic about 1.5 hours away to get my horse scoped (once for the dx and a second time to make sure he was clean). Vet clinic had me fast for 24 hours (which was torture... at least for me). It was worth it to me to know exactly what I was dealing with. Last year, I treated the same horse with a month of Ulcergard under my regular vet's instruction with so-so results. It was much better this time around having a clear plan and seeing the results!
                  "We are all doing the best we can from our own level of consciousness.”
                  ― Deepak Chopra