An ulcer is an erosion in the lining of the oesophagus, stomach or small intestine. Stomach ulcers are more common and usually occur in the non-glandular (squamous) area of the stomach and less commonly in the glandular (fundic) area of the stomach.
All performance horses are at risk of developing ulcers. Thoroughbred and Standard bred race horses are most susceptible but show jumpers, dressage and show horses have also been diagnosed with ulcers.
Research suggests that up to 93% of racehorses get stomach ulcers, and almost 60% of other performance horses have ulcers, with 30-40% of these being engaged in dressage.
Up to 57% of foals have stomach ulcers during the early months of life.
Research suggests that 50% of ponies on concentrates had ulcers, whereas ponies on hay diets did not.
50% of horses with ulcers show no obvious signs of gastrointestinal discomfort.
Pasture keep, grazing horses rarely develop gastric ulcers.