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RE: [RC] Ulcer Treatments//To Scope or Not to Scope - Tracey Lomax

Don wrote:

Lets hear it for modern technology and the ability to actually 
physically look at a possible internal problem like ulcers by using a 
scope and be able to either completely rule out the problem or apply 
the proper treatment. There are still many areas where vets must rely 
on their experience and clinical skills but sometimes technology has 
given us some very valuable tools that help to make a very accurate 
diagnosis. If you really want to know if your horse has ulcers then 
use the scope. Then you can either apply treatment or if the horse 
scopes clean then look at other possibilities causing his symptoms.
Don Huston

Beveryley wrote:        

Let's hear it for the good vets and other docs who rely on their
and clinical skills and don't automatically lean on expensive testing
common conditions. "You don't do a brain scan for everyone with a
In the old days we didn't have ultrasound, MRI, fiber optics, CT, PET,
electrolytes, Polartec, biothane, or spandex.


I'm coming down on both sides of the coin.  I have five horses in my
yard, four mine and one a livery.  Mine all raced, two of them very
hard.  One of the latter two has suspected ulcers (I say suspected
because we haven't scoped).  His symptoms aren't bad enough to warrant a
scope : he simply gets incredibly loose stools and is prone to stress
colic, so I give him a calmer before shows and he gets plenty of Lucerne
and minimal concentrates.  He's fat and healthy otherwise so no reason
to scope.

The livery horse came to me unbelievably thin, notwithstanding that I
KNOW that at his previous yard he got nothing but the best care and
treatment.  I called in my vet and we ran a battery of tests.  Blood
tests came back with elevated CK levels, phosphate levels so low the lab
thought this was part of an autopsy report and he was also dangerously
anaemic.  Vet and I both said "Ulcers" among other things.  We discussed
scoping but decided that, as all the clinical signs pointed to ulcers,
we could pretty much hang our hats on ulcers, low-grade biliary and a
muscle spasm somewhere.  We treated him with Foray for biliary,
Rinitidine for ulcers, and a chiro for his back (as well as testan to
build muscle faster).  He's now a different horse, and we've changed his
feeding and work regimen and are treating him as a horse who is prone to

Yes, a scope would have confirmed it.  The results of the treatment,
however, confirmed more.  

If I weren't 100% sure, I'd say "yes, get a scope".  But only if you're
not sure.  Otherwise, I'm with Beverley : the less invasive the
treatment the better.  Know your horse and find a vet you can trust.

PS I could go all woo woo on you and talk about reiki and crystals, but
I think that Don might have a minor conniption, so I'll keep it strictly
science :)


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Re: [RC] Ulcer Treatments//To Scope or Not to Scope, Don Huston