Equine gastric ulcers span a wide spectrum of severity, from slightly inflamed stomach lining through to widespread erosion and bleeding. Understanding the different grades of horse ulcers will help you understand how severe they are. 

A 4-point system has been developed by vets to help classify the different grades of horse ulcers. This helps determine the efficiency of treatment. Generally speaking, grades 2 or above are considered clinically significant.

 

Different grades of horse ulcers: Squamous or 'upper' area of the stomach

  • Grade 0: The inner surface is intact and there is no appearance of inflammation. 
  • Grade 1: The mucosa is intact, but there are areas of slight inflammation
  • Grade 2: Presence of small lesions in one or many places. 
  • Grade 3: Large lesions or extensive superficial lesions.
  • Grade 4: Extensive lesions with areas of apparent deep ulceration.

 

Different grades of horse ulcers: Glandular or 'lower' area of the stomach

  • Grade 0: The inner surface is intact and there is no appearance of inflammation. 
  • Grade 1: The mucosa is intact, but there are areas of inflammation
  • Grade 2: Presence of small lesions in one or many places. 
  • Grade 3:Large lesions or extensive superficial lesions.
  • Grade 4: Extensive lesions with areas of deep ulceration or mucosal pathology

 

Expected healing of different grades of horse ulcers: