Knowing the difference between squamous, glandular and pyloric ulcers in horses requires basic knowledge of the horse's stomach.
In basic terms, the horse’s stomach is covered by two lining tissues: squamous and glandular.
Sometimes called Non-Glandular ulcers, these lesions affect the top third of the stomach. These type of ulcers form quickly and are associated with changes in appetite, slowed eating and poor performance.
The main cause of squamous ulcers is lack of forage & water, high starch diets, stress & gastric splashing.
Treatment with Omeprazole is very effective, with the majority of lesions healing within 21-28 days.
Glandular ulcers affect the bottom section of the horse's stomach. These ulcers form slowly and are a result of the mucosal lining not protecting the stomach from acid. The symptoms are may include appetite change/weight loss and girthiness.
Pyloric ulcers, are not so common. The pyloric region is the opening from the stomach into the small intestine. This means that pyloric ulcers are also categorised as glandular ulcers.
If pyloric ulceration gets severe enough, the area can swell and cause delayed gastric emptying which is a serious condition and difficult to treat.
For glandular ulcers, treatment with omeprazole alone is much less effective than in squamous ulcers. Instead a combination of omeprazole & sucralfate is recommended. Find out how to treat with sucralfate and omeprazole here.