What is the difference between gastric and hindgut ulcers?

Equine ulcers are often lumped together. Gastric ulcers are not the same as hindgut ulcers.The area referred to as hindgut refers to the segment of a horse's intestines that follows the small intestine. They are typically located in the right dorsal colon. Gastric ulcers occur in the stomach.Both diseases are common in horses. Understanding the different symptoms will help identify the correct course of action.

How can I tell if my horse has hindgut ulcers

The signs of hindgut ulcers can vary. But a common sign to watch out for is loose manure. That can entail diarrhea to normal-formed manure with just a liquid component expressed at the same time. The other tell tale signs include:

  • girthiness
  • sensitivity in the flank area
  • difficulty bending, collecting, and extending
  • soft or loose droppings/diarrhea 
  • laminitis
  • repetitive behaviours like weaving or cribbing
  • sudden dislike of grooming & rugging

What should I do if I suspect my horse has hindgut ulcers?

Always consult your veterinarian for advice on treatment. Sucralfate works by coating the stomach and small intestine with a protective layer. It allows the body to heal equine glandular gastric ulcer syndrome (EGGUS) and equine squamous gastric ulcer syndrome (ESGUS*) non glandular. It has also been known to be useful for treating hindgut ulcers occurring in right dorsal colitis 

General horse ulcer symptoms

Here are the general signs of an ulcery horse whether gastric or hindgut.

  • weight loss and low body condition
  • irritability while being ridden
  • a cranky attitude
  • behavior indicating discomfort, such as pawing or laying down
  • loss of appetite


The Different Symptoms of Gastric and Hindgut Ulcers Gastric and hindgut ulcers appear in different areas


Gastric Ulcer Symptoms

There are two main symptoms which are indicative of gastric ulcers in horses.
In addition to general ulcer symptoms,Chewing, cribbing (or crib biting). Altered food behavior.

Gastroscopy is used to diagnose gastric ulcers in horses. However gastroscopy is not effective in diagnosing hindgut ulcers. For a non invasive method of checking for ulcer symptoms at home follow this tutorial.