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Special Autumn Gastroscopy Clinic

Dr Susanna Ballinger and Dr Eleanor Kigozi undertaking a gastroscopy

Ballinger Equine is holding an autumn gastroscopy clinic for horse and pony owners who wish to establish whether their animals are suffering with gastric ulceration. The clinic offers a special discounted rate to those participating.

Winter is almost upon us, the mornings are already icy and pasture is deteriorating. Turnout typically diminishes with the winter weather and mud necessitating changes in management and feeding regime. Does the possibility of your horse having gastric ulcers worry you? Are you concerned your horse or pony may already be suffering from gastric ulcers?

Gastroscopy – reliable and straightforward

The only reliable way to establish whether your horse or pony has gastric ulcers is to undertake gastroscopy and actually see inside the horse’s stomach. We frequently undertake this for clients and results can be surprising – sometimes indicating no ulcers are present, which puts owners’ minds at rest, and sometimes clearly visible ulceration can be dramatic and an immediate course of treatment resolves issues that might appear to be unrelated.

Indications that your horse or pony may have gastric ulcers:

  • Poor performance – are you struggling to get good performance? Jumping not up to scratch, lower scores than usual? Resistance to riding aids?
  • Picky feeders or poor appetite
  • Unexplained, frequent colicky episodes
  • Change in temperament or attitude – grumpiness, biting and other behavioural changes
  • Weight loss or lighter than expected condition, especially despite feeding, with a ‘tucked up’ appearance
  • Dull, starry coat
  • Unhappiness, pain when girthing up or an apparent dislike to tack

Whilst they can also be indicative of other issues, these signs can all be associated with gastric ulcers.

Gastroscopy is well tolerated by most horses and is not painful. It involves starvation overnight prior to examination to allow for a clear visual inspection of the stomach lining. Sedation is administered to alleviate anxiety and improve tolerance of the procedure whereby a flexible tube is inserted via the nose into the top of the oesophagus. The flexible endoscope is then passed through the tube. The camera on the tip of the endoscope transmits images during its passage to, and once inside, the horse’s stomach. We encourage our clients to watch the images on the monitor whilst the veterinary surgeon provides an explanatory commentary. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes and the horse is then rested until the sedation wears off, which can take up to 60 minutes.

Special discounted fee

On Saturday, 9 November 2019 with kind permission of Marwyn Equestrian, Ballinger Equine is holding a gastroscopy clinic at Moat Farm, Bramfield Road, Datchworth SG3 6SA. The clinic offers a special discounted fee for the gastroscopic examination of your horse or pony at £150 (including VAT and sedation). This represents a saving of over 50% on our usual prices. Any subsequent treatment costs are not included.

Limited availability

This is a limited availability offer and examination places will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Full instructions will be issued in advance and will cover the pre-examination protocol necessary for successful gastroscopy. Payment in full is required at time of booking to secure your appointment.

Please contact Katie Branley, the Practice Manager on 01462 414008, if you would like to participate in the clinic.

If you can’t make the date and would like your horse or pony to undergo gastroscopic examination, this can be done at our usual rates at your yard at your own convenience. Should any yards have 4 or more horses for examination on the same morning, then during the month of November only, we will offer the special rate of £150.00 per examination to your own yard!

Terms and conditions

This special offer is open to Ballinger Equine clients and non-clients.

Payment in full must be made at time of booking and is non-refundable regardless of circumstances. Agreement to Ballinger Equine’s Practice Terms of Business is a prerequisite to participating in the clinic.

Gastroscopy protocol and starvation instructions will be emailed upon receipt of payment. It is essential to follow these instructions as failure to do so may result in an inability to inspect the animal’s stomach. No refunds can be given for an incomplete gastroscopy.

Should treatment be recommended as a result of the findings of the gastroscopy, those who are not clients of Ballinger Equine and who wish Ballinger Equine to undertake a course of treatment, will be required to settle all fees and costs at the time of the treatment irrespective of whether an insurance claim is subsequently filed.  

Moat Farm has ample hard standing for lorry parking on. Travel to and from the 9 November clinic at Moat Farm is the owner’s responsibility. Participation in the clinic is at the sole discretion of Ballinger Equine’s Veterinary Director.