Equine squamous gastric disease: prevalence, impact and management.
This narrative review explores the etiopathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and treatment of ESGD (equine squamous gastric disease) and discusses the impact of this commonly encountered condition on the equine industry. ESGD refers specifically to peptic injury of the squamous mucosa of the stomach. Prevalence is highest in performance horses, but the disease has been documented across many breeds and ages, including in feral horses and foals. The pathogenesis of ESGD is well understood. Intensive management and exercise are important factors that contribute to a disruption of the normal stratification of gastric pH. This results in exposure of the vulnerable squamous mucosa to acid, leading to ulceration. Clinical signs are variable and there is little evidence to support a direct association between reported signs and the presence or absence of lesions seen on gastroscopy. Management is aimed at acid suppression and mitigation of known risk factors.