Gastric ulcers are an irritation and ulceration of the lining of the stomach. Some studies suggest that ulcers can be hereditary. Foals and young horses are particularly susceptible to ulcers; however, any horse under stressful conditions, especially hot tempered and nervous horses, can develop ulcers. Post-surgical horses are also candidates for ulcers.
A horse that has developed ulcers might grind his teeth and act colicky. He might paw the ground or lie down and attempt to roll on his back to relieve discomfort. A full-blown ulcer can be extremely painful for a horse. She might suddenly throw herself down on the ground, so be careful working around a horse suffering from an active ulcer.
Some ailments are related to a horse's breeding. For example, thoroughbreds more than any other horse are disposed to suffer from colic, while certain gaited horses will be prone to diseases and breakdown of the hock.
Initial treatment is to relieve the pain that she is in. Medications are available to relieve symptoms and aid in the healing of ulcers, such as “gastro guard” which coats the stomach. A horse that suffers from ulcers might be prone to them, so long-term treatment and preventative care should be prescribed by a vet.