We were pretty sure one of our horses had ulcers this last fall. Vet just handed us the medicine to treat him without an exam. We asked why no exam, her explanation was:
-Meds are cheaper than an exam. Exam is $300 while the meds are >$100, don't remember the exact cost.
-Most stabled horses have at least minor ulcers so there was a darn good chance ulcers would be found if we went looking for them. Basically they ulcerate easily when stressed and stable life is stressful to them. She did add that mostly the ulcers are minor and not causing a health issue until they get bad.
-Ulcers are less common in pastured horses due to lower stress levels. But...simply putting them in a trailer to go to a show or trail ride might cause them to develop an ulcer.
What a smart vet you have!
This has always been the philosophy of both vet facilities I have used.
If the horse has gastric ulcers, the Omeprazole will help. If the horse does not have gastric ulcers, I'm only out $100 vs. the cost of scoping; not that $100 is "only" but it beats the alternative cost:)
I can see why high dollar event horses should probably be scoped but testing the acidic juice waters with a bottle of Omeprazole works just fine for the majority of horse owners
I rescued my Arab, starving with an injured vertebra from??? He ended up being a pasture pet when he wasn't giving lessons to small children.
He lived with ulcer flare-ups his entire life, no doubt due to his condition when I found him, but also because, once I was able to give him back his self-esteem, he became second-in-command in a passive leadership role.
A role he took very serious as the horse in my avatar was the strong alpha and pritt-teee bossy/bitey in his younger days, lol
The #3 & #4 four horse could often be found running to the Arab, looking for comfort and the Arab did not take his counseling sessions lightly.
In his latter years, he dealt with tumors in the hind area, which caused him a lot of stress.
My point in trying to align with ^^^your thoughts is that equine ulcers develop for a lot more reasons than humans want to acknowledge:)