It is necessary to starve your horse prior to a gastroscopy so that their stomach is empty. This allows your vet the best view of the stomach to check for any abnormalities, and makes it possible to maneuver the scope through the necessary passages, something that cannot be done if food is obstructing here.
Our recommendations are;
- Feed your horse as normal the morning before the procedure.
- Grazing grass is then ideal until approximately 2pm/mid afternoon. Hay is ok too, however if ad lib, we recommend changing to a rationed amount, or a couple of small haynets in that daytime.
- We like to starve our gastroscopy patients from around 4pm in the clinic the day before the procedure. This is because we can provide stabling with no risk of them eating food or bedding in that time. We then carry out the procedure early the following morning and feed your horse as soon as they are awake enough.
- Please do not be tempted feed your horse extra or give them their dinner earlier the day before the procedure as it unfortunately negates the aim of starving them if we feed them more beforehand. (If there is too much food in their stomach and we cannot carry out the gastroscopy, we will unfortunately then need to starve them further and re-do the procedure)
- If your horse is attending for a follow up gastroscopy and is on medication currently, please bring these with them on arrival.
We hope that the above points are informative and answer some of the commonly asked questions pre-gastroscopy.