There is GBD (gas bubble disease) and a similar issue that Pegasus had is called PE (pouch emphysema). The inital treatment is to just take a blunt object, such as the end of a hairpin and gently insert it into the pouch and release the air bubbles.
If it becomes chronic, you resort to a human medicine called diamox and after releasing the airbubbles, you wash out the pouch with the diamox solution. You do this for 3 consecutive days. The bad thing with the medicine is sometimes they stop eating. This is what happened this time. In most cases the diamox is curative, for some reason Pegasus just did not respond to the treatment as eagerly as most horses do. I think the regular messing around with the pouch would eventually have created secondary infections and that was what I was always afraid I would lose him to,so I was rather surprised with it being in response to the meds. He had taken to the pouch flushing before without the loss of appetite. I guess he had just finally had enough.
As far as the reasons some horses acquire this disease, the jury is still out. Some say bubbles in the tank, some say too much oxgen itself in the water, there are a million theories but nothing definite. None of my other horses have ever exhibited problems. I almost think it is more a hereditary predisposition. Of course, that is just one other theory.