Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences




Gastric ulceration is common in performance horses. More than 90% of thoroughbred horses in the training season and approximately 60% of racing horses from other disciplines have gastric ulcers. Excessive secretion of gastric acid, impairment of gastric mucosal blood flow, weakening of prostaglandin E or the gastric mucus/bicarbonate layer, and gastric emptying disorders are important factors in the onset of ulceration. In this study, 12 horses with poor performance were evaluated using gastroscopy following clinical examinations. Gastroscopy revealed ulceration in 5 horses and ulcerative lesions in 7. A daily dose of 4 mg/kg omeprazole was administered orally for 4 weeks in all horses with clinically suspected gastritis, with or without gastric lesions. At the end of this time, a protective dose of 2 mg/kg per day of omeprazole was used for an additional 2 weeks. No rest for the horses was advised during the medical treatment period. According to the histories obtained from riders and trainers, all horses showed improved performance during the second week of treatment. No gastric lesions were detected at endoscopic examination following medical treatment of horses with gastric ulcerative lesions. In conclusion, gastric ulcer syndrome with or without gastric lesions in sport horses is a significant problem causing poor performance. This is corroborated by the improvement in performances following medical treatment.


Horse, gastritis, gastric ulcer, gastroscopy

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