KER.com - Full Article
September 5, 2018 By Kentucky Equine Research Staff
Omeprazole is the only medication proven to heal gastric ulcers in horses, but veterinarians and nutritionists often recommend diet changes to help combat equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD). Little research has been done to affirm or refute the notion that these diet changes actually help affected horses.
To determine if dietary changes help horses with ESGD, researchers found 34 animals with an ESGD grade of 3 or 4. A score of 3 signifies a large single or extensive superficial lesions, while a score of 4 denotes extensive lesions with areas of apparent deep ulceration. The grading scale goes from 0 (normal) to 4. Each animal was paired with another that had the same ulceration grade and that resided on the same premises, on the same diet, and with approximately the same workload.
After initial gastroscopy (scope 1), one of the horses was assigned to a diet composed of restricted starch, while the other in the pair was maintained on the diet familiar to it. All horses were treated with omeprazole for four weeks. Another gastroscopy (scope 2) was performed on all horses after the four-week omeprazole period. Horses were then taken off omeprazole for six weeks, and a third and final gastroscopy (scope 3) was performed. The horses remained in work throughout the entire trial...
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