29 Nov 2019

Elite Equine and The Likelyhood of Your Horse Developing a Gastric Ulcer


Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., an equine nutritionist, shares her insight into this all too frequently diagnosed condition:

Ulcers or erosions in the lining of the equine stomach are reportedly a common condition in performance animals. In racehorses, for example, ulcers are believed to occur in an estimated 50-90% of horses. Similarly, weanling foals have equally high rates of ulcers. Stress caused by changes in routine is thought to be an important contributor to the development of gastric ulcers.

“While some gastric ulcers can go undetected and seem not to bother certain horses, other horses show a variety of clinical signs, including colic, diarrhoea, poor appetite, dull coat, decreased performance, and even behaviour changes.”

The economic and widespread availability of omeprazole for both the prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers theoretically could decrease the occurrence of gastric ulcers in horses. This, however, does not appear to be the case.

“According to a consensus statement on gastric ulcers [1], the development of ulcers appears to be most frequently reported in performance horses that are actively training or competing,” Crandell explained.

That study reported the following statistics:

  • Only 37% of untrained Thoroughbreds have ulcers, but that rate increases to 80-100% within 2-3 months of training;
  • About 44% of untrained Standardbred racehorses have ulcers, which increases to 87% during training/racing;
  • Only 48% of endurance horses have ulcers during the off-season; however, 66-93% develop ulcers during the competitive period;
  • Up to 58% of show/sport and pleasure horses have ulcers; and
  • Horses kept at home and that rarely compete only have a prevalence of 11%.

Therefore, despite the availability of FDA-approved omeprazole products for horses, gastric ulcers continue to plague the delicate lining of the equine stomach. This might partly be explained by the use of substandard omeprazole products.[2]

Elite Equine is pure, 100% organic rosehip powder – a powerful, natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Research shows taking a rosehip supplement regularly does not cause any of the gastrointestinal problems associated with long-term use of pain-relieving medications like NSAIDs, including ulcers and gastric bleeding.[3]

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