Document Detail

The prevalence of gastric ulceration in racehorses in New Zealand.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17339911     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
AIM: To establish the prevalence and factors influencing the prevalence and severity of gastric ulceration in racehorses in New Zealand. METHODS: Horses (n=171) in active training for racing by trainers (n=24) located throughout New Zealand were examined using gastroscopy during 2003 and 2004. Images of the examination were recorded and reviewed, and an ordinal grade based on the severity of gastric ulceration present was assigned, using the grading system proposed by the Equine Gastric Ulcer Council (EGUC). Information about the horses such as age, breed, sex, stabling, time at pasture, pasture quality, and presence of clinical signs consistent with equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) was recorded. RESULTS: Of the 171 horses in the study, 133 (78%) were Thoroughbreds and 38 (22%) were Standardbreds. Evidence of gastric ulceration was present in 151 (88.3%) of these. Prevalence of ulceration was higher at the lesser curvature (LC) and greater curvature (GC) of the stomach than at the saccus caecus (SC; p<0.01), and ulceration was more severe at the LC than at either the GC (p=0.02) or the SC (p<0.001). The prevalence of ulceration did not differ between the two breeds (p=0.51) or between horses of differing ages (p=0.56). Gastric ulceration was evident in 125/141 (89%) horses kept at pasture for at least 4 h/day, in all 13 (100%) horses kept at pasture full time, and in 16/17 (94%) horses stabled full time. Prevalence and severity of ulceration did not differ between horses stabled full time, kept at pasture for part of the day or kept at pasture full time (p=0.33 and 0.13, respectively), and for horses grazed on pasture severity of ulceration did not vary significantly with the quality of the pasture (p=0.12). Neither prevalence (p=0.26) nor severity (p=0.49) of gastric ulceration varied significantly with duration of training. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of gastric ulceration in racehorses in New Zealand is similar to that reported elsewhere for horses in active training for racing. Access to pasture for some or all of the day did not appear to be protective.
R J W Bell; J K Kingston; T D Mogg; N R Perkins
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  New Zealand veterinary journal     Volume:  55     ISSN:  0048-0169     ISO Abbreviation:  N Z Vet J     Publication Date:  2007 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-03-06     Completed Date:  2007-04-30     Revised Date:  2009-11-11    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0021406     Medline TA:  N Z Vet J     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  13-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Animal Feed*
Animal Husbandry / methods
Horse Diseases / epidemiology*,  pathology,  prevention & control
New Zealand / epidemiology
Physical Conditioning, Animal / adverse effects*,  physiology
Risk Factors
Severity of Illness Index
Sex Factors
Stomach Ulcer / epidemiology,  pathology,  prevention & control,  veterinary*
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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