Southern Equine Distributing

Ulcer Case Study No. 5

Patients: Two horses were evaluated in this study: one was a 10-year-old Quarter Horse mare that competed in barrel racing; the other an 8-year-old Standardbred Gelding Pacer who competed in harness racing. Both were actively competing at the time of the study.

Before the gastroscopy, both horses were fasted overnight (14 hours) and sedated with 4mg of detomidine HCI intravenously before passing a 3m Olympus video scope into the stomach. Stomach lesions were scored on a scale of 0 to 4.

Gelding Initial Exam (Day 0): Upon initial examination, the gelding scored a 3 out of 4 on the ulcer scale with multiple small-to-medium-sized ulcers at the margo plicatus throughout the stomach. The lesions appeared to be chronic with a thickened edge. Mild bile staining was also present. 

Gelding Second Exam (Day 20): 20 days after beginning treatment with Equine Omega Complete®, the gelding scored 1 out of 4 on the ulcer scale, and no bile staining was present. The healing ulcers can be seen at the edge of the second photo.

Mare Initial Exam (Day 0): Upon initial examination, the mare had an ulcer score of 2 out of 4, with a single lesion at the margo plicatus on the greater curvature of the stomach.

Mare Second Exam (Day 35): After treatment, the lesion was 90 percent resolved.

Conclusion: It would appear from this study that the product may have a place in treating equine squamous gastric ulceration; however, many more horses would need to be evaluated along with control horses to make this conclusion.

Other horses were going to participate in the study, however, when the trainer realized the extent of the ulceration, he was unwilling to treat solely with the product and added omeprazole, thereby disqualifying those horses from the study.

Anecdotally, both horses above had improved performance. However, it is well known that the addition of oil can have marked effects on muscle physiology and ergonomics in horses (particularly Standardbreds and Quarter Horses), so it is unknown whether the performance improvement was due to changes within the stomach or other physiological changes.

– Alison Moore DVM, DVSc, DACVIM


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