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Effects of short-term light to heavy exercise on gastric ulcer development in horses and efficacy of omeprazole paste in preventing gastric ulceration.

White G, McClure SR, Sifferman R, Holste JE, Fleishman C, Murray MJ, Cramer LG

Sallisaw Equine Clinic, Sallisaw, OK 74955, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of 8 days of light to heavy exercise on gastric ulcer development in horses and determine the efficacy of omeprazole paste in preventing gastric ulceration. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled, multicenter clinical trial. ANIMALS: 102 horses with normal-appearing gastric mucosa on endoscopic examination that were in light to heavy training. PROCEDURES: Horses at 4 trial locations were allocated into replicates and sham dosed orally (empty syringe) or treated with a paste formulation of omeprazole (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/ lb], PO) once daily for 8 days. Training regimens varied among locations and included early training for western performance events; walking, trotting, and cantering in a mechanical exerciser; and race training (2 locations). Prevalences of gastric ulceration at the completion of the 8-day treatment period were compared between groups. RESULTS: At the end of the 8-day treatment period, the proportion of omeprazole-treated horses free from gastric ulceration (88%) was significantly higher than the proportion of sham-dosed horses free from gastric ulceration (27%). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results showed that horses in light to heavy training for as short as 8 days were at risk of developing gastric ulcers and that administration of omeprazole paste decreased the incidence of gastric ulcers.

Published 4 June 2007 in J Am Vet Med Assoc, 230(11): 1680-2.
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