Effect of Concentrate Form on Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Horses
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Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is common amongst equine athletes of various disciplines and linked to decreased performance. Prevalence among racehorses has been reported to be over 90%, performance horses at 60%, and endurances horses at about 70%. In swine, concentrate form and smaller particle size increase gastric ulceration; thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the effect of concentrate type on EGUS. Quarter Horse yearlings (n=19; 12-18 mo) were blocked by initial EGUS score on a scale of 0 to 4 (0= no ulceration or hyperkeratosis, 4= extensive, deep ulceration) and sex, and utilized in a 77-d cross-over design with two 28-d periods separated by a 21-d washout period. During the first 28-d period, horses were separated into 1 of 2 treatment groups that were all fed Bermuda grass hay and either a commercially available pelleted or textured concentrate. After the initial 28-d period, horses were all fed pelleted feed and Bermuda grass hay for a 21-d washout period then treatment groups were switched for the final 28-d period. Baseline EGUS scores were not different between horses assigned to either treatment (mean 1.1); however, upon treatment, horses fed textured feed acquired a reduced incidence of ulceration as compared to those fed pelleted (mean score of 1.6 vs 1.1, respectively; P =0.02). Degree and incidence of ulceration was influenced by concentrate form; yearlings fed pelleted feed had higher ulcer scores then those fed textured feed. Therefore, the findings of this study suggests that textured feed may be a effective management tool to aid in the reduction of severity in horses afflicted with EGUS.
Huth, Lindsey (2011). Effect of Concentrate Form on Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Horses. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from