Research of Ulcers
Ulcers are a man-made disease. Stall confinement alone can lead to the development of ulcers. When horses are fed two times per day, the stomach is subjected to a prolonged period without feed to neutralize the acid. Furthermore, high-grain diets produce volatile fatty acids that can contribute to the development of ulcers.
Stress (both environmental and physical) can also increase the likelihood of ulcers. Hauling, mixing groups of horses and training can lead to ulcers. Strenuous exercise can decrease both the emptying function of the stomach and blood flow to the stomach, thus contributing to the problem. The faster you respond to equine stomach ulcers, also called equine gastric ulcer syndrome or EGUS, the greater your chance of reducing the painful and damaging effects of this serious condition.
Finally, chronic administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as phenylbutazone can decrease the production of the protective mucus layer, making the stomach more susceptible to ulcers.
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- Furr MO, Murray MJ. The effects of stress on gastric ulceration and serum T3, T4, reverse T3, and cortisol in neonatal foals. Equine Vet J. 1992;24:37-40.
- Borrow HA. Duodenal perforations and gastric ulcers in foals. Veterinary Record. 1993;132:297-299.
- Traub JL, Gallina AM, Grant BD, Reed SM, Gavin PR, Paulsen LM. Phenylbutazone toxicosis in the foal. Am J Vet Res. 1983;44:1410-1418.
- Murray MJ. Disorders of the stomach. In: Smith BP, ed. Large Animal Internal Medicine. St. Louis: LV Mosby, 1990;648-653.