Acceptability of a paste formulation and efficacy of high dose omeprazole in healing gastric ulcers in horses maintained in race training.

N. J. Vatistas, J. R. Snyder, Jorge Nieto, D. Thompson, M. Pollmeier, J. Holste

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Gastric ulceration has been found to occur in 80-90% of Thoroughbreds in active race training. Previously, variable success has been reported using mucosal surface protectants and H2 receptor antagonist. Omeprazole, a substituted benzimidazole, has been shown to inhibit gastric acid secretion in both man and animals. Fourteen horses, in active race training and with endoscopic evidence of moderated to severe gastric ulceration were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 (7 horses) were given placebo paste orally once daily for 28 days; Group 2 (7 horses) received 1.54 g active omeprazole in the placebo once daily for 28 days. Logs detailing administration and acceptability of the paste, and the horse's feeding and training regime were maintained by the trainer of each horse. Endoscopic examination of the stomach occurred at the beginning of the trial, and at 13-17 days and 27-31 days following commencement of the trial. Those horses that were free of ulceration on Days 27-31 were reexamined on Days 35-49. Acceptability of the paste, whether with or without active omeprazole, was deemed excellent in all horses except on one occasion, when one horse swallowed the paste following initial mild reluctance. Of the horses given the placebo (Group 1), 3 were withdrawn after the 13-17 day endoscopic examination: 1 horse to be given a H2 receptor antagonist, 1 horse was removed from training due to aryepiglottic entrapment and 1 horse had a greater than 10% fall in bodyweight from the start of the trial. Of the horses given active omeprazole (Group 2), one horses was relocated to another race track following the 13-17 day endoscopic examination. For the horses given placebo (Group 1), there was no change in the severity of ulceration. In contrast, the severity of ulceration in the horses given active omeprazole was significantly reduced at 13-17 days and 27-31 days. In 2 Group 2 horses, ulcers that had been completely eliminated subsequently returned when reexamined at 35-49 days. The results of this study suggest that omeprazole, employing a once daily dosing schedule, is effective at reducing the severity or eliminating gastric ulcers in Thoroughbreds in active race training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEquine veterinary journal. Supplement
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 1999


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