Gastric neoplasia in horses

S. D. Taylor, G. J. Haldorson, Mary E Vaughan, Nicola Pusterla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: Gastric neoplasia of horses is incompletely described. Objective: Provide history, clinical signs, and clinicopathological and pathological findings associated with gastric neoplasia in horses. Animals: Twenty-four horses with gastric neoplasia. Methods: Retrospective study. History, clinical signs, and clinicopathological and pathologic findings in horses diagnosed histologically with gastric neoplasia were reviewed. Results: Horses ranged in age from 9 to 25 years (median 18 years at presentation). There was no apparent breed or sex predisposition. The most common presenting complaints were inappetance (17/24), weight loss (14/24), lethargy (7/24), hypersalivation (7/24), colic (5/24), and fever (5/24). The most consistent clinical signs were tachypnea (10/19), decreased borborygmi (8/19), and low body weight (7/17). Useful diagnostic tests included rectal examination, routine blood analysis, gastroscopy, abdominocentesis, and transabdominal ultrasound examination. Anemia was the most common hematologic abnormality encountered (7/19), and hypercalcemia of malignancy was seen in 4/16 horses. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common tumor identified (19/24), and was most often (14/19) found as a single ulcerated, necrotic mass in the nonglandular portion of the stomach. Other gastric neoplasms encountered were leiomyoma (n=2), mesothelioma (n=1), adenocarcinoma (n=1), and lymphoma (n=1). Metastatic neoplasia was found in 18/23 horses. The median time from onset of clinical signs to death was 4 weeks, and all horses died or were euthanized because of gastric neoplasia. Conclusions: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common primary gastric neoplasia in horses. The survival time after diagnosis of gastric neoplasia in horses is short.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1102
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Gastric neoplasia
  • Gastroscopy
  • Paraneoplastic syndrome
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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