Prevalence of gastric ulcer syndrome in horses with different exercise intensity

Keywords: Gastric ulceration, prevalence, training, horse, endoscopy, stomach


Gastric ulcers or equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is a common pathology in horses of different breeds. The objective of our research work was to investigate and determine the prevalence and severity of equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) in population of n = 28 riding horses with periods of physical activity and training intensity. Two breeds were presented in this study: English Thoroughbred (n = 15) and Ukrainian riding horse (n = 13). Horses were two age groups 3–7 and 8–16 years, including 17 mares and 11 geldings. Gastric endoscopy was performed as a diagnostic tool using a 3m video endoscope. Mucosal defects was evaluated using grading system proposed by (Equine Gastric Ulcer Council 04 grading system)  ranging from 0 (normal mucosa with no lesions) to 4 (diffuse ulceration of mucosa with deep lesions). The study was conducted in two periods. Each period is related to different workload with mixed intensity in exercise during training program. The results of gastroscopic examination of the stomach indicate the prevalence of EGUS in 35.7 % during the first stage in horses with mild training. The severity of mucosal defect during this period which were related to grade 1 was shown in 10.7 % of horses, 2 – 21.4 %, 3 – 10.7 % and 4 – 0 %. Difference in results was found in the presence and severity of gastric ulcers between two periods in this study. During period of intermediate training the prevalence of EGUS was 46.4 % with severity of mucosal defect grade 1 presented in 14.2 % of affected horses, 2 – 28.5 %, 3 – 14.2 % and 4 – 3.5 %. Ulcerations on squamous gastric mucosa was diagnosed  more often during each period (35.7 – 50 %) compare to glandular (7.1 – 10.7 %). The study confirms association between training intensity and gastric ulceration in two breed of horses. The prevalence and severity is dependent of the training intensity.


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How to Cite
Stefanyk, O., & Slivinska, L. (2021). Prevalence of gastric ulcer syndrome in horses with different exercise intensity. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Veterinary Sciences, 23(102), 72-77.