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Omeprazole is widely used as a prophylactic agent against gastric ulceration in the horse, and doses of buffered omeprazole at 1 mg/kg per os once a day have been shown to be effective (McClure and others 2005). In Australia, doses for enteric-coated formulations as low as 0.5 mg/kg per os once a day are registered for this purpose. The objective of this study was to determine whether enteric-coated omeprazole at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg per os once a day is as effective as a dose of 1.0 mg/kg per os once a day in the prevention of squamous gastric ulceration in the horse.
Thoroughbred horses from five stables were examined by gastroscopy, as previously described (Sykes and others, in press). The squamous mucosa was scored by a single investigator (Upon Acceptance (UA)) using a four-point scale (Andrews and others 1999). Based on the results of the gastroscopic examination, horses were enrolled into the study. The inclusion criteria were horses with a squamous ulcer score of grade 0 or 1, or horses with grade 2 ulceration where the ulceration was considered to be small, focal and clinically insignificant by the examiner. Furthermore, for inclusion, horses were required to be in race training and expected to remain in work for the next four …
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