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Equine gastric ulceration syndrome: treatment and prevention
  1. David Sutton, MA, VetMB, CertEM(IntMed), DECEIM, PhD, MRCVS
  1. Weipers Centre Equine Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, UK
  1. e-mail: david.sutton{at}

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KNOWLEDGE of the clinical signs, incidence, aetiology, management, treatment and prevention of equine gastric squamous mucosal ulceration has developed since the original groundbreaking work performed by Murray and others over 20 years ago (Murray and others 1989). Equestrian disciplines in which horses have been found to have a high incidence of squamous ulceration include racing (Murray and others 1996), endurance (Tamzali and others 2011) and showing (McClure and others 1999), but significant proportions of horses used for less demanding pleasure pursuits may also have gastric ulceration (Luthersson and others 2009). Although omeprazole has been shown to be highly effective in suppressing gastric acid production and enhancing the rate of ulcer healing (Murray and others 1997), it is expensive and not permitted for use in many competitive events. There is therefore great demand for the production of alternatives, such as gastroprotective feed supplements, that are allowed according to competition rules. Many such products are available, but very few are supported by convincing clinical evidence regarding their efficacy in suppressing ulcer development.

On p 147 of this issue of Veterinary Record, Sanz and others (2014) report a prospective crossover study designed to assess the ability of an oral pectin-lecithin complex to prevent the development of ulcers in an experimental model. The evidence published previously regarding the efficacy of this complex in either preventing or treating equine gastric …

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