Factors associated with gastric lesions in Thoroughbred horses

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland, Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Leesburg 20177, USA.
Equine Veterinary Journal (Impact Factor: 2.37). 10/1996; 28(5):368-74. DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.1996.tb03107.x
Source: PubMed


Gastroscopic examinations were performed on 67 Thoroughbred horses in training at a race track and repeat examinations performed in 35 horses, 2 to 3 months later. Horses were age 2-9 years and included 16 two-year-olds, 32 three-year-olds and 19 horses > or = 4-years-old. Forty-two of the 67 horses had raced within the 2 months before the initial examination and the remaining 25 horses were in training. Sixty-two of the 67 horses (93%) had one or more lesions present in the gastric mucosa and lesions were present in all of the 42 horses that had raced. Thirty-two of the 35 horses, examined twice (91%), had gastric lesions on the first examination and all had lesions on the second examination. Four sites of the gastric squamous epithelium were graded for lesion severity on a scale of 0 to 10 and the mean maximum squamous mucosal lesion score was significantly (P < 0.01) greater for the second examination (4.89) than for the first examination (3.63). Maximum lesion scores were greater in 24 horses, no different in 5 horses and less in 6 horses on the second examination. The difference in mean maximum lesion scores between examinations was greatest in horses age 2 years, increasing from 1.75 to 4.00 (P = 0.014). Lesions in the gastric glandular mucosa also were scored on a scale of 0 to 10 and there was no difference in mean lesion scores in the glandular mucosa between the first and second examinations (1.89 vs. 1.90). Lesion scores were compared for gender, racing history and medication with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic corticosteroid or ACTH, or frusemide within the previous 2 months. Except for racing history, there were no significant differences in mean lesion scores for squamous or glandular mucosa based on these comparisons, indicating that there was no effect of gender or medication history on ulcer severity in the horses of our study. Mean maximum gastric squamous mucosal lesion score was significantly (P < 0.01) greater in horses that had raced (4.51) than for horses that had not raced (2.36) in the 2 months before the endoscopic examination. There was no difference in mean glandular mucosal lesion scores between horses that had raced (1.93) compared to horses that had not raced (1.13).

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Available from: Gerald Fritz Schusser, Dec 30, 2013
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    • "Humans, horses and sled dogs have increased risk of gastric lesions and ulcerations due to exercise [1-3]. The cause of the lesions is thought to be combinations of gastric hyperacidity and mucosal breakdown and up to 49% of dogs performing strenuous exercise have ulcerations, erosions, gastric hemorrhage or a combination of these [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sled dogs performing endurance races have been reported to have a high incidence of gastric erosions or ulcerations and an increased risk of gastro intestinal bleeding leading to death in some cases. In addition, these dogs also become hypothyroid during training and exercise. Canine hypothyroidism has been shown to correlate with decreased von Willebrand factor antigen and potentially increased bleeding tendency. Whether increased gastro intestinal bleeding risk is exacerbated due to changes in the hemostatic balance in unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the hemostatic balance in sled dogs before and after exercise and in addition evaluate any correlation to thyroid status. Twenty sled dogs have been assessed in untrained and trained condition and immediately after exercise. The first sample was collected in the autumn following a resting period, and subsequently the dogs were exposed to increased intensity of training. After four months the peak of physical condition was reached and a 68 km long sled pulling exercise was performed. Samples were collected before and immediately after the exercise. Evaluated parameters were: plasma thromboelastographic (TEG) R, SP, alpha and MA, activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), fibrinogen, von Willebrand factor (vWf), D-dimer, platelet number, thyroid hormones, hematocrit and C-reactive protein (CRP). Exercise induced an overall hypercoaguable state characterized by significant decreases of TEG R and SP and an increase of alpha, increased concentrations of plasma vWf and decreased aPTT. In addition, a proinflammatory status was seen by a significant increase of serum CRP concentrations. Thyroid status was confirmed to be hypothyroid as training and exercise induced significant decrease of thyroxin (T4), free thyroxin (fT4) and thyroxin stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations. Fibrinogen decreased significantly and PT increased. The training-induced changes showed correlation between T4, fT4 and aPTT and correlation between TSH and fibrinogen. Exercise-induced changes showed correlation between T4 and PT. Exercise was associated with a hypercoaguable state and an increase of vWf concentration in this group of sled dogs. Decreased thyroid hormone concentrations after training and exercise were confirmed, but were associated with increased and not decreased vWf in this group of sled dogs.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
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    • "The prevalence of the disease in racehorses has been reported to be as high as 100%. In general, it is reported to be approximately 87-90%, in horses that are in race training and 58% in pleasure horses in full work [9-11]. There is little information in literature concerning the prevalence and severity of gastric ulcers in pleasure horses, which are in light or no training. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study was performed to determine the prevalence of ulcers in the gastric squamous and glandular mucosa in Polish pleasure horses. Medical records from gastroscopic examinations of 108 pleasure horses of different breeds were reviewed. The study population consisted of two groups; group I (n = 48) with horses that expressed mild clinical signs of gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) including poor appetite, slight weight loss or poor body condition, and group II (n = 60) with horses that had no signs of gastrointestinal problems. The age range was 4-10 years, including 5 males, 34 castrated males (geldings) and 69 mares. The prevalence, distribution and severity of gastric ulcers were recorded. Lesions involving the squamous mucosa and the glandular mucosa of the antrum and pylorus were graded and compared between groups. Significant difference was found in the presence and severity of gastric ulcers between the two groups of horses. The overall prevalence of gastric ulcers in the first group of horses (n = 48) was 59% while in the group of clinically healthy horses (n = 60) the prevalence of gastric lesion was 40% (P = 0.004). Almost 19% of horses from group I had between 6-10 lesions (EGUS score III) and nearly 19% had either >10 localized lesions or very large diffuse lesions (EGUS number score IV). The number of ulcerations in affected horses were significantly lower in group II compared to group I (P = 0.016) as 10% of horses had 6-10 lesions (EGUS number score III) and nearly 14% had either >10 localized lesions or very large diffuse lesions (EGUS number score IV). Gastroscopy revealed that nearly 32% of horses from the second group had an ulceration EGUS score ≥ II. This study confirms that gastric ulcerations can be prevalent in apparently clinically normal pleasure horses and a complete gastroscopic examination including the examination of the pylorus is advisable to evaluate this syndrome.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
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    • "Thus, post mortem evaluation may underestimate the true prevalence of ulcers by selecting for animals with more severe disease. The dichotomy in the prevalence of ulcers dependent on method of diagnosis is also apparent in mature horses, where 10.3% of horses are diagnosed with ulcers at post mortem (Sandin et al. 2000), and from 11% of horses in a university riding programme (Chameroy et al. 2006) to 100% of Thoroughbreds actively racing are diagnosed using gastroscopy (Murray et al 1996). The gastroscopy data are often skewed in that many include horses in athletic training, regardless of discipline, or with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease, whereas most post mortem studies include horses with potentially more variable backgrounds. "
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    ABSTRACT: Gastric ulcer disease is reported to be a significant cause of morbidity in foals, but the prevalence of ulcers in this population has not recently been evaluated. To determine the prevalence of gastric and duodenal ulceration in nonsurviving foals, and the association of ulceration with the body system of primary diagnosis. Secondary objectives were to evaluate a potential association between age and ulcer prevalence and to evaluate the use of antacid medication in the neonatal hospital population during the study years. Necropsy records were searched for all equine accessions from 1995 to 2006. Foals aged from one day to 6 months were included. Year, age, breed, sex, diagnosis and the presence of glandular, nonglandularand/or duodenal ulceration were recorded. Diagnoses were divided into groups based on the body system of primary diagnosis, with multiple diagnoses possible. A computerised database was searched for antacid treatment of all neonatal admissions. The overall prevalence of ulcers was 22%, with nonglandular ulcers predominating. Ulceration was significantly associated with gastrointestinal disease. There was no significant change in ulcer prevalence over time, although there was a significant decrease in the use of antacid medications in the later study years. Neonatal foals (< 1 month) had a lower ulcer prevalence than olderfoals. The prevalence of ulcers in foals, although low, has remained stable over time. Gastric or duodenal ulcers are associated with a primary diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease and are less prevalent in neonates. The prevalence of ulcers in nonsurviving foals is low. Foals with gastrointestinal disease are more likely to have ulcers than foals with other primary diagnoses, and older foals are more likely to have ulceration than neonates. The prevalence of ulceration did not appear to be related to hospital-wide antacid medication use in neonates.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Equine Veterinary Journal
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