New research conducted in collaboration with SPILLERS is the first to show that diet can help to manage Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) after omeprazole treatment. This ground breaking research was presented for the first time yesterday at the International Colic Symposium. This study also received a prestigious award in 2016 for research supporting horse welfare from the Fundación para la Promoción del Deporte Ecuestre, in Spain.
Aim of the study
Changes in diet are often recommended to help reduce the risk and management of gastric ulcers. However until now, there has been little published evidence to confirm the benefit of such recommendations. This study evaluated the effect of dietary changes in addition to and following omeprazole treatment.
- 32 horses diagnosed with significant gastric ulcer disease (Equine Squamous Gastric Disease) and in hard work were paired according the severity of their ulcers, workload, management and original diet.
- One horse from each pair was randomly assigned to a ‘diet change’ group and was fed a combined ration of SPILLERS HDF® Power Cubes and WINERGY Equilibrium® Growth alongside their normal forage. The remaining horses stayed on their original diet (‘no diet change’ group).
- All horses were scoped before and after receiving the recommended course of omeprazole treatment and then 6 weeks after omeprazole treatment had finished.
- Omeprazole treatment significantly improved gastric ulcer scores in both groups.
- After omeprazole treatment, many of the horses in the ‘no diet change’ group regressed and at the end of the study, there was no significant difference between pre and post treatment gastric ulcer scores.
- Horses in the diet change group showed significantly improved gastric ulcer scores both immediately following and 6 weeks after omeprazole treatment.
What does this mean?
These exciting results confirm that appropriate changes in diet can help to maintain the beneficial effects of omeprazole, even after treatment has stopped. It is hypothesised that the improvements seen were the result of a significant reduction in starch intake alongside the specific blend of fibre sources in SPILLERS HDF® Power Cubes and WINERGY Equilibrium® Growth.
For more advice on feeding horses and ponies prone to gastric ulcers contact the SPILLERS Care-Line.