Effects of intermittent feed deprivation, intermittent feed deprivation with ranitidine administration, and stall confinement with ad libitum access to hay on gastric ulceration in horses.

Abstract: To determine the effect of decreasing gastric acidity in a feed-deprivation protocol on induction of gastric ulcers, and to determine whether stall confinement may be a factor contributing to gastric ulceration in horses. Methods: 8 adult horses, 4 geldings and 4 mares, 3 to 8 years old, and 7 adult horses, 5 geldings and 2 mares, 4 to 11 years old. Methods: Gastric ulceration was induced in horses by alternating 24-hour periods of feed deprivation and ad libitum access to hay, for a total of 96 hours' feed deprivation. This protocol was repeated with the horses receiving the histamine type-2 receptor (H2) antagonist ranitidine (6.6 mg/kg of body weight, PO, q 8 h). In another group of horses, severity of gastric lesions was compared after 7 days' pasture turnout and 7 days' stall confinement with ad libitum access to hay. Gastroscopy was performed after each feed-deprivation protocol was completed, and total lesion area in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa was measured. Gastroscopy was performed at the beginning and end of 7 days' pasture turnout and 7 days' stall confinement. Results: Alternating periods of feed deprivation resulted in erosion and ulceration of the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa of each horse. Concurrent treatment with ranitidine resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) less area of ulceration in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa. After 7 days' stall confinement, 6 of 7 horses had ulceration in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa, and 1 horse had a lesion in the glandular mucosa, whereas after 7 days' pasture turnout, 2 horses had reddening of the gastric squamous mucosa along the lesser curvature (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Severe ulceration of the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa, caused by excess acidity, can develop rapidly in horses deprived of feed or not consuming feed. Suppression of gastric acidity with the histamine type-2 receptor antagonist ranitidine effectively minimized the area of ulceration caused by feed deprivation. Compared with being turned out to pasture, stall confinement alone appears to be an important factor in the development of gastric ulcers in horses, probably as a result of altered eating behavior.
Publication Date: 1996-11-01 PubMed ID: 8915437
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  • Journal Article
  • Research Support
  • Non-U.S. Gov't

Summary

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The study aims to evaluate how the decrease in gastric acidity as a result of feed deprivation affects the development of gastric ulcers in horses, and to assess if stall confinement could contribute to the condition. The findings indicate that stall confinement and feed deprivation in equines lead to the fast development of serious gastric ulcers which could be minimized significantly with the administration of the histamine type-2 receptor antagonist ranitidine.

Objectives

  • The study was designed to analyze the potential effects of decreased gastric acidity due to intermittent feed deprivation on the induction of gastric ulcers in horses.
  • It also aimed to ascertain if stall confinement could be a contributing factor to gastric ulceration in horses.

Procedure

  • A total of 15 adult horses were engaged in this study, split into two separate groups.
  • The first group had its gastric ulceration induced by alternating periods of 24-hour feed deprivation and unrestricted access to hay for a cumulative period of 96 hours.
  • The same procedure was replicated on the second set, except they were treated with ranitidine, an antagonist for the histamine type-2 receptor.
  • In another set of the study, the severity of gastric lesions was compared after a 7-day period each of pasture turnout and stall confinement with unlimited access to hay.
  • After each protocol, gastroscopy was performed, and the total lesion area in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa was measured.

Outcomes

  • It was found that alternating feed deprivation periods led to the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa’s erosion and ulceration in all of the subjects.
  • Simultaneous treatment with ranitidine significantly reduced the ulceration area in the tested tissue.
  • After seven days of stall confinement, six out of seven horses developed ulcers in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa, while one developed a lesion in the glandular mucosa.
  • On the other hand, only two horses showed reddening of the gastric squamous mucosa after seven days at pasture, a result statistically significant.

Conclusions

  • Results showed that severe ulceration in the gastric squamous epithelial mucosa can develop quickly in horses either deprived of or not consuming feed due to increased acidity in the stomach.
  • The use of the histamine type-2 receptor antagonist ranitidine effectively minimized the ulceration area induced by feed deprivation.
  • Stall confinement has been identified as a crucial factor in the development of gastric ulcers, likely due to alterations in eating behavior, compared to being turned out to pasture.

Cite This Article

APA
Murray MJ, Eichorn ES. (1996). Effects of intermittent feed deprivation, intermittent feed deprivation with ranitidine administration, and stall confinement with ad libitum access to hay on gastric ulceration in horses. Am J Vet Res, 57(11), 1599-1603.

Publication

ISSN: 0002-9645
NlmUniqueID: 0375011
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 57
Issue: 11
Pages: 1599-1603

Researcher Affiliations

Murray, M J
  • Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Leesburg 20177, USA.
Eichorn, E S

    MeSH Terms

    • Animals
    • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
    • Female
    • Food Deprivation
    • Gastric Acid
    • Gastric Mucosa / drug effects
    • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
    • Horse Diseases / etiology
    • Horses
    • Housing, Animal
    • Male
    • Ranitidine / therapeutic use
    • Stomach Ulcer / veterinary

    Citations

    This article has been cited 16 times.
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