The Veterinary record2002; 151(22); 658-662; doi: 10.1136/vr.151.22.658

Study of crib-biting and gastric inflammation and ulceration in young horses.

Abstract: Nineteen young horses that had recently started to perform the stereotypy of crib-biting were compared with 16 non-stereotypic horses for 14 weeks. After initial observations of their behaviour and an endoscopic examination of the condition of their stomachs, the horses were randomly allocated to a control or an antacid diet At the start of the trial, the stomachs of the crib-biting foals were significantly more ulcerated and inflamed than the stomachs of the normal foals. In addition, the faecal pH of the crib-biting foals (6.05) was significantly lower than that of the normal foals (6.58). The antacid diet resulted in a significant improvement in the condition of the horses' stomachs. The crib-biting behaviour declined in most of the foals, regardless of their diet, but tended to decline to a greater extent in the foals on the antacid diet.
Publication Date: 2002-12-25 PubMed ID: 12498408DOI: 10.1136/vr.151.22.658Google Scholar: Lookup
The Equine Research Bank provides access to a large database of publicly available scientific literature. Inclusion in the Research Bank does not imply endorsement of study methods or findings by Mad Barn.
  • Journal Article

Summary

This research summary has been generated with artificial intelligence and may contain errors and omissions. Refer to the original study to confirm details provided. Submit correction.

This research observes the correlation between crib-biting behavior in young horses and the condition of their stomachs, as well as the impact of an antacid diet on both.

Study Overview

  • The investigation compared nineteen young horses, which had recently developed the habit of crib-biting, with sixteen normal (non-crib-biting) horses over a period of fourteen weeks.
  • Initial behavior observations and endoscopic examination of the horses’ stomachs were carried out.
  • Subsequently, the horses were randomly assigned to two groups – one following a control diet and the other an antacid diet.

Initial Findings

  • At the study’s onset, the crib-biting horses’ stomachs were noticeably more ulcerated and inflamed compared to the normal horses’ stomachs.
  • The crib-biting horses also had a lower faecal pH of 6.05 compared to 6.58 in the non-crib biting horses.

Impact of Antacid Diet

  • After assignment to the antacid diet, it was observed there was a significant improvement in the condition of the horses’ stomachs.
  • There was also a reduction in the frequency of crib-biting behavior amongst the majority of the foals, regardless of their diet.
  • However, the study found that the horses on the antacid diet showed a greater tendency to decrease their crib-biting behavior.

Conclusions

  • The study discovered a link between crib-biting behavior in young horses and increased stomach ulceration and inflammation.
  • An antacid diet appears to have a beneficial effect on both reducing crib-biting behavior and improving the condition of the horse’s stomach.
  • Though crib-biting behavior reduced in majority of the foals irrespective of their diet, the reduction was more pronounced in those on the antacid diet.

Cite This Article

APA
Nicol CJ, Davidson HP, Harris PA, Waters AJ, Wilson AD. (2002). Study of crib-biting and gastric inflammation and ulceration in young horses. Vet Rec, 151(22), 658-662. https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.151.22.658

Publication

ISSN: 0042-4900
NlmUniqueID: 0031164
Country: England
Language: English
Volume: 151
Issue: 22
Pages: 658-662

Researcher Affiliations

Nicol, C J
  • Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Bristol BS40 5DU.
Davidson, H P D
    Harris, P A
      Waters, A J
        Wilson, A D

          MeSH Terms

          • Animal Husbandry / methods
          • Animals
          • Antacids / therapeutic use
          • Behavior, Animal
          • Diet / veterinary
          • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / veterinary
          • Feces / chemistry
          • Female
          • Gastritis / diet therapy
          • Gastritis / physiopathology
          • Gastritis / veterinary
          • Horse Diseases / diet therapy
          • Horse Diseases / physiopathology
          • Horse Diseases / psychology
          • Horses
          • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
          • Male
          • Random Allocation
          • Stereotyped Behavior / physiology
          • Stomach Ulcer / diet therapy
          • Stomach Ulcer / physiopathology
          • Stomach Ulcer / veterinary
          • Treatment Outcome
          • Weaning

          Citations

          This article has been cited 16 times.
          1. Kranenburg LC, van der Poel SH, Warmelink TS, van Doorn DA, van den Boom R. Changes in Management Lead to Improvement and Healing of Equine Squamous Gastric Disease.. Animals (Basel) 2023 Apr 28;13(9).
            doi: 10.3390/ani13091498pubmed: 37174535google scholar: lookup
          2. Ermers C, McGilchrist N, Fenner K, Wilson B, McGreevy P. The Fibre Requirements of Horses and the Consequences and Causes of Failure to Meet Them.. Animals (Basel) 2023 Apr 20;13(8).
            doi: 10.3390/ani13081414pubmed: 37106977google scholar: lookup
          3. Vokes J, Lovett A, Sykes B. Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome: An Update on Current Knowledge.. Animals (Basel) 2023 Apr 5;13(7).
            doi: 10.3390/ani13071261pubmed: 37048517google scholar: lookup
          4. Cunha RZ, Felisardo LL, Salamanca G, Marchioni GG, Neto OI, Chiocchetti R. The use of cannabidiol as a novel treatment for oral stereotypic behaviour (crib-biting) in a horse.. Vet Anim Sci 2023 Mar;19:100289.
            doi: 10.1016/j.vas.2023.100289pubmed: 36824298google scholar: lookup
          5. Mactaggart AG, Phillips CJC. Validating a Thoroughbred Racehorse Welfare Index through Horse Behaviour and Trainers' Reports of Welfare Issues in Their Horses.. Animals (Basel) 2023 Jan 13;13(2).
            doi: 10.3390/ani13020282pubmed: 36670822google scholar: lookup
          6. Krueger K, Esch L, Byrne R. Need or opportunity? A study of innovations in equids.. PLoS One 2021;16(9):e0257730.
            doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0257730pubmed: 34570831google scholar: lookup
          7. Hausberger M, Lesimple C, Henry S. Detecting Welfare in a Non-Verbal Species: Social/Cultural Biases and Difficulties in Horse Welfare Assessment.. Animals (Basel) 2021 Jul 30;11(8).
            doi: 10.3390/ani11082249pubmed: 34438708google scholar: lookup
          8. Johnson ACB, Rossow HA. Effects of two equine digestive aid supplements on hindgut health.. Transl Anim Sci 2019 Jan;3(1):340-349.
            doi: 10.1093/tas/txy103pubmed: 32704804google scholar: lookup
          9. Lesimple C. Indicators of Horse Welfare: State-of-the-Art.. Animals (Basel) 2020 Feb 13;10(2).
            doi: 10.3390/ani10020294pubmed: 32069888google scholar: lookup
          10. Pawluski J, Jego P, Henry S, Bruchet A, Palme R, Coste C, Hausberger M. Low plasma cortisol and fecal cortisol metabolite measures as indicators of compromised welfare in domestic horses (Equus caballus).. PLoS One 2017;12(9):e0182257.
            doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182257pubmed: 28886020google scholar: lookup
          11. Henry S, Fureix C, Rowberry R, Bateson M, Hausberger M. Do horses with poor welfare show 'pessimistic' cognitive biases?. Naturwissenschaften 2017 Feb;104(1-2):8.
            doi: 10.1007/s00114-016-1429-1pubmed: 28083632google scholar: lookup
          12. Sykes BW, Hewetson M, Hepburn RJ, Luthersson N, Tamzali Y. European College of Equine Internal Medicine Consensus Statement--Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Adult Horses.. J Vet Intern Med 2015 Sep-Oct;29(5):1288-99.
            doi: 10.1111/jvim.13578pubmed: 26340142google scholar: lookup
          13. Escalona EE, Okell CN, Archer DC. Prevalence of and risk factors for colic in horses that display crib-biting behaviour.. BMC Vet Res 2014;10 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S3.
            doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-10-S1-S3pubmed: 25238292google scholar: lookup
          14. Benhajali H, Ezzaouia M, Lunel C, Charfi F, Hausberger M. Temporal feeding pattern may influence reproduction efficiency, the example of breeding mares.. PLoS One 2013;8(9):e73858.
            doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073858pubmed: 24098636google scholar: lookup
          15. Fureix C, Benhajali H, Henry S, Bruchet A, Prunier A, Ezzaouia M, Coste C, Hausberger M, Palme R, Jego P. Plasma cortisol and faecal cortisol metabolites concentrations in stereotypic and non-stereotypic horses: do stereotypic horses cope better with poor environmental conditions?. BMC Vet Res 2013 Jan 7;9:3.
            doi: 10.1186/1746-6148-9-3pubmed: 23289406google scholar: lookup
          16. Hausberger M, Gautier E, Biquand V, Lunel C, Ju00e9go P. Could work be a source of behavioural disorders? A study in horses.. PLoS One 2009 Oct 28;4(10):e7625.
            doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007625pubmed: 19862328google scholar: lookup