GastroKind - Squamous Ulcer Scores in Endurance Horses
QUESTION: Does GastroKind Improve Gastroscopic Score of Equine Squamous Gastric Disease in Endurance Horses in Active Training?
- The prevalence of Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS) in endurance horses is high with reports of 67-93% gastroscopic lesions in competition season1,2. The majority of lesions are reported to be equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD)1,2.
- A supplement that could be used to aid the effective management of EGUS would be useful. GastroKind (Science Supplements) contains a combination of Vitamin E, Vitamin C, yeast powder, fruit pectin, lecithin, magnesium hydroxide and a novel (patented) fruit extract of Ficus glomerata.
Aim of Study
To investigate the efficiency of GastroKind for treating ESGD in endurance horses in active training.
- Prospective clinical case series = a group of horses selected for a particular reason (EGUS in this study) was followed over several months following an intervention (treatment).
Twenty-nine horses in active training at a professional endurance yard underwent gastroscopy for EGUS evaluation3. Horses with grade 3 or greater ESGD were allocated treatment with oral omeprazole 4 mg/kg once daily plus GastroKind (Science Supplements) 300 ml twice daily (OMP+GK; 4 horses). Horses with ESGD less than grade 3 were randomly allocated treatment with either GastroKind 300 ml twice daily (GK; 10 horses), oral sucralfate 12 mg/kg twice daily (SUC; 7 horses), or no treatment (NT; 8 horses). Horses were administered treatment for 6 weeks and then re-scoped and scored. One horse receiving NT retired and was therefore not re-scoped.
- All 29 horses initially gastroscoped had equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD); 4 horses had Grade 3 ESGD and 25 horses Grade 2 ESGD. No equine glandular gastric disease (EGGD) was observed.
- All horses treated with OMP+GK and GK alone showed an improvement in ulcer score (Table 1). Approximately half the horses administered SUC or NT had an improved ulcer score at second gastroscopy (Table 1).
Table 1: Median and range of change in gastroscopic equine squamous gastric disease (ESGD) scores in 28 endurance horses following treatment with omeprazole plus GastroKind (OMP+GK); GastroKind (GK), sucralfate (SUC), or no treatment (NT).
- There was no significant difference among pre-treatment ulcer scores of horses administered GK, SUC or NT indicating these horses all started with similar scores.
- Ulcer scores were significantly reduced in the GK group following treatment but not for SUC or NT (Fig. 1, Table 1).
- Post-treatment scores of the OMP+GK group were not significantly different from pre-treatment scores, however the low number of horses in this group limits further interpretation.
Figure 1: Median (and range) of gastroscopic ulcer scores in 28 endurance horses pre-treatment and 6 weeks post-treatment with omeprazole plus GastroKind (n=4; OMP+GK); GastroKind (n=10; GK), sucralfate (n=7; SUC), or no treatment (n=7; NT). *denotes a significant difference in pre- and post-treatment scores (P=0.004).
Take Home Message
- GastroKind significantly decreased ulcer score in endurance horses with Grade 2 ESGD. Further work investigating the use of GastroKind for treatment of mild EGGD is warranted.
- Nieto JE, Snyder JR, Beldomenico P, Aleman M, Kerr JW, Spier SJ. (2004) Prevalence of gastric ulcers in endurance horses--a preliminary report. Vet J. 167(1):33-7.
- Tamzali, Y., Marguet, C., Priymenko, N. and Lyazrhi, F. (2011) Prevalence of gastric ulcer syndrome in high‐level endurance horses. Equine Veterinary Journal, 43: 141-144.
- Sykes B.W., Hewetson M., Hepburn R.J., Luthersson N., Tamzali Y. (2015) European College of Equine Internal Medicine Consensus Statement--Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome in Adult Horses. J Vet Intern Med. 29(5):1288-99.