Acta Vet. Brno 2008, 77: 603-607

Gastric Ulceration, Appetite and Feeding Practices in Standardbred Racehorses in the Czech Republic

B. Bezděková1, P. Jahn1, M. Vyskočil2

1Equine Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
2Department of genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic

Received November 15, 2006
Accepted October 1, 2008

The objective of our study was to determine the prevalence of poor appetite and its correlation with the prevalence of gastric ulceration, and to evaluate relation between feeding management (feeding frequency and feeding regularity) and gastric ulceration in a group of 54 Standardbred racehorses in training. Prevalence of gastric ulceration in the group of horses with poor general appetite was 94.8%. Prevalence of gastric ulceration in the group of horses with good general appetite was 48.6%. Significant association between poor general appetite and squamous gastric ulcer presence was observed (p < 0.001). Gastric ulceration was found in 75.0% of horses fed twice daily and in 57.9% horses fed three times a day. Fifty seven point nine per cent of regularly fed horses had gastric ulcers. Irregularly fed horses were ulcer-positive in 75.0%. Thus no significant association between feeding frequency or regularity and the occurrence of gastric ulcers was found.