Podcast #057 – Protein and Gastric Ulcers In Horses

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome, or EGUS, is being treated in more horses today than almost any other disease considered “routine.” The advent of visualizing the stomach lining using a fiber-optic endoscope is now available to nearly every horse owner through their local veterinarian. In addition, medicines are available to treat horses suffering from this condition, and they are effective.

Nutritional changes are a basis for improving horses’ health. Still, few have associated a specific nutritional change in concomitant use with prescribed medication to enhance the effectiveness of using the medicine alone.

In this podcast, I discuss a study in which horses with EGUS are treated with omeprazole (Prilosec in humans and GastroGuard in horses) alone or with hydrolyzed porcine collagen. Adding the collagen protein had a local effect on reducing the number of gastric ulcers in the non-glandular portion of the stomach.

I add that collagen contains the amino acids glycine and proline, which are beneficial for maintaining all connective tissue, including the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. I hypothesize that preventing gastric ulcers (and ulcers in other parts of the gut) may be another benefit of adding high-quality protein to horse diets.

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