Results from Merial's Nationwide Scopings Show
All Horses At Risk for Stomach Ulcers
GA. - February 17, 2011 - For the past three years, Merial has hosted
gastroscopy events across the country, and the results consistently
show stomach ulcers are a threat to horses of all breeds and
disciplines. From 2008 through 2010, veterinarians scoped 3,354 horses,
with more than 58 percent of them identified with some grade of stomach
ulcer.1 In 2010 alone, 644 horses of varying disciplines from 30 states
had some ulceration as identified by gastroscopy.1
* 328 horses, 28 percent, with Grade 1 ulcers (mild ulcers with small lesions or damaged tissue)
* 232 horses, 20 percent, with Grade 2 ulcers (moderate ulcers with large lesions)
* 84 horses, 7 percent, with Grade 3 ulcers (extensive lesions with deep ulceration and bleeding)
* 74 percent of racing horses (113 participating)
* 60 percent of hunter jumper horses (119 participating)
* 55 percent of dressage horses (116 participating)
stomach ulcers, also called Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome or EGUS,
create a painful condition that can reduce your horse's performance and
can lead to colic, weight loss or loss of condition,"2 says April
Knudson, DVM, Equine Specialist for Merial's Large Animal Veterinary
Services. "And wherever there is stress, there can be stomach ulcers. A
horse is sensitive and may experience stress when exposed to situations
one would think of as normal. Transporting a horse, increased stall
time, limited turnout, training and competition can all contribute to
EGUS.3 More surprising, a horse can develop stomach ulcers in as few as
The only definitive way to diagnose a horse with
stomach ulcers is for a veterinarian to look at the stomach with an
endoscope. Because there aren't many endoscopes in the country, Merial
coordinated with universities and veterinary practices to bring in the
equipment to have these horses evaluated by experienced veterinarians.
Knudson notes that these scoping results confirm what studies have
found previously - that horses of all competitive disciplines are at
risk for stomach ulcers.5,6,7
Despite all of the data that
supports the prevalence of equine stomach ulcers, approximately 75
percent of veterinarians in a 2008 study "agreed or strongly agreed"
that EGUS is under-diagnosed even though it can negatively impact a
horse's performance and disposition."8 And results from 2010 market
research show that while 74 percent of horse owners have some concern
about equine stomach ulcers,8 most have not used an EGUS therapy in the
past 12 months.9
"Clearly, there is still a significant need for
continued education about EGUS, as well as the importance of
prevention," says Dr. Knudson. "Merial remains committed to raising
awareness about this serious health threat. In addition to the scoping
events, we participate in numerous equine events throughout the country
each year where we have the opportunity to talk one on one with horse
owners, trainers and veterinarians. For competitive horse owners, it's
critically important to discuss stomach ulcer prevention, because
ulcers can diminish the hard work, training and commitment both horse
and rider have worked so hard to achieve."
ulcers is not only better for the health of the horse, but it is also
more cost effective. But for those horses diagnosed with stomach
ulcers, Dr. Knudson recommends a course of GASTROGARD® (omeprazole) to
treat them. GASTROGARD is the only FDA-approved product to treat and
heal stomach ulcers.10
Dr. Knudson reminds owners, though, that
if horses are exposed to stressful situations again, stomach ulcers can
return - even after completion of a successful treatment program. She
recommends using ULCERGARD® (omeprazole) during times of stress, which
is the only FDA-approved preventive for stomach ulcers.11,*
is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing
a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and
performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately
5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its
2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion. Merial is the Animal Health
subsidiary of sanofi-aventis. For more information, please see www.merial.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Caution: Safety of GASTROGARD in pregnant or lactating mares has not been determined.
For GASTROGARD prescribing information, visit http://gastrogard.us.merial.com/pdf/GASTROGARD_PrescribingInfo.pdf.
ULCERGARD can be used in horses that weigh at least 600 pounds. Safety in pregnant mares has not been determined.
treated for eight to 28 days, ULCERGARD is proven to effectively
prevent gastric ulcers in horses exposed to stressful conditions.
®GASTROGARD and ULCERGARD are registered trademarks of the AstraZeneca Group of Companies.
©2011 Merial Limited, Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQUIUGD1111 (02/11)
1 Data on file at Merial.
Radostits OM, et al. Veterinary Medicine: A textbook of the diseases of
cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and goats. Philadelphia: WB Saunders
3 ULCERGARD product label.
4 McClure, SR, et
al. Gastric ulcer development in horses in a simulated show or training
environment. JAVMA. 2005;227(5):775-777.
5 de Bruijn M, Schutrups
AH, Seesing EHAL. Prevalence of equine gastric ulceration syndrome in
standardbreds. Veterinary Record. 2009;164:814-815.
6 Murray MJ,
Schusser GF, Pipers FS, Gross SJ. Factors associated with gastric
lesions in thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J. 1996;28:368-374.
Mitchell RD. Prevalence of gastric ulcers in hunter/jumper and dressage
horses evaluated for poor performance. Association for Equine Sports
Medicine September 2001.
8 Data on file at Merial, Market Directions Study.
Sullivan Higdon & Sink