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Wed, 2018-07-25 08:26

VIDEO: Gastrointestinal Health and Management with Dr. Carey Williams

Authored By: USEA

The 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention may have come and gone, but thanks to our friends at Ride On Video you will have the chance to relive the action as we share videos of the different sessions! 

At the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention, Carey Williams, PhD (Rutgers University) presented the initial findings of the study of Management and Gastrointestinal Health of Event Horses conducted by herself along with Amy Burk, PhD (University of Maryland), Burt Staniar, PhD (Penn State), Frank Andrews, DVM (Louisiana State), and Sarah Reuss, VMD (Boehringer Ingelheim). USEA was involved with advertising the study on the website, social media, and print media.

Williams first gave an explanation of how the horse’s GI tract is structured and explained how the stomach functions, particularly how the pH can change rapidly when a horse’s stomach is empty. She covered the percentage of horses with ulcers in a multitude of different disciplines, the different risk factors that increase the risk of ulcers, and common symptoms. Next, she went on to discuss the different methods of diagnosis and the options for treatment, including what mechanism each of those treatments effects in the horse’s digestive process. Finally, she explained the process that she and her colleagues went through to set up the survey and provided their preliminary results.

  • 1,336 horses were represented in the study from 45 states.
  • The average age of horses in the study was 10.9 years, ranging from 2 to 30 years old.
  • 50% were Thoroughbreds, with Warmbloods representing the next largest group with 12%.
  • On average, hay was withheld 10-25 minutes before competition and grain was withheld 2-2.5 hours before.
  • Training frequency was 5 days a week and duration was 5 hours a week.
  • 44% of horses were suspected of having ulcers and 22% were diagnosed.
  • 99% of diagnosed horses were also treated, and almost 50% used GastroGard or UlcerGard.
  • 67% of horses received supplements to prevent ulcers.
  • Top 5 risk factors: breed, age, type of hay, hours in a stall, and time spent training at the trot.

A more detailed report was published in Eventing USA and can be viewed by clicking here.

About the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention

The USEA Annual Meeting and Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention. 

The USEA would like to thank AdequanDevoucouxNutrenaCharles OwenSmartPak EquineRebecca FarmMountain HorseMerck Animal HealthStandlee Hay CompanyAuburn LaboratoriesEventing Training OnlineStackhouse & Ellis SaddlesPoint TwoProfessional’s ChoiceBit of BritainStaples Inc.World Equestrian BrandsGallops SaddleryRevitaVetCWDH.E. Tex Sutton Forwarding Company, and Parker Equine Insurance, for sponsoring the 2017 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention.


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