The numbers are not wrong
The latest research shows that more than 80% of thoroughbreds retiring from racing suffer from gastric ulcers which may be mild or severe. In order to understand how to prevent and treat your OTTB, you need to understand why gastric ulcers are so prevalent in race horses and what are the cause of ulcers in OTTBs
What are the causes of ulcers in OTTBs?
The primary cause of ulceration in race horses, or ulcers in OTTBs, include the following:
- Intense exercise
- Eating large amounts of grain
- Eating on an irregular schedule
- Stall Confinement
- Administration of drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAISDs)
- Physical Stress
Training & Exercise
Exercise increases the production of hormones responsible for stimulating acid production in the stomach. Additionally during intense activity the splash effect can expose the non-glandular areas to increased acid amounts.
A diet consisting of large amounts of grain are high in carbohydrates contributes to the risk of inflammation and ulceration. In frequent eating due to training and confinement to stalls can cause ulcers.
Races horses are very susceptible to injury and require administration of of Anti-inflammatory drugs to ease pain.
All of the above issues can contribute to the cause of ulcers in OTTBs.
This sums up a list of the cause of ulcers in OTTBs. Basically, intense exercise, eating large amounts of grain and irregular eating schedules, plus stall confinement, administration of drugs such as NAISDs, as well as physical stress are the main causes. By knowing this information you can put measures in place to try to avoid ulcers in your horse however with the high prevalence of ulcers developing in OTTBs, treatment is often required such as those outlined above.