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Ep. 017: How Can Nutrition Management Minimize the Risk of Gastric Ulcers?

Co-hosts Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr discuss how proper nutrition management can minimize the risk of a horse developing gastric ulcers.

Episode Notes

On this episode, co-hosts Dr. Tania Cubitt and Katy Starr discuss how proper nutrition management can minimize the risk of a horse developing gastric ulcers including:


• Can horses have reflux?

• What is the best type of hay for horses suffering from gastric ulcers?

• Should you feed your horse before you ride or wait 30 minutes to an hour after feeding to ride?


This episode is jam packed and we cover so many questions! Even if you’ve never owned a horse with gastric ulcers, you’ll want to tune in because in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Have any topics you want to hear more about? Let us know at


Scientific References:

21:00 – The study Dr. Cubitt mentions about corn oil’s effect on gastric fluid:

* Cargile, J. L., Burrow, J. A., Kim, I., Cohen, N. D., & Merritt, A. M. (2004). Effect of dietary corn oil supplementation on equine gastric fluid acid, sodium, and prostaglandin E2 content before and during pentagastrin infusion. Journal of veterinary internal medicine18(4), 545-549.


23:45 – The study Dr. Cubitt mentions about comparing feeding alfalfa and coastal hay to horses with gastric ulcers:

* Lybbert, T. C., Gibbs, P., Cohen, N., & Sigler, D. (2010). Gastric ulcer syndrome in exercising horses fed different types of hay (Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University).


24:20 –Dr. Cubitt mentions Dr. Jenifer Nadeau’s work on gastric ulcers, here are a few studies:

*Nadeau, J. A., Andrews, F. M., Mathew, A. G., Argenzio, R. A., Blackford, J. T., Sohtell, M., & Saxton, A. M. (2000). Evaluation of diet as a cause of gastric ulcers in horses. American journal of veterinary research61(7), 784-790.

*Andrews, F. M., & NADEAU, J. A. (1999). Clinical syndromes of gastric ulceration in foals and mature horses. Equine Veterinary Journal31(S29), 30-33.

*Andrews, F. M., Reinemeyer, C. R., McCracken, M. D., Blackford, J. T., Nadeau, J. A., Saabye, L., ... & Saxton, A. (2002). Comparison of endoscopic, necropsy and histology scoring of equine gastric ulcers. Equine Veterinary Journal34(5), 475-478.

*Nadeau, J. A., Andrews, F. M., Patton, C. S., Argenzio, R. A., Mathew, A. G., & Saxton, A. M. (2003). Effects of hydrochloric, acetic, butyric, and propionic acids on pathogenesis of ulcers in the nonglandular portion of the stomach of horses. American journal of veterinary research64(4), 404-412.

More studies done by Dr. Jenifer Nadeau if interested in additional research:


36:41 - The study Dr. Cubitt mentions about research done at Virginia Tech about how frequently horses should be fed or consuming fiber:

* Murray, M. J., & Eichorn, E. S. (1996). Effects of intermittent feed deprivation, intermittent feed deprivation with ranitidine administration, and stall confinement with ad libitum access to hay on gastric ulceration in horses. American journal of veterinary research57(11), 1599-1603.


43:34 – Dr. Cubitt talks about the U.C. Davis study showing how alfalfa can help combat “refeeding syndrome”:

*Weaver, K., Feldman, M., Stewart, C., & Thayer, T. (1998). Metabolic responses of chronically starved horses to refeeding with three isoenergetic diets. J Am Vet Med Assoc212, 691-696.



Additional Resources:

  1. “Gastric Ulcers in Horses – What Causes Them and Proper Management” Webinar with Presentation Notes -
  2. “What Type of Hay Should I Feed My Horse?” Quick Fact Sheet –
  3. “Forage and Gastric Ulcers” Nutritional White Paper –
  4. “How Can I Safely Feed a Neglected/Starved Horse Back to Health?” Webinar with Presentation Notes -




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