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Pre-Treatment with Turmeric (C. Xanthorrhiza) Reduces the Severity of
Squamous Gastric Ulceration in Feed Restricted Horses
SPS Fletcher1,2* and SL Gough1
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia
Integral Equine Nutrition, 1 Mallawa Road, Duffys Forest, NSW, Australia
Domestic horses commonly suffer from gastric ulcers, with potential adverse health, welfare and performance effects. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of orally administered turmeric for prevention of gastric ulceration in horses during stable confinement and dietary manipulation. Ten horses were used in a 16-day randomized, placebo-controlled and blinded two-period cross-over study. All horses received a base diet with the treatment group also receiving 20g turmeric powder in the feed once daily. Gastric ulcer scores were determined via gastroscopy on Day 0, after nine days in a stable (Day 9) and after seven days of feed-fasting (Day 16). After a washout period of 10 weeks, treatment groups were reversed. Squamous ulcer scores increased during confinement and feed restriction in control horses (P<0.001), but not in turmeric treated horses (P=0.247), and squamous ulceration was more severe on Day 16 in control horses (P=0.037). Changes in glandular mucosa were less obvious in treated and control horses. These results suggest that oral supplementation of turmeric (C. xanthorrhiza) may be effective in reducing the severity of squamous ulceration in horses.