Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Omeprazole and its impact on mineral absorption in horses

B. D. Nielsen A C , S. M. Eckert A , C. I. Robison A , J. Mills A B , D. Peters B , A. Pease A and H. C. Schott II A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

B East-west Equine Sports Medicine LLC, Lexington, KY 40583, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: bdn@msu.edu

Animal Production Science 57(11) 2263-2269 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN17323
Submitted: 15 May 2017  Accepted: 14 July 2017   Published: 22 August 2017

Abstract

Omeprazole is commonly used to treat and prevent ulcers in horses. As a proton-pump inhibitor, and with absorption of calcium dependent on gastric acidity, there is concern that reduction in acidity may interfere with calcium absorption. The present study was conducted to evaluate whether daily omeprazole administration can influence bone health in horses. Prior to commencement of treatment, 10 Standardbred geldings underwent endoscopic examinations for gastric ulcers and to determine gastric pH. They were fed a grass-hay diet. Three-day total collections of faeces and urine were performed to evaluate mineral balance. The left third metacarpus was radiographed to establish baseline values of mineral content by using a radiographic photo-densitometry technique to calculate radiographic bone aluminium equivalence, and blood samples were taken for examination of markers of bone metabolism. The horses were pair-matched and randomly assigned to either a treatment or the control group. Treated horses received omeprazole at the preventative dose (1 mg/kg bodyweight) and control horses received no medication for the duration of the 8-week study. They were housed in box stalls and had daily turnout on drylots. Endoscopy was performed again at the completion of the study, total collections were performed again at the middle and end of the study and blood samples were taken every 2 weeks. No meaningful treatment effects were found for ulcers, gastric pH, mineral balance, radiographic bone aluminium equivalence, or markers of bone formation. Daily administration of omeprazole did not appear to have any negative effects on indices of skeletal health measured in the study.

Additional keywords: EGUS, squamous, osteocalcin, pyloric, pyridinoline.


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