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Posted on 21 January 2023
by jess

Is there scope for improvement?

Have they got the stomach for the modern equine life?

 Previous veterinary intervention
 Regular intense exercise and travel
 Compromised body / coat condition
 Behaviour changes
 Working six or seven days a week

If you recognise the signs, you will know that compromised gastric health negatively impacts your horse’s performance, behaviour and wellbeing. Short term treatment from your vet may be necessary, but isn’t necessarily advisable or suitable long term. Increasingly your veterinary specialist will be advising targeted supplementary support as part of their long term gastric health regime.

The Equine Stomach

The horse’s stomach is relatively small, making up only around 8% of their total digestive tract. However despite its small size, stomach or ‘gastric’ health can be absolutely critical to the overall health and wellbeing of your horse or pony. We know gastric stress is particularly prevalent in elite equine athletes, such as racehorses where it is an endemic concern. However, it is a misconception to think other groups are not affected. Research shows gastric stress related issues are well recognised in all horses and ponies – including those who never compete, and even feral horse populations.
Part of the issue is the anatomy of the stomach, which is split into two distinct areas. The ‘glandular’ region is at the bottom of the stomach, and has a thick layer designed to protect the wall from the stomach acid that naturally sits in that region. The ‘squamous’ region is the upper part of the stomach, and does not have the same protection, and so can be sensitive to acid splash. To help protect the squamous region, it is advised to feed a handful of fibre feed, or chaff, around half an hour before riding.

Gastric Health Innovation
Look for a targeted complex of key gastric support nutrients to maintain a healthy stomach
environment in your horse or pony.
Pectins and lecithins are thought to support the gel-forming fibre as part of the gastric mat. Mucilaginous agents, are active components of certain plants, such as liquorice and psyllium, recognised for maintaining a healthy mucosal layer. Antioxidants, including pure antioxidants from Vitamin E, or natural antioxidants from rosehip or milk thistle, are advised for use where oxidative damage is recognised. Hindgut health, will support gastric health, through the digestive tract’s significant role in general health and vitality.

Five Star Gastric Health with GastriVet

GastriVet is Clinically Proven.
NAF Five Star GastriVet is formulated by Veterinary Surgeons and Registered Nutritionists, with a passion for evidence-based nutrition, and decades of experience in optimising gastric health in all horses and ponies. GastriVet is designed to:

 Support the body’s natural anti-inflammatory processes
 Contribute to the gastric mat
 Maintain a healthy pH balance
 Support mucosal integrity of the stomach lining.

GastriVet is recommended alongside and following, your vet’s prescribed regime. Once your horse, and their gastric health, is happy, healthy and settled then many horses and ponies will find NAF GastriAid the ideal maintenance product for total gut health. For sensitive horses or ponies, or those in a high pressure regime, Five Star GastriVet is ideal for daily maintenance too.

*GastriVet is stomach specific. If your horse would benefit from total gut health, please take a look
at NAF Five Star GastriAid.


Selected Reference
Hewetson M & Tallon R (2021) Equine Squamous Gastric Disease: Prevalence, impact and
management. Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports. 12 p.381-399

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