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To compare the inflammatory response of murine macrophages exposed to the enteric microbiome of obese horses versus nonobese horses.


Fecal samples from 12 obese horses (body condition score ≥ 7/9) and 12 nonobese horses (body condition score 4 to 5/9) with similar dietary management.


Fecal supernatant was prepared from frozen fecal samples. RAW 264.7 macrophage cells were exposed to the fecal extract. Inflammatory cytokine (interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6) gene expression was quantified via real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR assay, and cytokine concentration was quantified via ELISA. Lipopolysaccharide was evaluated in fecal extract via chromo-limulus amoebocyte lysate assay.


Compared with fecal extracts from nonobese horses, fecal extracts from obese horses presented higher concentrations of lipopolysaccharide and induced a heightened expression of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6 from macrophages.


The increased levels of inflammatory markers induced in murine macrophages by the microbiome of obese horses in vitro suggested important differences in the enteric microbial composition of these horses, compared with nonobese horses. Overall, this study showed that the microbiome may play a role in mediating an inflammatory response within the gastrointestinal tract of obese horses. Mechanisms of obesity in the horse have not been fully elucidated. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of disease will guide future research into potential diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for equine obesity.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine the effects of oral omeprazole administration on the fecal and gastric microbiota of healthy adult horses.

ANIMALS 12 healthy adult research horses.

PROCEDURES Horses were randomly assigned to receive omeprazole paste (4 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) or a sham (control) treatment (tap water [20 mL, PO, q 24 h]) for 28 days. Fecal and gastric fluid samples were collected prior to the first treatment (day 0), and on days 7, 28, 35, and 56. Sample DNA was extracted, and bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences were amplified and sequenced to characterize α and β diversity and differential expression of the fecal and gastric microbiota. Data were analyzed by visual examination and by statistical methods.

RESULTS Composition and diversity of the fecal microbiota did not differ significantly between treatment groups or over time. Substantial variation in gastric fluid results within groups and over time precluded meaningful interpretation of the microbiota in those samples.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results supported that omeprazole administration had no effect on fecal microbiota composition and diversity in this group of healthy adult horses. Small sample size limited power to detect a difference if one existed; however, qualitative graphic examination supported that any difference would likely have been small and of limited clinical importance. Adequate data to evaluate potential effects on the gastric microbiota were not obtained. Investigations are needed to determine the effects of omeprazole in horses with systemic disease or horses receiving other medical treatments.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the frequency of and risk factors for complications associated with casts in horses.

Design—Multicenter retrospective case series

Animals—398 horses with a half-limb or full-limb cast treated at 1 of 4 hospitals

Procedures—Data collected from medical records included age, breed, sex, injury, limb affected, time from injury to hospital admission, surgical procedure performed, type of cast (bandage cast [BC; fiberglass tape applied over a bandage] or traditional cast [TC; fiberglass tape applied over polyurethane resin-impregnated foam]), limb position in cast (flexed, neutral, or extended), and complications. Risk factors for cast complications were identified via multiple logistic regression.

Results—Cast complications were detected in 197 of 398 (49%) horses (18/53 [34%] horses with a BC and 179/345 [52%] horses with a TC). Of the 197 horses with complications, 152 (77%) had clinical signs of complications prior to cast removal; the most common clinical signs were increased lameness severity and visibly detectable soft tissue damage Cast sores were the most common complication (179/398 [45%] horses). Casts broke for 20 (5%) horses. Three (0.8%) horses developed a bone fracture attributable to casting Median time to detection of complications was 12 days and 8 days for horses with TCs and BCs, respectively. Complications developed in 71%, 48%, and 47% of horses with the casted limb in a flexed, neutral, and extended position, respectively. For horses with TCs, hospital, limb position in the cast, and sex were significant risk factors for development of cast complications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that 49% of horses with a cast developed cast complications.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association