A study out of the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine has found that short-term use of a common ulcer medication does not appear to impact horses the same way it impacts humans. Omeprazole has been known to deplete bone density in people, so researchers were curious to establish whether it behaved the same way in horses.
The Horse reports that ten study horses received 60 days of either a standard dose of omeprazole or a placebo, and had their blood and tibia bone samples analyzed throughout the study period. There were no differences found in either the calcium concentration in blood or the bone mineral content or density in the tibia bones between the two groups during the 60 days.
It's possible that the horse's circulating calcium levels (which are higher than those of humans) and good calcium absorption compensate for the omeprazole. It's believed that the ulcer drug has an impact on human bones because it interferes with the gastrointestinal tract's ability to absorb calcium.
Researchers cautioned that a study looking at longer-term use of the drug could yield different results.
Read more at The Horse
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