• Open Access

Gastric Neoplasia in Horses

Authors

  • S.D. Taylor,

    1. 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA4 Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
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  • 1 G.J. Haldorson,

    1. 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA4 Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
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  • 4 B. Vaughan,

    1. 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA4 Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
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  • and 2 N. Pusterla 3

    1. 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA3 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA4 Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
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Corresponding author: Sandra D. Taylor, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, PO Box 647040, Pullman, WA 99164-7040; e-mail: staylor@vetmed.wsu.edu.

Abstract

Background: Gastric neoplasia of horses is incompletely described.

Objective: Provide history, clinical signs, and clinicopathological and pathological findings associated with gastric neoplasia in horses.

Animals: Twenty-four horses with gastric neoplasia.

Methods: Retrospective study. History, clinical signs, and clinicopathological and pathologic findings in horses diagnosed histologically with gastric neoplasia were reviewed.

Results: Horses ranged in age from 9 to 25 years (median 18 years at presentation). There was no apparent breed or sex predisposition. The most common presenting complaints were inappetance (17/24), weight loss (14/24), lethargy (7/24), hypersalivation (7/24), colic (5/24), and fever (5/24). The most consistent clinical signs were tachypnea (10/19), decreased borborygmi (8/19), and low body weight (7/17). Useful diagnostic tests included rectal examination, routine blood analysis, gastroscopy, abdominocentesis, and transabdominal ultrasound examination. Anemia was the most common hematologic abnormality encountered (7/19), and hypercalcemia of malignancy was seen in 4/16 horses. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common tumor identified (19/24), and was most often (14/19) found as a single ulcerated, necrotic mass in the nonglandular portion of the stomach. Other gastric neoplasms encountered were leiomyoma (n=2), mesothelioma (n=1), adenocarcinoma (n=1), and lymphoma (n=1). Metastatic neoplasia was found in 18/23 horses. The median time from onset of clinical signs to death was 4 weeks, and all horses died or were euthanized because of gastric neoplasia.

Conclusions: Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common primary gastric neoplasia in horses. The survival time after diagnosis of gastric neoplasia in horses is short.

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