Motility of the equine gastrointestinal tract: Physiology and pharmacotherapy

Authors

  • D. M. Wong,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University; Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University; and Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA.
      email: dwong@iastate.edu
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  • J. L. Davis,

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University; Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University; and Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA.
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  • N. A. White

    1. Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University; Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University; and Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA.
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email: dwong@iastate.edu

Summary

Normal gastrointestinal (GI) motility patterns are necessary to maintain transit of ingesta and to facilitate digestion and absorption of nutrients. Disorders of the equine GI tract are frequently encountered by the equine practitioner and these disorders are often associated with an interruption in normal intestinal motility patterns, thus complicating treatment of the primary disease. Consequently, numerous treatments have been investigated in horses to facilitate the return of normal intestinal motility. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief review of the anatomy and physiology of the GI tract in the horse and review medications available to the equine veterinarian that may potentially promote intestinal motility.

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