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Summary

Gastroendoscopic examinations were conducted on 75 Thoroughbred foals aged two to 85 days on seven breeding farms in England and Ireland. The foals showed no signs of gastric disease. There was no significant difference between lesion prevalence in foals in England (16 of 28 foals; 57 per cent) or Ireland (22 of 47 foals; 47 per cent). Neither was there any sex predilection (18 of 36 males; 20 of 39 females). Lesions were most prevalent in foals under 10 days old (8 of 9) and least prevalent in foals older than 70 days (3 of 10). Lesions occurred most frequently in the squamous mucosa immediately adjacent to the margo plicatus along the greater curvature (34 foals), whereas lesions in the squamous fundus, the glandular fundus, and the lesser curvature were observed in 11, six and three foals, respectively. Lesions were not observed in the squamous mucosa surrounding the cardia. Gastric lesions were more prevalent in foals with a previous disorder than in those without (68 vs 43 per cent) and particularly with a history of recent or concurrent diarrhoea (9 of 14).