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Am J Vet Res. 1993 Jun;54(6):959-64.

Gastric pH monitoring in healthy, suckling pony foals.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hertfordshire, England.


Gastric pH was monitored in neonatal foals from birth to 3 months of age. Background pH decreased, especially during the first week of life. Milk had complex effects that depended on pH prior to sucking, confounded by the age of the foal: nearly neutral background pH tended to be acidified after milk intake; moderately acid background pH tended to be neutralized; low background pH was only slightly increased by milk. Absolute magnitude of the effects of milk decreased with age. Existence of a proulcerative intragastric environment in preweaning foals is postulated, but this must be considered in the context of what probably is a multifactorial pathogenesis.

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