Are feeding practices associated with duodenitis-proximal jejunitis?
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REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Feeding concentrate has been putatively associated with risk of development of duodenitis-proximal jejunitis (DPJ); however, this association has not been evaluated systematically in a controlled study. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether there was evidence that feeding practices were associated with increased odds of developing DPJ employing a case control study. HYPOTHESIS: The amount of concentrate fed daily to horses is significantly greater among horses that develop DPJ than control horses with either lameness or other types of colic. METHODS: Feeding practices of cases of DPJ diagnosed between 1997 and 2003 were compared with those of 2 populations of control horses (colic controls and lameness controls) admitted to the clinic from the same time period. Following multiple imputation of missing data, comparisons were made using polytomous logistic regression. RESULTS: Horses with DPJ were fed significantly more concentrate and were significantly more likely to have grazed pasture than either control populations; DPJ horses were significantly more likely to be female than were lameness horses. Results were unchanged after adjusting for bodyweight of the horse. CONCLUSIONS: Feeding and grazing practices differ among horses with DPJ relative to horses with other forms of colic and lame horses. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The observed magnitudes of association were not sufficiently strong to merit diagnostic/predictive application; however, these observations, if substantiated by other studies, might provide important aetiological clues.