Fact Sheet: The Equine Gastrointestinal Tract



No account yet? Register

At first glance, the equine digestive system looks similar to that of other animals, including humans. Horses have all the same major structures, such as the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. As you will see, however, important differences in structure and function of most elements of the gastrointestinal tract exist between humans and horses, the major ones being the cecum and large intestine. Because horses are herbivorous, nonruminant hindgut fermenters, their cecum and large intestine are far more voluminous and intricate, playing a much more prominent and integral role in processing feeds compared to a human’s large intestine.

Download your free copy of this fact sheet to learn more about key anatomic features of the equine digestive tract.


No account yet? Register

Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

Related Articles

caring for senior horses in cold weather; Immunosenescence: What Owners of Old Horses Need to Know
Deworming Gray Horse - No Label
Unhappy Horse, stressed, ears back
tendon healing; Rehabilitating Horses With Lower Limb Injuries; horse tendon and ligament mineralization; Measuring Tendon Stiffness to Monitor Healing

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Do you use slow feeders or slow feed haynets for your horse? Tell us why or why not.
335 votes · 335 answers

Readers' Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!