Fact Sheet: The Equine Gastrointestinal Tract

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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.

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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.

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