The objective was to compare the gastrointestinal and general toxicity of suxibuzone (SBZ) to that of phenylbutazone (PBZ) when administered orally in horses. Fifteen healthy horses were allocated to three treatment groups. One group received a high dose of PBZ for two weeks; the second group was given an equimolecular dosage of SBZ; and a third group received placebo. Horses were daily monitored, and blood samples were collected before and during the study. On day 18, complete post-mortem examinations were performed. One horse treated with PBZ showed clinical signs of NSAID toxicosis. Small oral ulcers were also detected in other two horses from the PBZ group and in two horses from the SBZ group. There were no statistical differences in the blood parameters among groups. Ulcers in the stomach's glandular mucosa were observed in all horses of the PBZ group, while only two horses of the SBZ group showed ulcerations. PBZ horses had a significant higher ulcerated area, and gastric ulcers were significantly deeper than those in the SBZ and placebo groups. No other lesions were found in any other tissue. In conclusion, SBZ causes significantly lower gastric ulcerogenic effect than PBZ when administered orally at equimolecular doses in horses. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.