Cyathostomes or “Redworms” are the most common equine parasite. The adult worm lives in the large intestine where large amounts of eggs are laid. These eggs are passed into the faeces and develop into an infective larva on the pasture. Larva that are accidentally eaten up by the grazing animal can migrate into the lining of the large intestine where they enter a state of arrested development. A large number of infective larvae can be acquired over a grazing season and while the presence of a large number of encysted larvae is not harmful to the horse, it is the emergence of the larvae from the gut lining that can cause massive disruption to gut function. The reactivation of large numbers of larvae tends to occur at the same time and is manifest as diarrhoea, commonly known as springtime diarrhoea. While springtime diarrhoea due to small redworms is a rare enough occurrence it can be fateful. Less severe infestations can cause poor growth, weight loss and colic. Young horses are particularly susceptible but horses due not acquire a strong protective immunity and therefore are a source of pasture contamination throughout their lives.
Large Redworms or the Large Strongyles area also found in the large intestines and these worms have a migratory phase in their life cycle that is important. Again eggs in the faeces develop into infective larvae and these larvae once ingested migrate into the arteries that supply blood to the gut. The presence of the larvae in these arteries can cause blockage of the arteries and damage to the gut leading to colic. Adult worms can be from 1.5 to 5.0 cms in length and can cause ill thrift and a blood loss anaemia due to their feeding habits.
The Ascarid Roundworm, “Parascaris Equorum”, lives in the small intestine of younger horses, older horses are immune. Large worm burdens cause ill thrift and in severe infestations total obstruction of the small intestines can occur. Also a migratory phase in its life cycle can cause pneumonia like symptoms due to the passage of larvae through the lungs. Large numbers of eggs are laid by adult worms and these eggs are exceptionally resistant and persist in the environment from year to year. Tapeworms: The presence of tapeworms in the horse’s intestine has been associated with colic. The greater the number of parasites present in the gut the greater the risk of colic.
The equine pinworm “Oxyuris Equi” is very common. The adult worm lives in the final part of the intestine moving to the anus to lay eggs. The principle effect of pinworm infection is anal irritation caused by the egg laying females leading to tail rubbing and scratching of the rear quarters.
The larvae of the Bot Fly are found in the stomach of horses of all ages. Rarely do they cause any clinical disease. The larvae are present in the stomach for 10 months before been passed into the faeces Once passed the Bot develops into the adult Bot Fly. The adult fly lays eggs on hairs on the legs, neck and throat and are transferred by licking to the mouth and then to the stomach where the Bots develop. Sale Windows 7 Ultimate
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