Types of Parasite
Three classes of parasite can affect your horse:
This parasite is potentially the most dangerous internal parasite to horses. The immature stages migrate through the blood vessels supplying the gut. Disruption of the blood supply to the gut as a result of larval damage can cause colic and in rare cases, sudden death.
The most common and numerous of internal parasites. During the winter months some of these worms hibernate deep within the gut wall. The subsequent emergence of these worms in the spring can cause damage to the gut wall leading to loss of condition, diarrhoea, colic and in severe cases death.
The largest internal parasite to affect horses. Mainly found in young horses and foals. Horses develop a natural immunity to this worm by 18 months of age. ymptoms include coughing, poor growth rate and dull coat. The worm’s size can cause a fatal rupture or blockage of the gut. Large roundworms also migrate to the lungs and can cause respiratory problems in foals.
During the first few weeks of life foals are susceptible to this very small worm which can cause severe diarrhoea. Mares should be wormed around the time of foaling and foals may need worming from four weeks old.
The adult worms migrate to the horse’s rectum where they lay their eggs on the skin outside the anus. This causes intense irritation and scratching.
These commonly affect donkeys but can also affect horses, usually when grazing with donkeys. Infected horses show clinical respiratory signs such as persistent coughing.
Found in the large intestine and congregate around the narrow junction of the small and large intestine. Most infections do not necessarily produce obvious signs of ill health; however they can cause digestive disturbances, loss of condition and are strongly associated with colic.
Bot flies are a common irritant to horses at grass. They lay their sticky yellow eggs on the horse’s fore legs and around the head. The horse licks them off the legs and the larvae eventually reach the stomach where they attach to the lining. Large numbers can cause digestive disorders and occasionally perforation of the stomach.
Worming programmes are available for all wormers that we stock.