Hairworms are a particular threat to foals and require a suitable worming programme.
Hairworms are very thin and measure around half a centimetre in length
- The eggs are passed out with the horses droppings.
- The eggs are often found on blades of grass in the pasture, which allows them to be eaton by the horse.
- Once ingested the eggs start to hatch and the larvae move towards the stomach and to the small intestine.
- It is in the stomach and small intestine that the eggs mature and grow into adults.
- The hair worms attack the villi on the stomach lining and damage the capillaries and lymph vessels.
- This action decreases the foals ability to digest food and can also cause internal bleeding which in turn can cause anaemia.
- As adult hairworms they are then able to produce eggs which are passed out in the horses droppings allowing the cycle to start again.
Horses At Risk
Foals are particularly at risk.
- Gut damage
- Poor condition
- Dark coloured diarrhoea
- Intestinal bleeding
- Inability to digest food.
- Consult with your veterinarian in order to provide your horse with a suitable worming programme.
- A faecal culture will help you to identify if your horse has hair worms.
- Maintain good pasture management.