Threadworms are an intestinal parasite that can infect foals as early as four days after birth, by having the mare correctly wormed will greatly help to reduce the worm burden.
Threadworms are also known as Strongyloides westeri
Main Type Of Threadworm
- Mares can pass on a threadworm infection on to their foals through their milk.
- The foal picks up threadworm larvae when it is grazing and also through skin contact with the larvae.
- When larvae enter the horse via the skin they travel towards the lungs of the horse and it is from here that they are coughed up and swallowed and can then progress towards the intestines.
- When the larvae enter the small intestine they begin to mature into adult threadworm.
- As adults they are then capable of producing eggs which are released along with the horses droppings.
- The Threadworm are then able to re infect other grazing horses.
- This cycle can be completed in around two weeks giving the possibility for a severe infection to take hold in a relatively short space of time.
They are around 1 cm in length and are very fine like a thread in width.
Horses At Risk
Foals are particularly at risk and can suffer from diarrhoea, lethargy, weight loss and lack of growth.
- Respiratory disorders
- Bleeding can also occur in the lungs.
- Weight loss
- Dull coat
- Foals are often very lethargic.
- The use of worming products is essential to help protect your horse, ask your veterinarian for a worming schedule to help protect your foal from the threat of these and other worms.
- Maintain good pasture management.