Stomach worms can cause both internal and external damage such as abdominal discomfort and what are often caused summer sores. which are sores that become infected and increase in size preventing the sores from healing.
- Habronema muscae
- Large-Mouth Stomach Worms
Most stomach worms can grow to around 2.5 cm in length and are white in colour.
Stomach Worm Infection
- Stomach worms need flies to transmit them onto the horse.
- Fly maggots ingest the stomach worm larvae where they grow into adult stomach worm.
- If a fly lands on a horses wound then the stomach worm will cause the wound to increase in size and it will seem to never heal, these sorts of wounds are referred to as summer sores.
- If the horse licks the wound the stomach worm is ingested and it heads towards the stomach where females will lay eggs which are passed out with the horses manure and he cycle begins again.
- If the fly deposits the stomach worm near to the eyes then it will often cause conjunctivitis.
- Stomach worms can cause growths to appear in the horses stomach that in turn can cause bleeding and discomfort.
Horses At Risk
All horses are potentially at risk.
- Summer sores are wounds that become infected with stomach worms and cause the sore to increase in size and prevent it from healing.
- Weight loss
- Skin irritation around the sores.
- The use of worming products is essential to help protect your horse, ask your veterinarian for a worming schedule to help protect your horse from the threat of these and other worms.
- If you suspect stomach worms consult your vet immediately to discuss treatment.
- Maintain good pasture management.