Tapeworms are a type of Cestodes and are potentially very dangerous to horses and require careful management to keep them under control.
They are also known as a type of Cestodes.
Three Main Types Of Tapeworm
- Anoplocephala perfoliata
- Anoplocephala magna
- Anoplocephaloides mamillana
Tapeworms are between 10cm to 30cm long are white in colour
- Adult Tapeworm within an infected horse shed out egg containing segments.
- These egg segments can survive for several months and wait to be eaton by oribatid mites.
- It is within these mites that the eggs continue to develop and become known as immature infective tapeworm, this process can take a couple of months.
- When the oribatid mite is eaton by the horse the infective immature Tapeworm can then carry on with there development into adulthood which takes around 10 weeks to complete.
- The Tapeworm attach themselves to the gut wall at the ileocaecal junction of the small and the large intestine.
- As adults they then shed their egg segments out with the horses droppings and the cycle begins again.
Horses At Risk
All horses are at risk from Tapeworms.
- Bowel irritation
- Weight loss
- The blocking of blood vessels to the intestines can cause spasmodic colic which in some cases can prove fatal to the horse.
- Ileal Impaction can be caused from an obstruction by Tapeworm.
- Intususseption - This is where the intestine telescopes in on itself causing the horse a great deal of pain.
- Abdominal discomfort - This can be due to rupture or twisting of the intestine.
- Horses are often very lethargic.
- Horses are often very depressed.
Tapeworm Treatment And Prevention
- 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.
- Control of Tapeworm with specific wormers is recommended around the months of March and April and then again during September and October.