From: Horse Worming
Horse worms are a common parasite and a constant issue for the equine animal.
Understanding their names, what they look look, what their lifecycle is (which includes how they mulitply and spread), and what can be done to rid your horse of them, is an important part of equestrian care. Since all horses will have one type or another all the time, it is clear that their effect can be negligible. However significant infestion by some of these parasites can lead to permanent damage and/or possible death.
Horse Worm Types
There are several types of worm which can infect a horse, mainly living in the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small and large intestines), and in the blood system. There are also bots which are not worms but actually flies.
We shall look at them briefly in a rough order of commonality, and importance, and also provide more thorough information on each type. We shall try to also be as comprehensive as possible in our coverage of these equestrian problem causers!
Horse Worms (Nematodes)
Nematodes are a phyla of organism mainly differntiated as a worm by having a complete digestive system, being round and unsegmented. They move by wriggling from side to side and rely on external pressures to move their food along their digestive tracts.
These nematodes live as adults in the large intestines of horses, and cause further damage via larvae which can enter the bloodstream.
More about Large Strongyles
These are namatodes and although not as big as the large strongyles are just as problematic.
More about Small Strongyles
These cestodes live in the intestines and can cause serious colic and intestinal disorders such as Intussusception and ileal impaction.
More about Tapeworm
These parasites are also known as Ascarids and require careful treatment as they can cause colic and respiratory dissorders.
More About Ascarids Or Roundworms
The bot fly lays its eggs on the horses coat and when the horse injests them they can cause the mouth to become inflamed as well as stomach ulcers and abdominal discomfort.
More about Bots
These are a particular risk to foals for can become infected as early as 4 days after birth and cause the foal serious discomfort.
More about Intestinal Threadworms
Neck Threadworms are also known as Onchocerca and can cause serious uveitis as well as sores, swelling and discomfort on the horses neck and underbelly, they are particularily troublesome when the dead affect the lens of the horses eye and if left untreated can cause blindness.
More About Neck Threadworms
These parasites are a great irritation to horses and can cause severe itching of the tail and rump area, if left untreated the sores often become infected.
More about Pinworms
Hairworms are a particular threat to foals as they attack the villi on the stomach lining and decreases the foals ability to digest food and can cause internal bleeding. This can leave foals very dehydrated, anaemic and in poor condition.
More about Hairworms
Foals are more at risk than older horses who often develop resistance to these parasites. They often cause respiratory dissorders such as parasitic bronchitis.
More about Lungworms
Stomach worms can cause summer sores if they infect an open wound and conjunctivitis.
More About Stomach Worms