What do tapeworms do to horses?
How do Horses Get Tapeworm?
Tapeworm is more common in areas like the UK where we have lush grass.
Tapeworm uses an intermediate host as part of its life cycle. This intermediate host is the ‘Pasture Mite’ and as the name suggests, it is readily found on grass and as such also exists in hay.
- Tapeworm eggs on the ground, are ingested by pasture mite before they infest the horse.
- The eggs develop over a few months in the mite.
- The mites are microscopic and the horse cannot detect them. So as the horse grazes it swallows the infected mite.
- In the gut, the tapeworm continues to develop and feed off the horse.
- It will produce proglottids, which are worm segments with complete reproductive systems.
- The proglottids will pass out in the faeces and lay eggs.
- The eggs are ingested by the mites and the cycle starts again.
What are the Signs of Tapeworm in horses?
- More episodes of spasmodic colic
- Performance is reduced
- Pain and discomfort
- Increased flatulence
- Trying to lie down lots
- Looking and nipping at sides/stomach
- Refusal to eat
- Dull Coat
- Lack of shedding coat
Case Study: The Story of Athena (In the words of her owner)
So how do you test for tapeworm
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