08: Recognizing Signs of a Heavy Parasite Load

Action: Be aware of the physical signs associated with common parasites.

Rationale: Despite the best monitoring and management, a horse may still be subject to a heavy parasite load at some point in it’s life. Being able to recognize the signs will enable prompt intervention and treatment.

Signs Caused by Common Parasites of Horses

Parasite

Signs

Strongyles

Anemia, dry coat, diarrhea, general loss of condition

Roundworms

Loss of condition, bowel problems, or colic when present in large numbers; migrating roundworm larvae can also injure the lungs in young horses

Pinworms

Horse rubs its tail; itching and irritation around anus; discharge and worms visible around anus

Bots

Loss of condition and colic from large numbers in the gut; occasional diarrhea or constipation

Tapeworms

Mild diarrhea, colic, failure to grow or put on weight as expected

Routine Health Care of Horses

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