Home Companion Animals Lungworm in Horses: Top 8 Information of the Disease for Horse Lover

Lungworm in Horses: Top 8 Information of the Disease for Horse Lover

The larvae of the equine Lungworm Dictyocaulus arnfieldi frequently found in fecal samples from donkeys; infection is rarely associated with signs of respiratory disease. In horses, on the other hand, lungworm in horses is often considered as a cause of chronic coughing, but the true prevalence of infection in the horse is not known since larvae are rarely found in the feces and at present, there are no other means of detecting their presence in the lungs. 

Life Cycle and Epidemiology

Infection is by ingestion of infective third-stage larvae on pasture land. These larvae then travel from the intestine via the lymphatics and blood to the lungs where they develop to the adult stage in the bronchial tree. Adults females produce larvated eggs that are passed in the feces but this hatch almost after to first-stage larvae. The pre-patent period is a minimum of 2 months. 

Life cycle of Lungworm

The epidemiology of lungworm infection in horses is poorly understood, but in the majority of confirmed cases, there is a history of the previously come in contact with donkeys. In the donkey, patent infections usually establish during their first season at the pasture and, in the absence of anthelmintic therapy, the majority of animals subsequently remain infected throughout their lives.

Pathogenesis of Lungworm in Horses

The presence of worms in the lungs produces valve-type lesions which lead to discrete, 3-4 cm areas of infection. Although infection is well tolerated in donkeys, the presence of lungworms in the horse can lead to chronic coughing.

Pathogenesis of Lungworm

Clinical Sings: Equine Lungworm Infection

Despite the prevalence of D arnfieldi in donkeys, clinical signs mostly attributable to lung-worm infection are rarely observed. In the horse, it has been shown that infection of young foals is associated with the development of patent infections in the absence of clinical signs. Infection of horse and ponies over 1 yr of age does not normally result in the establishment of patent infections but may be associated with marked clinical signs including coughing, increased respiratory rate, and adventitious lung sounds. It is also possible to detect lungworm larvae in feces samples from a very small proportion of apparently healthy horses.

Clinical Pathology of Lungworm in Horses

Laboratory tests of Lungworm in horses are of little value in the diagnosis. In very few cases, chronic coughing may be associated with a patent infection with first-stage larvae being found in feces. In contrast, in donkeys larvae are frequently found in the feces of apparently normal animals.

Post Mortem Findings of Equine Lungworm

Grossly raised circumscribed areas of overinflation are visible if the lungs are examined soon after death, but these can gradually disappear and may not be obvious if a post-mortem finding is delayed. Microscopically, there is hyperplasia of the bronchial epithelium, an increase in the size and number of goblet cells and infiltration of lymphoid cells around the airways. Often only a few parasites are presently coiled up in the lower bronchi, and these are difficult to recover.

Diagnosis of Lungworm in Equine

This is based on history, clinical manifestation, and examination of feces for D arnfieldi larvae, although in the horse patent infections are not common. A modified Baerman technique is used to test fecal samples for lungworm larvae. It is important to use fresh feces taken from the rectum otherwise free-living, and first-stage strongyle larvae may be present in fairly large numbers making an examination for first-stage D arnfieldi larvae difficult.

Equine Lungworm

Treatment of Lungworm in Horse

Clinical trials have indicated that fenbendazole at a dose rate of 15-30 mg/kg is effective in the treatment of horses while in a controlled trial in donkeys treatment with mebendazole paste at a dose rate of 15-20 mg/kg daily for 5 days was shown to have a 75-100% efficiency against parasites in the lungs. However, ivermectin at normal dose rates is probably the drug of choice.

Control Measures of D arnfieldi

To reduce the risk of infection in horses, close contact with untreated donkeys should bo avoided. To reduce the overall volume of infection in donkeys, regular treatment( every eight weeks) with ivermectin is recommended: feces samples collected at the time of treatment should be examined to monitor the effectiveness of such a treatment regime.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Post

Stallion Infertility: Most Common Causes of Breeding Failure in Horse Farm

Stallion becomes sire because of f reproductive capability. The stallions are selected based on performance, pedigree, and confirmation, and...

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs: What To Know As A Dog Owner

Rocky Mountain spotted fever in dogs is a Rickettsiae belonging to the spotted fever group (SPG). RMSF is responsible...

8 Most Common Methods of Horse Teasing For Detection of Heat

The process of heat detection is critical in the breeding process of mares. Heat detection is done by using...

Suffolk Punch Horse: Most Important Information About This Rare Breed

Suffolk Punch or Suffolk sorrel is a draft horse breed of England. The horse was named after a place,...

Editors' Pick

Dog Fever: Most Important Information For Dog Owner

Dog Fever is a common presenting sign of many infectious, metabolic, immune-mediated, and neoplastic disease processes manifested by increased...

10 Facts on Diarrhea in Horses: Management Guide For Horse Owner

Diarrhea in Horses involves the passage of loose or liquid feces at an increased frequency. It is one of...

Top 10 Small Horse Breeds Reviewed for Kids and Children

The horses are one of the best companion animals for the human being. All horses are not equally important...

Horse Grooming: Everything You Must Know As A Horse Owner

Horse grooming is the systematic care of the coat and feet of the horse. It is of particular importance...

Editors' Pick