Small strongyles: An emerging parasite problem for horses

Thomas R. Kiel, Dennis D. French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for this workshop became apparent as equine clinicians and parasitologists struggle to establish a means of diagnosis and a therapeutic plan to deal with infections of small strongyles, or Cyathostomes, in horses. The most dramatic signs of small strongyle induced disease are sudden onset diarrhea and a protein-losing enteropathy. This set of signs is given the term "larval cyathostomosis" and usually affects horses between one and three years of age. This disease entity has been suggested to be more common in the United Kingdom than In the United States, 1 but has been described recently in Kentucky. 2 The condition is difficult to diagnose because there is usually only a mild fever In the early stages, and affected horses do not demonstrate severe clinical signs until the late stages of the disease. Colic has also been associated with infections, usually with mild signs of discomfort commonly called spasmodic colic. Weight loss may occur without other clinical signs, and if the condition is treated with anthelmintics, they may exacerbate the condition. Which species of Cyathostomes are the most important? What causes them to become pathogenic? What are the pathophysiological mechanisms that these larvae use to cause disease? Is there a true difference between the incidence of disease from Europe and North America? How can we control these parasites in the face of increasing resistance to many chemotherapeutic agents that are available? These are the type of questions posed in this workshop which brought parasitologists from around the world to express their thoughts. The following article was generated at the time of the discussion and details the transcript of the information as completely as possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-30
Number of pages5
JournalEquine Pratice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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