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Horse Health and Disease: Lesson 3


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What is preventative medicine?
Procedures done on a routine basis to protect and insure peak performance of a horse.
What are some examples of preventative procedures?
-tooth care
-hoof care
-Coggins testing
Which horses have parasites?
ALL horses except foals immediately after birth (no transplacental infections).
What two situations can give rise to parasitic problems?
-too many parasites (acute infestation)
-stress on host
What are some stress factors to a horse?
What injurious effects can parasites do? (6)
-blood loss
-tissue destruction
-mechanical obstruction
-competition for nutrition
-carry disease
What affects the depth of injury from parasites?
-number of parasites
-pathogenic potential
-resistance status of host
-acute vs chronic
What are some signs a horse has internal parasites?
-pot bellied
-rough hair coat
-dull, listless
What are the blood worms known as?
Large strongyles
What is the most common large strongyles?
Strongylus vulgaris
What is so important or damaging about Strongylus vulgaris?
It migrates to the cranial mesenteric artery where it causes severe damage. Embolus' can come lose and lodge in a vessel causing necrosis of GI tract.
What is the life cycle of Strongylus vulgaris?
-adults in cecum/lg. colon where they suck blood and damage mucosa.
-eggs out in feces
-eggs develop into infective larvae (can survive for months)
-larvae ingested by horse
-larvae undergo extensive migration to liver, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, and then into cranial mesenteric artery.
-when adults, they return to lg. colon
What is the name of colic possibly responsible for 90% of total colic cases?
thromboembolic colic
What are the small strongyles called? Are they problematic?
cyathostomes are not very problematic.
Where do you find adult cyathostomes?
Since migration is limited to intestinal wall, adults are in cecum and intestestinal wall.
How many species of cyathostomes are there? What are symptoms of them?
40-50 species causing weight loss, diarrhea, and colic.
What are roundworms commonly known as? What is their latin name.
Ascarids. Parascaris equorum is latin name.
Which horse most often have ascarids?
Young horses under 2 y/o. (Resistance develops around 6 months of age.
How large are roundworms?
10-12" long, the largest of all equine endoparasites
What is the ascarid life cycle?
-adults in small intestine
-eggs out in feces
-eggs ingested
-larvae penetrate intestinal wall and migrate to lungs and liver
-horse coughs up and swallows
-matures in small intestine
Describe ascarid eggs and why they're so problematic.
Ascarid eggs are very resisten and can live for years in stables and pastures. Furthermore, females can lay 200,000 eggs per day.
What can you do to prevent intestinal blocking during de-worming?
Split medicine in two doses.
What are stomach worms known as?
What are the three species of Habronema?
Habronema muscae, Habronema microstoma, Draschia megastoma.
What does Habronema do?
They cause stomach ulcers and "summer sores".
How are summer sores developed?
-larvae deposited by horse and carried by stable flies
-stable flies deposit eggs in existing wounds or warm, moist areas
-this causes large, non-healing wounds in hypersensitive horses
What are pinworms called?
Oxyuris equi
What is a sign of pinworms?
-The horse rubs it's back end on walls (rupture of gravid female on anus and perineum causing intense pruritis).
-crusts or flakes can be seen around anus.
Where do adults pinworms live?
distal large colon
What are tapeworms called?
What are two types of tapeworms?
Anaplocephala perfoliata
Anaplocephala magna
Where are adult tapeworms found in body and how do they get there?
Adults found in small and large intestine. They require a mite as an intermediate host and must be ingested.
What is intussusception?
The intestine telescopes into itself.
What can tapeworms cause internally?
ulcerations and ileo-cecal intussusception
What are bots?
The bot fly!
What are some types of bots?
Gasterophilus intestinalis,
Gasterophilus nasalis
Gasterophilus hemorroidalis
What is the life cycle of bots?
-adult deposits eggs on hair of legs, lips, and chin
-humid breath promotes hatching
-larvae migrate through mouth to stomach where they attach
-10 months later they detach and pass out of feces
-they pupate in manure and become adults in 1-2 months.
What are the 6 common ways to diagnose parasitism?
1) Direct smear
2) Cellophane tape
3) Fecal flotation
4) Quantitative tests
5) Fecal culture
6) Post-mortem
What are the 6 vaccines vet's recommend to do?
1) Rabies
2) West nile virus
3) influenza
4) rhinopneumonitis
5) tetanus
6) Eastern/Western encephalomyelitis
What neurotoxin causes tetanus?
Clostridium tetani
How does tetanospasmin work?
It blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter causing extended contraction of muscles.
What does a horse do if it has tetanus?
It over-reacts to normal stimuli: trismus (clenched jaw), disphagia (trouble swallowing), anxious expression, erect ears and tail, flared nostrils, prolapsed 3rd eyelid, saw-horse stance.
How can you prevent tetanus?
TAT (tetanus antitoxin) at birth (or after wounds), and tetanus toxoid yearly.
When do you vaccinate with tetanus toxoid?
give foals first shot at 3-4 months and booster with 2-4 week shot. Continue yearly.
What disease can be prevented with an Eastern/ Western version of the shot.
Encephalomyelitis (EEE;WEE)
What transmits Encephalomyelitis?
Mosquito's, natural reservoir is birds and rodents.
Is Encephalomyelitis communicable with other horses?
No, they are dead-end hosts.
What does Encephalomyelitis target?
What are the signs of Encephalomyelitis as it attacks the central nervous system?
dementia, head pressing, circling, depression, dysphagia, weakness, ataxia (drunken behavior), seizures.
What is the incubation period of Encephalomyelitis?
1-3 weeks
What type of infection is Encephalomyelitis?
RNA virus (alphavirus)
What is the Herpes virus?
What are the 3 forms of Rhinopneumonitis?
1) respiratory form (most common)
2)abortion form
3) neurologic form
What are the signs of the respiratory form of Rhinopneumonitis?
-fever, cough nasal, discharge.
-Found mostly where many young horses congregate
When does abortion occur in Rhinopneumonitis?
3rd trimester
In the neurologic form of Rhinopneumonitis what are the symptoms?
posterior paresis, ataxia, and paralysis. This may be self limiting and reversible.
What virus can you vaccinate for of influenza?
What are the symptoms of influenza?
Upper respiratory signs: fever, depression, cough, nasal discharge.
Are medicines given for influenza?
No, it is a virus so ab's are only needed if an infection is secondary to influenza.
Is influenza communicable with other horses?
VERY! It often occurs where large groups of horses congregate (like children in schools).
What preventative vax's can be given for Influenza?
2 vax, 3weeks apart ~4-6m/o.
Continue yearly or as needed depending on exposure.
What is Rabies also known as?
What mammals are primary targets?
skunks, fox, and racoons
What is bad about rabies?
It is always fatal and cases are increasing yearly (3 cases since 1992).
What is the virus name of West Nile Virus?
Where did West Nile Virus originate from?
Africa, Asia, and Southern Europe. In 1999, it began in N.Y.
What are the natural hosts for West Nile Virus?
birds and mosquitos. mammals are dead-end hosts.
What is the incubation for West Nile Virus?
1-6 days.
What are clinical signs of West Nile Virus?
-muscle tremors
-fever, anorexia, sweating, teeth grinding
How can you diagnose West Nile Virus? Treatment?
Use blood tests, CSF tests, and clinical signs. No definative treatment.
What is the vaccine schedule for West Nile Virus?
2-3 vax given at 3 weeks apart prior to mosquito season.
What is the secondary immune response to a booster called?
anamnestic response
What are 6 other available vax's given based on necessity?
1) Potomac Horse Fever
2) Strangles
3) Leptospirosis
4) Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis
5) Equine viral arteritis
6) Equine protozoal myelitis (EPM)
What is Potomac Horse fever called? How does a horse get it?
Ehrlichia risticii. It is gotten through aquatic insect ingestion.
What are the signs of Potomac Horse fever?
fever, depression, diarrhea, founder, fatal in about 30%.
What is Streptococcus equi commonly know as? Describe it fully.
A very contagious Strangles. Vax given IN (intranasal). Symptoms include fever, lymph nose abscessation, and snotty nose.
What are some signs of tooth problems?
-weight loss
-poor performance
-abnormal chewing
What is the wolf tooth?
Vestigial tooth that is usually removed to prevent pain. It is the first Premolor (PM1).
What do vets check for in routine dental work?
-Any problem behaviors
Why do you pick and clean a horses foot daily?
Check for material that may cause:
-thrush impaction
What is Coggins testing?
A blood test for antibodies to equine infectious anemia (Lentivirus).
Who requires Cogins testing?
-shows and boarders
-interstate travel
-selling of horse (60 days)
What are clinical signs of Lentivirus?
fever, depression, anemia, and edema
How long does a Coggins test take to run?
48 hours.
How is Lentivirus spread?
Through flies and mosquitos as a viral disease.
Is this communicable with other horses?
Yes, this is contagious among horses. Some horses can even be carriers and spread it around!
Which part of the upper teeth in a horse are sharp?
outside of teeth
Which part of the bottom teeth in a horse are sharp?
inside of teeth

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