An internal parasite that lives in the small intestine, often transferred to a foal from it’s mother’milk…


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  1. Strongyloides (Threadworm)

    Strongyloides westeri is an intestinal parasite that can infect foals as early as four days after birth. A foal becomes infected by ingestion of larvae in the dam’s milk or by penetration of the foal’s skin by infected larvae in the bedding. However, the larvae are not present in colostrum. The larvae migrate through the lungs and the small intestine. The life cycle can be completed in less than two weeks. This creates the potential for severe infestations in a relatively short time. Foals will quickly develop immunity to these parasites and lose the intestinal infection of adult parasites by 60 to 90 days of age.

    The primary medical problem of a strongyloides infection is diarrhea that may not respond to treatment. Some foals will become dehydrated and develop other problems related to chronic diarrhea. Treatment of mares with an anthelmintic effective against strongyloides within 24 hours of birth significantly reduces transmission of this parasite to foals.

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