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Occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in horses in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia

Boxell, A.C., Gibson, K.T., Hobbs, R.P. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2004) Occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in horses in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. Australian Veterinary Journal, 82 (1-2). pp. 91-95.

Abstract

Objective: To assess the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in horses in Perth. To apply polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the identification of some species of encysted larval cyathostomes. Design: Between February and September of 2000, the gastrointestinal tracts of 29 horses submitted to a local knackery and Murdoch University Veterinary hospital in Perth were examined post mortem for the presence of gastrointestinal parasites. Procedure: The gastrointestinal tract was divided into six sections, which were screened for the presence of parasites such as Gasterophilus sp, Anoplocephala sp and Parascaris equorum. Samples of contents were taken for worm counts. Results: Cyathostomes were found in 28 of the 29 horses. Eighteen species of gastrointestinal helminths were identified. Twelve of these were cyathostomes, with the four most common species being Cyathostomum catinatum, Cylicocyclus nassatus, Cylicostephanus longibursatus and Cylicostephanus goldi. The large strongyle, Triodontophorus serratus, was found in three of the horses but species of Strongylus were not found. Conclusions: In contrast to a study conducted on horses from this region in 1985, cyathostomes were the most common gastrointestinal parasites found. The four most common cyathostome species found in the present study correlated well with findings of studies in other locations. The high number of cyathostomes may be due to the increase in resistance to anthelmintics among the species, and to improper anthelmintic use. The apparent reduction in number of large strongyles may be due to the widespread use of ivermectin, which is very effective against these parasites, and also possibly because some larvae may not have been detected.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/10360
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