Horse Diseases > Horse Colic > Worm Colic

Worm Colic

Parasites of many kinds reside in the intestnal canal of horses. There are three kinds of tapeworms, one long roundworm, and several kinds of smaller roundworms. Besides these are the bot-fly grubs.

The intestinal worm most commonly seen is the long roundworm, known as Ascaris equorum. They are white or reddish in color and measure from 4 to 12 inches length. In thickness they vary from the size of a rye straw to that of a lady's little finger, being thickest at the middle and tapering at both ends. They are found singly or in groups or masses, and infest chiefly the small intestines.

Worm Colic Symptoms. - Symptoms ofintestinal worms are not always observed, even when many parasites are present. If the infestation is extreme, there may be slight colicky pains at times, or there may only be switching of the tall, frequent passages of manure, and some slight straining, itching of the anus, and rubbing of the tail or rump against the stall or fences; the horse is in poor condition; does not shed his coat; is hidebound and potbellied; the appetite is depraved, licking the walls, biting the wooden work of the stalls, licking parts of his body, eating earth, and being particularly fond of salt; the bowels are irregular, constipation or diarrhea being noticed.

Some place much dependence upon the symptom of itching of the upper lip, as shown by the horse frequently turning it up and rubbing it upon the wall or stalls. Others again declare that whenever we see the adherence of a dried whitish substance about the anus, worms are present.

The one symptom, however, that we should always look for, and certainly the only one that may not deceive us, is seeing the worms or their eggs (by the use of a microscope) in the dung.