Instructor Vern Dooley
April 15 2014
Strongyle's are the largest and most significant family of worms in horses, they’re also the most dangerous. In fact, they’re considered responsible for the vast majority of serious parasite-related health problems in adult horses, and they have the capacity to kill. Strongyles are nematodes, with rough cylindrical bodies that are round in cross-section. ----- range from a half-inch to two inches in length. varieties of strongyles are blood red in color, although most species are white. The adults have well defined mouth parts with teeth, the better to latch on to your horse’s intestinal wall. Unlike the tapeworms, strongyles have separate sexes, and males can be distinguished from females by the shape of their tails. Few worms are more prolific-female strongyles lay eggs almost constantly, making it easy to detect a horse infected with adult strongyles by examining manure for eggs. All strongyles of horses have direct life cycles. This means that they can be transmitted between hosts without involving a different species of animal. -(1)
Although dozens of species of strongyles are known to infect horses in North America, they can be divided into twmajor groups—large strongyles (Strongylinae, or large bloodworms) and small strongyles (the Cyathostominae, also called cyathostomes or cyathostomins). These two groups differ in several major and minor features, but their developmental patterns and responses to environmental conditions are virtually identical. Size is the most obvious difference between the large and small strongyles. Largestrongyles are relatively stout worms up to two inches long, whereas small strongyles are small, hair-like worms, yet they can still be seen with the naked eye.
Although their life cycles outside the horse are practically identical, the large and small strongyles have very different approaches to infection once they’ve arrived...
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