Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wormy Wednesday!

How embarrassing - my posterior bulb is showing!
Another installment of Wormy Wednesday for you folks out there just dying to learn a few fast facts about Oxyuris equi, more commonly known as the equine pinworm. 

Named because the female pinworm has a distinctive long, pin-like tail, this parasite resides primarily in the colon of horses.  The female adult worms the migrate to the rectum of the horse to lay their eggs.  This creates a stick white-yellow paste around the perianal region of the infected horse.  Understandably, this is itchy and pinworm-infected horses characteristically rub their tails on stall doors and fence posts, subsequently breaking tail hairs.

Rarely a pinworm-infected horse suffers from clinically significant health problems other than broken tail hair.

Pinworms can be diagnosed in the oh-so-technical test called the scotch-tape test.  This is exactly what it sounds like.  One takes a piece of scotch tape and sticks it to the horse's derriere.  The tape will pick up the pinworm eggs, which can then be viewed under a microscope.  Many common equine dewormers on the market treat pinworms. 

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