How Do Parasite Infections Affect Gut Health In Horses

Researchers in Europe recently looked at parasitic infections, specifically strongyles, in horses and the effects they have on the host’s gut bacteria.

Strongyle infestations can pose major health risks for horses, as this parasite specifically utilizes the same functions as the gut microbiota and can therefore affect the latter’s performance.

The researchers executed a 5-month study using 20 Welsh ponies, all of which were kept indoors for three months prior to the study and tested negative for parasite infections. Half of the ponies were found to be susceptible to strongyle infection (they had a record of high fecal egg count), while the other half were not (consistently showed resistance on fecal tests).

During the study, the horses were turned out and allowed to graze on pasture. During regular intervals, fecal egg counts, blood samples and biochemical data were gathered from all horses.

Read more at HorseTalk NZ.

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