Tapeworms

Operation Gelding
I am pleased to report that Operation Gelding was a resounding success! On October 23, 2010 seven horses and two donkeys were castrated on a beautiful fall morning.
CGES staff members Teresa Owens, Fred Cook, Kelly Canez, Dr. Catherine Hall and I donated our time to complete the event. Local horse owner Cheri Rape graciously donated her time and spent the day with us as our medical records secretary. We were joined by six veterinary students from the University Of Georgia College Of Veterinary Medicine. The second and third year veterinary students were all members of the Student Chapter of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (SCAAEP). The group focuses on equine activities for veterinary students with an interest in equine practice.
 The students took turns participating as the presurgical examiner, anesthetist, surgical assistant and as the operating surgeon. They were an enthusiastic group getting to make their first field surgeries at CGES.
We applaud the Unwanted Hoarse Coalition for their sponsorship of the event.


Horses Wanted
In these tough economic times we still need our horses perhaps even more than ever. Horses provide us with exercise. We clean stalls, drag water hoses, sweep aisle ways, pick up hay bales and feed sacks not mention saddles. We use our muscles grooming, currying, tacking and bandaging. The act of riding uses muscles that may not be used in our traditional forms of exercise. Riding helps with our balance as well. Our horses provide mental stimulation. Just try to stay one step ahead of a hard-to-catch horse or think about your next step to teach that flying lead change. But their biggest gift may be as companions. The emotional rewards that come with horses recharge our spirits and allow us to continue with the less rewarding parts of our lives.
Recently several clients have advised us that they are looking for replacement mounts. You may know of a horse that might be suitable.
Pat Maddox lost her beloved Arabian gelding Count Galifix “Sport” at the age of 24 years. Pat has an empty spot in her life. You can reach Pat at 478-956-4866.
Susan Turner was an avid hunter-jumper rider and her horse can no longer be used as a riding horse. She’s looking for a horse that will enable her to once again enjoy these activities. You can contact Susan at sue1147@yahoo.com
College-bound student Katie Nobles recently lost her Thoroughbred Pyrite Bounce “Bouncey” to colic. Katie would like to continue riding as an intercollegiate rider. Her family is unable to afford the purchase of a new horse and pay tuition as well. contact Katie at cindygail30@yahoo.com
Finally, we also have several horses that are ready for adoption.
Mark Stevens has a purebred 8 year old Arabian gelding ready for a good home. Thee Mombasa is a sweet and kind horse. Call Mark for more information at 478-962-3368 or masgaboy@yahoo.com
Kathleen O’Neal has a 25 year old Quarter Horse mare that has been used as a hunter and trial riding horse and is an excellent mount for children.  Contact Kathleen at kath.oneal@gmail.com
Gene Davis has a registered 2 year old Tennessee Walking Horse gelding, sorrel with a flaxen mane and tail. He’s had several months of training. Contact Gene at 478-494-1002.

Tapeworms

You heard all the jokes; every skinny kid heard this one. “He’s so thin he must have a tapeworm”. Well in horses tapeworms cause a different type of problem, while they rarely cause weight loss they can be an important cause of colic.
Horse tapeworms don’t look like tapeworms from dogs, cats or even people. Tapeworms in the horse are flat, white and vary in length form 1 inch to up to 30 inches depending upon the species. But you are not likely to ever see one.
Tapeworms attach to the intestinal wall with sucker-like mouth parts. These attachment sites become irritated and swollen causing the intestine to malfunction. The most common type of tapeworm lives at the ileocecal junction where the ileum (the last section of small intestine) joins the cecum. When the intestinal wall becomes swollen from tapeworm irritation it can block the intestine causing an impaction or worse yet it can cause an intussusception when one segment of intestine telescopes into another. Without surgery horses with an intussusception will die.
There are 3 species of tapeworms.
  • Anoplocephala perfoliata - lives at the ileocecal junction and grows to about 1 inch in length
  • Paranoplocephala mamillana - lives in the stomach & small intestine and are smaller in size.
  • Anoplocephala magna - lives in the stomach & small intestine as well but can reach lengths of up to 30 inches.
Horses get tapeworms while grazing. Eggs are passed in the horses’ manure and then ingested by Orabatid mites living on the pasture. The eggs hatch and the larvae continue to develop within the mite. Orabatid mites living in the soil crawl up blades of grass during periods of hot, humid weather. When the horse takes a bite of grass he ingests the mite. The larvae continue to develop into adult tapeworms within the horses’ gut.
Tapeworms don’t produce a lot of eggs so fecal exams are frequently negative unless they are very high numbers of eggs. A blood test was developed by the University of Tennessee to detect infections in cases where fecal tests are negative. Testing a large number of US horses showed the high rates of infection except areas with a desert climate.
Tapeworms can be easily treated by using selected products. All horses who graze on pasture should be treated once yearly for tapeworms. It is a good idea to do this treatment in the late fall or winter after a killing frost.

Well that's all for now. We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank for reading.
Charlene