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Vet Parasitol. 1997 Jun;70(1-3):99-110.

The pathogenic effects of experimental cyathostome infections in ponies.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Bearsden, UK.

Erratum in

  • Vet Parasitol 1998 Nov 16;79(3):267-8.


Nine pony breed foals were reared indoors, then allocated to one of three groups infected with either 3.9 million (Group A) or 3.15 million (Group B) cold-conditioned third stage cyathostome larvae or kept as uninfected controls (Group C). The larvae were administered as a 'trickle' infection of 150000 larvae per dose, three times weekly. Blood biochemical and haematological analyses were performed weekly and faecal worm egg counts bi-weekly. Complete parasitological examinations were performed on all ponies at various times post-initial infection (PI): one infected animal at 9 weeks PI, four animals (three infected, one control) at 20 weeks PI and four animals (two infected, two controls) at 60-62 weeks PI. All ponies in the infected groups experienced a marked reduction in weight gain and two animals developed clinical disease: one pony developed intermittent diarrhoea and colic 8 weeks PI; another pony developed intermittent diarrhoea between 30 and 52 weeks PI. All infected ponies had decreased serum fructosamine concentrations and five had decreased serum albumin, which were first apparent 4-6 weeks PI. Alterations in the composition of serum globulins were detected in all ponies. Transient neutrophilia was observed in five animals from the infected groups 3-9 weeks PI. Serum alkaline phosphatase concentrations were increased in one pony between 30 and 60 weeks PI. During the course of the experiment, faecal samples from all infected animals were negative for worm eggs. At necropsy, cyathostome larvae were present within the mucosa of the large intestine of all infected ponies, however the mucosal larval counts varied considerably between individuals.

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