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Chartreux horse deaths blamed on parasite

FOLLOWING a series of investigations into the deaths of 23 horses at Alain Brandebourger's Haras des Chartreux in Normandy, it has been discovered that the majority were caused by larval cyathostomosis.

The disease, which is caused by encysted small strongyles (worms), can cause significant inflammation of the colon resulting in weight loss, diarrhoea, oedema of the legs and abdomen, and potentially death in the most severe cases.

Following investigations into the large amount of horses lost at the beginning of this year, the stud's 12 stallions have now been able to start covering again.

Benedicte Ferry from the Veterinary Service of Calvados said: "Alain Brandebourger has had a series of unfortunate problems with an important parasite, linked with a resistance to wormers.

"The problem was a lot worse because we have had such a bad winter. No animal was ever the object of mistreatment or malnutrition."

Encysted small strongyles can remain in the lining of the intestinal track for up to three years prior to causing the symptoms of the disease. Equine parasitologists consider cyathosomes (small strongyles), to be the number one nematode (roundworm) problem in horses.





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