Synopsis: In the latest episode of “The Parasite Journey of the Horse”, equine parasitologist Martin Nielsen checks out bots.
Bots are not worms, but they are parasites. There are several species of these insects, but the equine scene is dominated by gasterophilus intestinalis. “Most of the time when you see bots they’re from one single species. There are a few others that are extremely rare.”
The eggs of gasterophilus intestinalis are most likely found on the horse’s legs, shoulders, and possibly the mane. The eggs of gasterophilus nasalis will be seen around the mouth.
The eggs of gasterophilus intestinalis are most likely found on the horse’s legs, shoulders, and possibly the mane.
Being insects, their lifecycle is different from the previous parasites. Bots are seen flying around mostly in late summer. Many horses don’t like them, but they don’t sting or bite and they never land on the horse. “The female flies are laying their eggs while they’re flying in the air, and they glue these eggs onto the coat of the horse,” Nielsen says.
Nielsen’s videos fall into one of three categories: short videos addressing common misconceptions about parasite control; longer educational videos outlining important concepts in parasite control; and videos that inform viewers about current findings, research needs and the importance of UK’s equine research herds.
“As a university researcher, I have an obligation to communicate about my area of research to the public. I am constantly searching for the most efficient way to do so. In this day and age, it seems obvious to communicate about these things on social media,” Nielsen said.
“I hope to get some useful information into the hands of horse owners, farm managers and equine veterinarians — and to build some awareness about some of the work we do at the Gluck Center.
“I wanted to try to address common misconceptions and myths in equine parasite control. In this series, I’ll address one myth or misconception at a time and in 45 seconds or less, I will explain why it is exactly that — a myth or misconception. These will be interspersed with a few longer videos providing more background information and highlighting recent research findings.”