Infestation of Werneckiella equi on Icelandic horses, characteristics of predilection sites and lice dermatitis

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2005
Authors:K. S. Larsen, Eydal, M., Mencke, N., Sigurdsson, H.
Journal:Parasitology research
Pagination:398 - 401
Date Published:2005
Keywords:animals, Anoplura, dermatitis, Horse Diseases, horses, Iceland, Lice Infestations/epidemiology/pathology/veterinary, Mallophaga, Parasitic disease

Lice infestations on horses caused by the lice Werneckiella (Damalinia) equi and Haematopinus equi are observed worldwide. In this study, the distribution and clinical manifestations of lice on Icelandic horses were examined. Thirty-eight out of 93 animals (40.86%) were identified as infested with W. equi. Sixty-eight animals (73.12%) presented dermatological lesions associated with lice infestation, while only 32 of these animals presented lice. Six animals had no clinical signs although of being lice-positive, and 19 animals (20.43%) showed neither lice nor clinical manifestations. Lice burdens varied from animal to animal, and clinical manifestations occurred at all levels of infestation. Focal alopecia was the main clinical sign (83.78%) on lice-positive horses, while scaling and crusts occurred in 10.81% and 9.68% of the cases, respectively. Clinical signs present in the head and the neck/mane area were found to be an indication of lice infestation in horses.

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