The small strongyles also called cyathostomins are among the most important intestinal nematodes of horses (Lyons et al.
Clinically infection with small strongyles can cause mild disease symptoms such as weight loss loss of appetite poor hair coat intermittent diarrhoea lethargy deterioration of condition peripheral edema and disordered intestinal motility (McCraw and Slocombe 1976; Love and Duncan 1992; Love et al.
Internal phase of large strongyles larval development encompasses a somatic migration whereas those of small strongyles burrow into the glands in the caecum and colon and become encysted with no further migration.
The pattern of larval migration among large and small strongyles differs; (1).
Small strongyles larvae invade the lining of the cecum and ventral colon where they grow within fibrous cysts in the mucosa or submucosa and can reside as long as 2.
Pathogenesis: Naturally infected horses usually carry a mixed load of large and small strongyles in the intestine (Owend and Slocombe 1985).
Due to the difficulty in differentiating the effect of species in naturally acquired mixed infections there is lack of detailed information on the pathological effects of individual species of small strongyles (Ogbourne 1976; Reinemeyer et al.
The encysted larvae of small strongyles can emerge synchronously from intestinal wall leading to the clinical disease called larval cyathostominosis' which is associated with clinical signs of oedema diarrhoea pyrexia weight loss colic and can be fatal in up to 50% of cases (Gasser et al 2004).
The Baermann technique is also a successful method for the recovery of small strongyles immature larvae in the faeces of clinically diseased horses.
Cy-GALA-1 identification in small strongyles infestation is an exciting advancement but a semi quantitative assay has to be developed for authentication.