Yuck! Bot fly larvae!

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Cupcake

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When I bought my mini, her legs were covered in bot fly eggs, after trying unsuccessfully to remove them I just clipped her when it warmed up and have dewormed her ever since.

Now, 10 months later (which would match up with the "cycle" of eggs - larvae) I wormed her with ivermectin last week and a few days later I discovered 2 nasty HUGE (for a mini horse anyway - but of course flies don't decrease in size with the size of the horse!) on one of her poop piles. My trainer recommended I treat both of my horses again 2 weeks after the first time to make sure they're eliminated.

What's your experience with bots?
 

Cupcake

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Oh and also would her potbelly have a relation to these? I have been managing to reduce it tremendously by adjusting her hay/feed but I was wondering of that had anything to do with it.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Bots are not as harmful as other parasites. They are just super ugly! Some wormers do not kill bots; ivermectin is one that does.

I doubt you need to worm again for them as they are pretty easy to get rid of. They may shed for several days after the ivermectin dose.

How can just a little fly make such a huge larvae!!?

I never had any bot flies at my place until two neighbors moved in who brought home auction horses regularly. Now I have to deal with them every year. I get the clippers out everytime I spot some eggs and zip them off. Some people can remove the eggs with a hoof knife or razor. To me it is easier to skim them off with the clipper.

Do not think bots were the "potbelly" problem; personally I believe that is an issue of nutrition and excercise.
 

muffntuf

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Pot belly on miniatures generally means not enough protein, maybe ( a big maybe) hay quality is not up to snuff.
 

rabbitsfizz

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The Ivermectin has killed the bots, that is why you are seeing the dead ones in the droppings. I very much doubt you need to worm again, as the dead larvae would indicate that the dewormer has done it's job. Unless the horse was infested to an unparalleled level it would not cause a pot belly. As already said, lack of protein is the most common cause of pot bellies. An awful lot of people think their horses are fat because they have these bellies, and cut back on their feeds to try to "slim them down" when, in fact, they actually need more food,

If you are happy that your filly is not under weight then I would not worry too much about the belly until the spring. You can always do a faeces check if you do think she still has worms.
 

Margo_C-T

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I have not seen a bot fly NOR a single bot egg for about 6-8 years now! I attribute that to my manure management(picked up twice daily from pens, horses never turned out 'on pasture'(sparse native grasses only, many 'dry' years, so little if any grazing)for long enough to poop while out(they 'thoughtfully' wait until they are 'put up' again to poop in their pens!)and if they do poop 'outside', I go out and pick THAT up, too--also, to the fact that my only near-neighbor w/horses has only two, no 'ins and outs', and apparently deworms efficiently. However...a couple of months ago, I had a Shetland mare here for a couple of weeks...and the first thing I noticed was some(not many, thankfully)bot eggs on her legs and flanks! I immediately worked on her w/ a pumice block before she could ingest them and become infested w/ the larvae 'down the road'.

I would not be overly concerned about finding just two bot larvae, and not sure I would deworm again w/ ivermectin that soon just due to that discovery. Bot larvae ARE ugly,but possibly not as potentially harmful as some of the others; that said, ANY internal parasites, in large numbers, 'can' be quite harmful; some may leave 'scarring' on internal organs,even after being killed and 'ejected' from the body...better to prevent HEAVY infestations. Recently, I have read more and more that there is some basis for not trying to TOTALLY eliminate EVERY single internal parasite, though.For one thing, the worms 'may' become resistant if any/all of the dewormers are overused.

I do not deworm as frequently as I once did. I do not have young stock: as said, I practice frequent and thorough manure removal, my horses seldom have access to pasture, and I continuously evaluate their condition and appearance.

Margo
 

Cupcake

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I do the same, and get laughed at for "picking up after my horse" in the pasture. But I do it for several reasons, parasites, smell, fly control, appearance (my pasture runs along my backyard, 30 feet from the fence) and I also compost the manure. I built a impost bin with 3 compartments and they all get rotated once a month and turned at least once a week (by hand - my workout
)

I have seen horses have runny (and I mean RUNNY!) diarrhea and standing in their own manure and urine where you could watch the live worms having a ball. I pick up in the morning and at night when I feed so it never gets out of control. It's just of my routine. Probably wouldn't work if I had more horses but these two are manageable.

Glad to hear that bots are mainly "just ugly", like I mentioned with the time frame they are the "leftovers" of her previous home. I've never seen any eggs on my gelding, she was covered in them when I bought her - 10 months ago, the time it takes for the larvae to develop.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Margo, you are fortunate in your neighbors. It would be nice to think that keeping one's lots/pastures clean would eliminate bot flies, but as long as there are people who don't within flight distance of the fly, there will be bots.

The first time I saw the larvae I was so shocked! I thought my horse would surely die after having something like that in his body. He was my first miniature, and I did the routine what-you-do-when-you-bring-home-a-new-horse. I'm sure it was the parasites I couldn't see that he was most glad to get rid of!

Most horse folk I know do not even bother about the eggs. Sometimes they worm after the first frost, when the fly dies.
 

rabbitsfizz

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I have not bothered with eggs on the legs....well, ever to be honest! I use Ivermectin as my base wormer anyway, so they get it every eight weeks, and I don't have a problem with bots. Margo is 100% right- all horses actually need some very low worm infestation as they are such poor digesters of the foodstuffs they are given that the worms have become part of the digestive system. Horses were leaf eaters and need a huge amount of fibre in their diet, but the fibre they are now evolved to eat, ie grass, is not the fibre their gut digests well- unlike ruminants that evolved a system of digesting grass effectively. Horses are a walking disaster area really, but the trick is to keep it all in balance. This is one of the main reasons I never trust a worm count that tells me my horse has "no worms" sorry, no such thing- or if there is it is heading for colic at a rate of knots!! A worm burden within normal parameters is what I aim for.
 

Lil Eowyn

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Bot Flies were really 'popular' around here this late summer and early fall. I went to my cousins to visit since I was going to pick up my new horse in that area, and her horse had eggs attached to his legs etc. I warned them and they bought a horse shave and got rid of them right away. Late that day I went to pick up my new horse and I noticed the other horse (the owners were traveling to a barrel race so they brought Cash [my new horse] with them so they could deliver him on their way to the barrel race) anyway, I noticed her barrel horse had bot flies. She new and was taking care of them, and two days after I brought Cash home, he had gotten bot fly eggs on him. Thankfully I had a horse shave in the tack room and shaved them all off of his legs. A Horse shave works nicely because it hardly removes any hair and removes the eggs right away. I haven't had a problem with bot flies ever since I removed the eggs in September. (this is the kind I use: http://www.google.com/imgres?q=horse+shave&hl=en&safe=off&sa=X&tbo=d&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS459US459&biw=1680&bih=949&tbm=isch&tbnid=ZRpl3lrbzhGVDM:&imgrefurl=http://www.equinesource.com/browseproducts/Horse-Shaver.HTML&docid=kiTAP_lw1AR-bM&imgurl=http://www.equinesource.com/productimages/main/HORSE_SHAVE.jpg&w=413&h=261&ei=vPfRUNX9NIGCrAGFooHYAw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=4&vpy=132&dur=273&hovh=178&hovw=283&tx=115&ty=74&sig=101701972585912633316&page=1&tbnh=133&tbnw=219&start=0&ndsp=57&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:90)
 

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