Kelby Myers – Epidemiologic survey of internal parasites in equids from a rural community on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
To determine the species of equine parasites in Merida by double sugar centrifugation and quantify infections using the McMaster fecal technique. Body condition scoring, hematocrit and plasma total solids will determine the impact of these parasites on the host.
The horses in the community of Merida on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua have a significant infection with intestinal nematodes. These infections have a negative impact on their body condition, hematocrit and plasma total solids, which could be better treated with proper use of antihelminthics.
This study will involve collection of 100 fecal and blood samples from available horses owned by Merida farmers both brought to the clinic and out on farm calls. Parasite ova will be identified using double sugar centrifugation technique and sedimentation and quantified using modified McMaster’s technique2. Packed cell volume, total protein and body condition score will be recorded for each animal. Information regarding management practices of the horse owners will be collected via voluntary survey participation. The survey questions will involve yes or no questions translated into Spanish regarding feeding routine, housing, water availability, designated use, veterinary treatment history and access (if any), and reproductive status.