• "ani sh bot eggs • Pain control options •Simple brush cleaning •Fall la mini tis alert
As you groom your horse at this time of year, keep a sharp eye out for bot eggs. Yellow, sticky and shaped like tiny grains of rice, these eggs are deposited on a horse’s body by botflies, usually on the forelegs, chest and belly. These locations are strategically chosen by the insects because the life cycle of the parasite requires that the eggs be licked by the horse and taken into his mouth. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into fissures of the tongue and gums. After they mature, they emerge from the tissues to be swallowed, so they can attach themselves to the lining of the stomach. Several months later, the larvae break free from the stomach wall and pass out with the horse’s manure. There they develop into adult flies, starting the cycle again. A dose of ivermectin in December will kill the larvae inside the stomach, interrupting the life cycle, but that doesn’t spare your horse the itchy irritation of having larvae burrow into the tissues of his mouth. Removing the eggs as soon as you notice them on your horse will, however. Bot eggs aren’t difficult to remove. You can scrape them off easily with a specialized tool, aptly called a “bot knife,” that has a dull, serrated edge or with a fiberglass grooming block. In a pinch, you can even pull them off with a strip of duct tape. You’ll need to remove eggs at least every other day, but the egg-laying season lasts for only two or three weeks. Such vigilance will dramatically reduce the risk of bot larvae living inside your horse’s digestive tract later this year.
The life cycle of the botfly requires that its eggs be licked by a horse and ingested. BOT KNIFE GROOMING BLOCK