Q: Have you seen these little yellow eggs on your horse’s legs or stomach recently?
Clinical signs of a bot larvae infection would be lethargy, pus pockets in the mouth and loss of appetite or colic. Larvae present in large numbers in the stomach can cause health issues such as blockages, ulcers, anemia, colic or even stomach ruptures.
Treatment for bots is to first remove the eggs from the hairs by scraping them with a bot egg knife or old dull razor. When finished with this, be sure you dispose of these eggs where they cannot be ingested and wash your hands thoroughly as humans can be infected. We then recommend that you use an ivermectin or a moxidectin based dewormer such as Quest Gel. The horse should be treated within one month after eggs are seen during the early summer months. A second treatment should be administered in the fall to control the second and third stage larvae. If you are going to use Quest Gel, it is extremely effective for adult horses, but do not use this on foals or weakened horses. You also want to be sure to dose your horse correctly for their weight when using Quest Gel. We have seen bots on farms this year that we have not seen in over twenty years. So check your horse carefully and give us a call if you have any questions.