Outbreak of Lice in Horses: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to report an outbreak of lice (Bovicola equi) in horses in southern Brazil, focusing on epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. Twenty-three horses in a stud farm presented with intense itching, crusted lesions, focal alopecia, and scaly skin. The outbreak occurred during the winter and probably due to the absence of sanitary barriers on the property. The diagnosis was carried out based on clinical signs associated with macroscopic and microscopic visualization of lice identified as B. equi. The treatment was performed with a single dose of Fipronil (Topline® Merial Brasil, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil) spray (0.5%), eliminating immature and adult stages of lice. The clinical signs caused by the lice in horses disappeared few days after treatment.

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