Parasitic disease affecting donkeys is detected in the UK for first time : A chronic and debilitating parasitic equine disease which causes mysterious lesions in the eyes, and skin lumps, has been found in donkeys in the UK for the first time.
The findings of the study, which was carried out by experts from the University of Nottingham and the Donkey Sanctuary, are published in the journal Parasites and Vectors. Equine besnoitiosis is a disease that occurs in donkeys, horses, zebras and mules. Donkeys with besnoitiosis develop multiple parasitic cysts on the skin, over the nostrils, ears and face. One of the most unique features of besnoitiosis is the development of tiny cysts on the surface of the eye. Some infected animals remain otherwise healthy, while others become thin and debilitated as a result of the disease. Previously, the parasitic disease was a rarely detected condition in most countries, including in the US, Spain, Belgium, and Italy. Although the clinical signs associated with besnoitiosis were not seen in the UK cases, this study has important clinical relevance.
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