Liver: fasciola hepatica infestation

Fascioliasis • distomatosis • distomiasis

Vetlexicon Equis ISSN: 2398-2977 Canis logo

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now for a 30 day trial or log in


  • Cause : horses are relatively resistant to infection with Fasciola hepatica  and F. gigantica    .
  • Diagnosis : fascioliasis in horses, when it does occur, probably goes undiagnosed much of the time, because infections do not reach patency and/or techniques to detect fluke eggs are not a routine part of parasitological examination of equine feces. 
  • Signs : horses are unlikely to exhibit acute clinical signs as a result of liver fluke infection. Chronic signs, including abdominal pain, may occur and go undiagnosed. 
  • Prognosis : good if clinical cases treated; may resolve spontaneously without treatment.


Differential diagnosis


Clinical signs

  • Anemia    .
  • Ascites.
  • Ill-thrift.
  • Fluke eggs in feces.



  • Good if clinical cases are treated.
  • Some cases may resolve spontaneously in the absence of treatment.

Expected response to treatment

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Difficulty in reaching a specific diagnosis.
  • Reinfection if horse is put back to graze on infected pastures.
  • Relative resistance of immature flukes to chemotherapy.
Sorry, we couldn't find that content.
Let us know and we'll sort this out.