Menu

Strategic Deworming for Equines

Image of horse being dewormed.

If you are a long time horse owner, you may be familiar with traditional parasite control strategies. Traditionally, the most common parasite control approach called for horse owners to deworm their horse year round every six to eight weeks, rotating products. Alternatively, horse owners also could opt to provide a daily de-wormer in their horse’s feed and then deworm twice a year using a paste product.

Today, neither of these traditional deworming methods is generally recommended for horses. Years of constant deworming have led to a growing resistance to deworming products. With no new deworming products currently coming to market, a strategic approach to deworming is essential to protect your horses and ensure you are not wasting money on ineffective equine care.

Strategic deworming programs are based off fecal egg counts, age of the horse, time of year, and estimated exposure level based on geographic location. In the summer months, for example, high daytime temperatures – greater than 85 degrees Fahrenheit for five consecutive days – will kill parasite eggs in a pasture. As a result, the risk for infection from parasites is lower in the summer and horses may require less deworming.

In general, the best approach is to work closely with your veterinarian and base any strategic deworming program off baseline fecal egg counts, while taking into account general environmental factors. Without baseline fecal egg counts for your horses, it is difficult to make an informed decision about deworming. When used appropriately, fecal egg counts can be a valuable tool to determining a strategic deworming protocol. These tests should be administered before deworming and then 10 to 14 days after administering a dewormer to determine if the drug is still effective at treating parasites in your equine population. Effective deworming drugs should reduce the test’s egg count measure by at least 90 percent when compared with the pre-test sample.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that some parasites like tapeworms only intermittently shed their eggs. Consequently, it is possible that a low or negative fecal count could actually be a false negative, and that there is still some parasite in the environment. Any deworming program based off fecal counts should continue to rely on an annual scheduled deworming with a product containing the deworming agent Praziquantal.

Finally, keep in mind that when it comes to de-worming, more is not always better. It is possible to overdo it, which is why a strategic approach is so important.

Source:

The Horse, “Strategic Deworming Q&A.” 2008.

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Hillsdale Office

Monday - Friday:

7:45 am - 5:30 pm

Saturday:

8:45 am - 12:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Professional Pet Grooming

Monday - Thursday:

by appointment

Friday - Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Very good with my dogs ..snd very prompt with appointment"
    ★★★★★ | Larae H.
  • "We love Dr. Wood. He has saved our puppy from very bad things several times. He loves and cares for our pet as if he were his own. I highly recommend Northside!! I love that they do diagnostics - blood work and x-rays, same as us humans have to get real answers."
    ★★★★★ | Corinna M
  • "Thank you to Dr Wood and staff for fixing our Micks leg today after we had taken him to another vet for a laceration repair. The sutures that we’re placed by the other vet ripped open five days later. Mick is home resting comfortably with his cozy pillow around his neck. We appreciate your help in getting this fixed correctly! Thank you for your time and compassion!"
    Michelle Lyn Vanderpool
  • "I have taken my pets to Northside Veterinary Hospital for many years. I have always been very grateful for the wonderful care my animals have received there and the kindness of the staff. I would like to say thank you to their newest Vet. Dr.Roth. She took excellent care of my little Lou Lou yesterday with her many seizures. If you are looking for excellent care this is the place to go."
    Laura Nevins Patterson
  • "Can't say thank you enough to Dr. Wood and his staff for the excellent care they give my fur babies! ....I make an hour drive to go here because this place rocks!"
    Rhonda Alexander
  • "Dr. Wood and his staff are so nice to our furbabys and have up to date technology to really help our sick babies thank-you for all you do they are very caring people!!!"
    Cathy Sayer Smith