The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEAP) has developed new protocols for deworming horses because of the following factors:
- The AAEP has determined that large strongyles are now rare and small strongyles are now the major parasite of concern in adult horses.
- Roundworms are still considered the primary parasite infecting foals and weanlings.
- Resistance to dewormers is highly prevalent in small strongyles and roundworms.
- Horses younger than 3 years old are more susceptible to parasite infection and are at a greater risk to developing disease.
The AAEP found that frequent treatments are unnecessary and can lead to resistance in the parasites. For this reason, they recommend:
- Doing fecal egg counts to determine what parasites are an issue for the individual farm, and the magnitude of the parasite burden.
- Tailoring treatments to the parasites that are found on the farm.
- Monitoring dewormer effectiveness by doing follow-up fecal tests.
They also have several suggestions for parasite control:
- Keep pastures as free of manure as possible
- Compost manure to kill the eggs and developing larvae
- Time deworming treatments at times of the year most optimal for larval development (usually spring and fall)
In general, let us work with you to design a parasite control program within the needs of your farm. By using fecal tests and parasite-specific deworming plans, we can work together to keep your horses free from internal parasites! Call us today to begin a customized parasite plan for your farm.