De­worm­ing? Ask Your Vet

Horse & Rider - - Health - Source: Merck An­i­mal Health Source: Cen­ter for Equine Health, U.C. Davis School of Ve­teri­nary Medicine

A suc­cess­ful de­worm­ing pro­gram isn’t just about which drug to use. By con­sid­er­ing both chem­i­cal and non- chem­i­cal par­a­site- con­trol strate­gies, you and your vet­eri­nar­ian can be part of the ef­fort to pro­long the ef­fec­tive­ness of the drug classes cur­rently avail­able (by slow­ing down the de­vel­op­ment of de­wormer re­sis­tance). “It’s im­por­tant to in­vite your­self in to be part of the process,” ad­vises Dr. Wendy Vaala of Merck An­i­mal Health. She en­cour­ages own­ers to have their vet out for a par­a­site- con­trol visit, then take con­trol of the de­worm­ing con­ver­sa­tion with these dis­cus­sion starters: What par­a­sites should I be wor­ried about on my farm? When, why, and how of­ten should fe­cal egg counts be per­formed? What non- chem­i­cal par­a­site- con­trol strate­gies (such as pas­ture ro­ta­tion) are re­al­is­tic for my set- up?

First Equine PET Scan­ner

The U.C. Davis ve­teri­nary hos­pi­tal in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia re­cently ac­quired a positron emis­sion to­mog­ra­phy scan­ner, be­com­ing the first ve­teri­nary fa­cil­ity in the world to use PET imag­ing tech­nol­ogy for horses. While most other imag­ing tech­niques (such as Xray and ul­tra­sound) iden­tify changes in size, shape, or den­sity of struc­tures, PET ob­serves ac­tiv­ity at the molec­u­lar level, de­tect­ing changes in­side the tis­sue be­fore size or shape al­ters. PET holds great prom­ise for eval­u­at­ing the le­sions as­so­ci­ated with lamini­tis and ten­don in­juries in par­tic­u­lar.

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