Fall-De­worm­ing Con­sid­er­a­tions

Trail Rider - - SEASONAL GUIDE -

Gone are the days when you just grabbed a tube of which­ever de­wormer was on sale.

“We know now that the most ef­fec­tive de­worm­ing pro­gram in­volves treat­ing the right horse at the right time for the right par­a­sites,” says Bryant Craig, DVM, Merck An­i­mal Health equine tech­ni­cal ser­vices vet­eri­nar­ian.

“This is a plan that con­trols par­a­sites based on your horse’s needs rather than an ar­bi­trary sched­ule and fac­tors in where you live, the stock­ing den­sity on your farm, whether you have a closed or open herd, and what de­worm­ers you have been us­ing.”

In most parts of the coun­try, fall re­mains an im­por­tant time of par­a­site trans­mis­sion, which means it is when most de­worm­ing treat­ments should be ad­min­is­tered. How­ever, be­fore you run out and pick up a tube of de­wormer this fall, keep th­ese im­por­tant tips in mind:

Work with your vet­eri­nar­ian to use prop­erly timed fe­cal tests to de­ter­mine your horse’s shed­ding sta­tus (how much and of which par­a­sites he’s shed­ding). Based on th­ese re­sults, your vet­eri­nar­ian will cus­tom­ize a de­worm­ing pro­to­col for your horse. Some horses may re­quire a more ag­gres­sive sched­ule than oth­ers.

In south­ern cli­mates, mild win­ters also are con­ducive to par­a­site trans­mis­sion. Pe­ri­ods of drought help con­trol cer­tain par­a­site pop­u­la­tions (e.g., small strongyles) on pas­tures. In con­trast, pe­ri­ods of un­usu­ally wet, warm weather are op­ti­mal con­di­tions for par­a­site de­vel­op­ment.

Quar­an­tine new horses to the farm, and check fe­cal egg counts. Use a lar­vi­ci­dal treat­ment to help limit the num­ber and va­ri­ety of par­a­sites be­ing in­tro­duced by the new­comer. This can be ac­com­plished with lar­vi­ci­dal fen­ben­da­zole or mox­idectin. Also, hold new ar­rivals in their stall for at least 72 hours af­ter de­worm­ing be­fore turn­ing them out on pas­tures.

Quar­an­tine is im­por­tant to re­duce in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal par­a­site ex­po­sure to the res­i­dent pop­u­la­tion, and limit con­tam­i­na­tion of graz­ing ar­eas.

Use a weight tape (or scale) to avoid un­der-dos­ing. Horses are gen­er­ally heav­ier than you think.

“El­e­ments of a suc­cess­ful de­worm­ing pro­gram in­clude chem­i­cal and non-chem­i­cal par­a­site con­trol strate­gies.” adds Dr. Craig. He en­cour­ages own­ers to ask their vet­eri­nar­ian for a par­a­site con­trol visit to as­sess non-chem­i­cal par­a­site con­trol strate­gies that could be em­ployed on the farm.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.