EQUUS - - Biology -

• Use fe­cal egg counts to iden­tify those horses in a herd who need de­worm­ing. By an­a­lyz­ing ma­nure sam­ples, a vet­eri­nar­ian can de­ter­mine which horses are shed­ding prob­lem­atic num­bers of par­a­site eggs and re­quire treat­ment with an ap­pro­pri­ate de­wormer. Some horses are nat­u­rally—prob­a­bly g y oth­ers de­spite

look­ing ex­tremely healthy. Oth­ers seem re­sis­tant to par­a­sites, never car­ry­ing a sig­nif­i­cant load even af­ter months of non­treat­ment. Once the horses that fall into each cat­e­gory have been iden­ti­fied, a de­worm­ing pro­gram can be ad­justed ac­cord­ingly, tar­get­ing the high shed­ders for more fre­quent test­ing and pos­si­ble treat­ment.

• Con­firm that treat­ments are work­ing. A sec­ond fe­cal egg count is done 10 to 14 days af­ter a horse has been treated with a de­worm­ing chem­i­cal to en­sure the egg lev­els have dropped as ex­pected. If they haven’t, it’s pos­si­ble the par­a­sites on the prop­erty have be­come re­sis­tant to that chem­i­cal. Once a drug is in­ef­fec­tive on a farm, it will al­ways be in­ef­fec­tive there.

• The weather is a con­sid­er­a­tion. De­worm­ing may be sus­pended on a prop­erty dur­ing pe­ri­ods of pro­longed, sub­zero tem­per­a­tures or lengthy hot, dry spells be­cause par­a­site eggs will not de­velop into in­fec­tive lar­vae un­der these ex­tremes. How­ever, treat­ments must re­sume when the mod­er­ate weather re­turns.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to “The De­worm­ing Revo­lu­tion,” EQUUS 401, also avail­able on Equ­us­

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