08: Parasite Control

Action Point: Develop and implement an evidence-based parasite control program.

Rationale: Given increased parasite resistance to worming medications (anthelmintics), one should strive to manage parasite loads in as natural and preemptive a manner as possible. After all, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’!

The best place to start is with prudent manure and pasture management, followed by a balance of treatment and surveillance, including routine fecal egg counts. Deworming plans should be specific to each horse in coordination with fecal egg count reduction tests to determine the effectiveness of the anthelmintic administered on the highest shedders in a population. Dosage directions according to horse weight must be followed for best chances at effectiveness and to minimize increasing parasite resistance (i.e. too low of a dose of a particular anthelmintic may increase parasite resistance to that class of drugs).

Effective management of manure is key in preventing heavy parasite loads in horses. Manure should be removed from stalls and small paddocks every day, and from larger paddocks and fields twice per week.  If possible, pasture rotation is recommended to further limit parasite loads.

AAEP Parasite Control Guidelines

Creating a Parasite Control Program

Diagnosteq - Solutions to Worm Control

Integrated Parasite Control: How to Strike a Balance

Pasture Management for Parasite Control

14 Up-to-Date Equine Parasite Control Facts

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