Parasite resistance has become a real problem in the equine industry. It is a growing problem and no new dewormer class has been developed as of present. Because of this important issue, there are three main goals for reducing the parasite burden of your horse.
- Find out if your horse is a low, moderate, or high shredder of parasite eggs.
- Use a deworming agent that targets what parasite your horse has.
- Make a way to decrease parasite exposure to your horse.
For a successful deworming plan, there is a need to determine the parasite burden of the horse. An initial fecal egg count exam should be conducted at least six to eight weeks following deworming with pyrantel pamoate (AbPyran™) or a course of ten to twelve weeks with ivermectin (AbIver™). This deworming strategy helps in identifying whether your horse is a low shredder, or a medium or high shedder. The next thing to do is find the class of equine dewormers that work effectively for your horse. Your veterinarian can recommend the best class to use that works on the most predominant parasite on that certain season. After deworming, another fecal exam to be performed 10-14 days is advised to check if parasites have been eliminated. This test is important in finding out if the wormer is effective. Always remember the important strategy in horse worming and repeat the processes: before deworming, have a fecal egg count test, deworm the horse with the best and effective worming agent, and after which perform another fecal test after 10-14 days. These steps are important especially if you use AbIver™ and AbPyran™.
Decreasing parasite exposure is also an important step in controlling the efficacy of equine dewormers. This includes removing manure from the paddocks at least twice a week and harrowing the pastures. When harrowing pastures, it is best to do it during the hottest months of the year. Also, the harrowed pastures should be left vacant for weeks before making it available for horses once again.
Parasite control management these days does not involve complete elimination of parasites, but rather, control of the population of the troublemakers. If your horse is a low shedder of parasite eggs, there is no need for extensive horse worming program since infections won’t be significant if parasite population is under control. For this reason, the importance of fecal egg counts should be stressed for all horse owners.