Spring Deworming makes for a great summer for your horse
Spring is the time when horses are taken out to graze on to fresh pasture after being confined during winter and it is an important season to contemplate strategies for deworming. Giving the right dose of equine dewormers in early spring brings a positive effect to parasite control for the summer, and can also reduce the need for an extra worming dose during this season.
Worms spread via unclean pasture
Small redworms (also strongyles, or cyathostomes) are the most significant threat to grazing horses. Small redworm eggs are passed through manure of the horse; this manure spreads on the pasture infecting the grounds and the lifecycle of this parasite continues on naturally. However, some horses can shed less parasite eggs because they can cope with the environment, but some horses especially the weaker horse, are the ones that can pass more of the eggs. These horses increase infection around the pasture in just a short period of time and contribute more to the pasture challenge for those that share the grazing field. A clean ground for grazing generally reduces worm burdens and use of equine dewormers, and both should be an important part of the worm control program.
This spring, assess the grazing ground you intend to provide for your horse. For instance, a cleaner pasture which has been left untouched for at least six months and has been exposed to the harsh, winter frosts will pose as a less significant challenge. In this case, it would help if you turn out the horse and perform a fecal worm egg count (FWEC) test to keep worm burdens in check throughout the grazing season. On the other hand, turning out your horse onto a heavily used pasture would only mean that you need to be vigilant about your equine worming program during the grazing season.
Using fenbendazole for horses, (AbFen™) for 5 days at double dose can effectively control small redworms. This will reduce the parasite load of your horse and prevent the buildup of worms during the grazing season. In turn, there is not much need for repeated worming for the late summer. One can avoid the development of drug resistance if reliance on wormers is reduced and the right agent is used at the most appropriate time.
It is recommended to conduct a regular FWEC during summer months to check if your chosen equine dewormers have worked effectively. It is a confirmative as to which of your horses are in more need of a worming treatment , as each horse may respond differently to one environment. Even if you observe the proper measures of effective pasture management and conduct FWECs regularly to identify which of your horses shed more worm eggs, you still need to be familiar with the different major parasitic threats per season. In most instances, this calls for a strategic program to control tapeworm infestations in spring and fall, and bots and encysted small red worms in winter. Also, have your veterinarian involved when developing a parasite control program; drug resistance likely develops if equine dewormers are not used the right way, which is common without the vet’s supervision.