Priority Care for Performance and Pleasure Horses
Phone (908) 852-1300
Fax (908) 852-1316
33B Kennedy RoadTranquility, NJ 07879
P.O. Box 91Tranquility, NJ 07879
Monday - Friday8:00 AM – 4:30 PMSaturday8:00 AM – 12:00 PMEMERGENCIES 24/7
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The current deworming protocol is based on research and techniques of decades ago. At that time, it was theorized that rotating dewormers on a four, six, or eight week schedule would keep horses parasite free and reduce resistance to anthelmintics (wormers). Today, there are much more effective anthelmintics and using them with such frequency has caused resistance in the worm population. Horse owners, barn managers, stable owners, and veterinarians need to work together to devise a worming program that keeps parasites
The solution lies in a strategic deworming program that utilizes a fecal egg count (FEC) to identify horses seriously affected by worms and any resistance in the herd. The goal is to worm less frequently (as little as twice yearly) and concentrate worming efforts on horses that have a high worm burden.
Step 1: Identify the high and low shedders. Some horses are genetically resistant to worms; these are labeled “Low Shedders”. Fortunately, only about 30% of horses are “High Shedders”; these horses carry a high worm burden and are contaminating the rest of the herd. High andlow shedders are identified using a FEC taken after the effects of the last wormer given have worn off, also known as the “egg reappearance period”.
Step 2: Worm the herd. Using a reputable wormer, treat the entire herd.
Step 3: Perform a Fecal Egg Reduction Count (FERC). There should be a 90% reduction in the fecal egg count 10-14 days after worming. If there is less than 90% reduction, there is resistance on the farm and a different wormer must be used.
Step 4: Consult East Coast Equine for a customized, strategic deworming protocol for your farm. This protocol will focus efforts on high shedders in the herd, determine which wormers work for the herd, when and how to rotate wormers, and appropriate times for FEC and FERC.
At first glance, this program may seem confusing and expensive. However, after the initial effort, buying less wormer per year adds up to significant savings long term. In addition, the FEC is done “in house” at East Coast Equine, making the FEC affordable. There will also be “batch discounts” for testing all the horses on a farm.
Please call East Coast Equine Veterinary Services with any questions you may have regarding the new deworming protocol and how to get started. We are excited to work with you to improve the health of your horses and combat parasite resistance.