Accessibility View Close toolbar

Strategic Deworming for Equines

Image of horse being dewormed.

If you are a long time horse owner, you may be familiar with traditional parasite control strategies. Traditionally, the most common parasite control approach called for horse owners to deworm their horse year round every six to eight weeks, rotating products. Alternatively, horse owners also could opt to provide a daily de-wormer in their horse’s feed and then deworm twice a year using a paste product.

Today, neither of these traditional deworming methods is generally recommended for horses. Years of constant deworming have led to a growing resistance to deworming products. With no new deworming products currently coming to market, a strategic approach to deworming is essential to protect your horses and ensure you are not wasting money on ineffective equine care.

Strategic deworming programs are based off fecal egg counts, age of the horse, time of year, and estimated exposure level based on geographic location. In the summer months, for example, high daytime temperatures – greater than 85 degrees Fahrenheit for five consecutive days – will kill parasite eggs in a pasture. As a result, the risk for infection from parasites is lower in the summer and horses may require less deworming.

In general, the best approach is to work closely with your veterinarian and base any strategic deworming program off baseline fecal egg counts, while taking into account general environmental factors. Without baseline fecal egg counts for your horses, it is difficult to make an informed decision about deworming. When used appropriately, fecal egg counts can be a valuable tool to determining a strategic deworming protocol. These tests should be administered before deworming and then 10 to 14 days after administering a dewormer to determine if the drug is still effective at treating parasites in your equine population. Effective deworming drugs should reduce the test’s egg count measure by at least 90 percent when compared with the pre-test sample.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that some parasites like tapeworms only intermittently shed their eggs. Consequently, it is possible that a low or negative fecal count could actually be a false negative, and that there is still some parasite in the environment. Any deworming program based off fecal counts should continue to rely on an annual scheduled deworming with a product containing the deworming agent Praziquantal.

Finally, keep in mind that when it comes to de-worming, more is not always better. It is possible to overdo it, which is why a strategic approach is so important.

Source:

The Horse, “Strategic Deworming Q&A.” 2008.

Location

Find us on the map


map(View Larger Map)

Practice Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Flexible Schedule

Sunday:

Flexible Schedule

  • "They took great care of my mare! I was able to set up payment over the phone and I got a detailed email with records of what they did and recommendations for future care. I’m pretty impressed with how affordable it was considering the level of care! I’ll definitely be using them from now on."
    Kayleigh Ann L.
  • "Very thorough and just all around wonderful! Took excellent care of my sweet horse!"
    Jennifer C.
  • "For people that take their horses dental health seriously, these are the best care providers & teachers I have found. Their passion about the science of equine dental health is second to none!"
    Dawn B.
  • "Kari,
    Thank you for the great work you did on our horses yesterday. This older mare with the front teeth problem and tongue hanging out is doing great. She is much, much more comfortable eating. Charlie is also doing much better today, visibly more comfortable eating. Thank you for a great job, my horses are so much happier today - makes me feel good to see that."
    Andrea B.
  • "Dear Dr. Marx and Lisa, too,

    This is just to let you know that you have made a huge difference to our old horse's well-being. He is chewing so much better and no longer drops his grain or leaves wads of hay on the ground. Thank you, thank you. We are delighted to have found out about you and the important and great work you do.
    With sincere gratitude,"
    Margot H.
  • "Scott Marx is not only knowledge and talented but he is kind, funny, easy to work with and reasonably priced. You pay for what you get and with Dr. Marx, you get the BEST! He has been my horses’ dentist for 16 years and I hope he will continue to be for the next 16+!"
    Catherine J.
  • "Awesome service- fantastic Equine Dentist!! I will be using them as a regular client."
    Greg S.
  • "Wonderful work. I trust them completely with my horses teeth. Will never use anyone else."
    Jessica P
  • "Dr. Kari Sanderson treated my horse and was wonderful! She explained everything she did and was very patient. I will use them going forward and will recommend them to all of my friends."
    Jessica S.
  • "Very professional and caring. Dr. Sanderson and her assistant took the time my gelding needed to make him comfortable. In addition, she took the time to show me everything she saw, talked through what was done, and future recommendations. Thank you so much for coming to take care of my boy!"
    Audrey A.