Deworming recommendations for your horses:
A lot has changed in the strategy of deworming programs. Those of you who attended the February 2010 seminar heard quite a bit about the latest ideas. Overuse of dewormers has led to the development of resistant parasites. Rather than waste money on dewormers that may not be needed or effective, we are recommending strategic deworming programs that are individualized for your particular horse and situation.
Indiscriminate use of dewormers leads to resistant parasites. Different farms may experience different resistance depending on what has been used in the past. We can get an idea of parasite burden and resistance with the use of fecal egg counts (FEC).
A fecal egg count is just what it says. We take a measured amount of horse manure, process it & examine it under a microscope to come up with the number of parasite eggs in the sample. This not only tells you if your horse has worms, it gives us an idea of how many. This test is best done as the weather gets warmer. Those tricky parasites have figured out that producing eggs during the winter months is a waste of time. (Too cold out to develop). So doing the fecal egg count test in the middle of winter will not give a good picture of the parasite burden. As the weather warms up the parasites go into production so that there will be a lot of parasite eggs on pasture as the horses begin to graze. Spring is a good time to have a fecal egg count done.
We are now performing this test at the clinic. The cost is $25. When parasites are found, we recommend a followup fecal egg count (discounted to $20) 2 weeks after deworming to see if your dewormer was effective. In some situations, depending on the results and the situation, some horses may not even need to be dewormed. See also the Newsletter Spring 2010 for some frequently asked questions on strategic deworming.
Feel free to contact us with questions regarding testing and deworming your horses at Fredonia Veterinary Clinic in Fredonia, WI at 262- 692-2439.