Scientists Test New Equine Small Strongyle Control Method

Researchers are studying sainfoin, a plant containing tannins, which have anthelmintic effects on ruminant parasites.
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Scientists Test New Equine Small Strongyle Control Method
Researchers are studying sainfoin, a plant containing tannins, which have anthelmintic effects on ruminant parasites. | Photo: iStock
Intestinal parasites can pose a substantial problem for horses, but more worrisome is their increasing resistance to drugs designed to combat them. With no new anthelmintics on the horizon, researchers are searching for alternative options.

To this end, researchers from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and French National Equestrian School recently explored two possible options for controlling small strongyles: protein supplementation and a plant called sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia).

“Sainfoin, as other bioactive plants, contains plant secondary metabolites (PSMs),” noted lead research Claire Collas, PhD.

In sainfoin’s case, the PSMs are mainly condensed tannins, which have been shown to have anthelmintic effects on ruminant parasites, she said. However, little to no research on the topic had been conducted in horses

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Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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