Vet’s Role in Parasite Control

Internal parasites can be a very serious problem for horses. Even though most owners are aware that deworming is a necessary part of an overall good health program for their horses, the veterinarian is sometimes left out of that loop. Because deworming agents are available over-the-counter, many–if not most–horse owners deworm their own horses without their veterinarian’s advice or

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Internal parasites can be a very serious problem for horses. Even though most owners are aware that deworming is a necessary part of an overall good health program for their horses, the veterinarian is sometimes left out of that loop. Because deworming agents are available over-the-counter, many–if not most–horse owners deworm their own horses without their veterinarian’s advice or recommendations. Owners think as long as they are deworming every eight weeks, everything should be fine. But, that’s not always true.

The veterinarian’s role in parasite control should be to advise and recommend an appropriate deworming schedule and drug for each individual farm or stable. Every farm will have its own needs and/or problems, so one deworming schedule does not fit all scenarios!

For example, a large breeding farm with mostly broodmares and young stock will not have the same parasite issues as a boarding stable filled with adult horses. So, a deworming program that works for the boarding stable might not even begin to work against the parasites that are affecting the young stock at the breeding farm.

Also, many overcrowded farms can benefit from a daily deworming agent that might not be necessary on a farm with only a few horses

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Written by:

Christina S. Cable, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, owns Early Winter Equine in Lansing, New York. The practice focuses on primary care of mares and foals and performance horse problems.

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