Bad Bug Basics (Parasite Primer Part 1)

Let’s start by taking a look at how parasites differ from other infectious organisms that damage horses, and go on to explore the historical perspective on equine parasite control–where we’ve come from, and how far we’ve yet to go.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a 12-part series on internal parasites of horses.

It seems that every year, major equine publications take on a virtually impossible task. They publish an omnibus article on equine parasitology that attempts to describe the biology of everything from pinworms to stable flies, discuss the numerous ways in which parasites can harm equine hosts, list the multitude of drugs available for treating parasitic infections, and present a variety of control strategies, all in one user-friendly package.

Like most areas of applied science, equine parasitology is simply too broad and too complicated to be covered adequately in a single article. So in an effort to really do justice to the topic in comprehensive detail, we welcome you to the first of 12 monthly articles on parasite-related topics. To implement this project, The Horse has enlisted the aid of three recognized experts in equine parasitology.

Denny French, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP, currently is jointly appointed as a professor in veterinary clinical sciences at the Louisiana State University (LSU) School of Veterinary Medicine and professor of veterinary science at the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, while maintaining an active role in equine research and ambulatory practice. French’s primary research interests have been in the field of equine herd health, especially parasite control programs. Collaborating with Tom Klei, PhD of LSU, French has been involved with the development of numerous anthelmintics (dewormers) and has taken the research information directly into his practice

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Written by:

Karen Briggs is the author of six books, including the recently updated Understanding Equine Nutrition as well as Understanding The Pony, both published by Eclipse Press. She’s written a few thousand articles on subjects ranging from guttural pouch infections to how to compost your manure. She is also a Canadian certified riding coach, an equine nutritionist, and works in media relations for the harness racing industry. She lives with her band of off-the-track Thoroughbreds on a farm near Guelph, Ontario, and dabbles in eventing.

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