Saturday, December 11, 2010

Worms, parasites and other fun topics.

I heard the most facinating talk on the radio the other day.  I don't know if any of you have heard of or listen to Horses in the Morning but they have some interesting topics and great for those of us that love to indulge our horse addicted minds.  Last week I listened to this facinating topic of worms and parisites.  I honestly am not very educated on the subject and that show was very informative.  This may be stuff everyone knows but I did not so it helped me but also left me with questions.  I plan to talk to my vet this week about it.

My limited knowledge of de-worming was you buy a de-womer at the farm store and keep your horse on a scheduele of every 6 weeks.  Administer the paste orally and that is about the extent of it.  I found out that de-worming isn't necessary in all horses.  That a majority of horses maintain a healthy level of parasites with no help.  There are horses though that do need to be de-wormed but the best way to regulate parasites is to have their poop tested.  Now I have not checked into the cost of parisite analysis and I hope to find out this week.  I am thinking though that even if I find out that one of them does not require regular worming in the long run it would not cost more to have them tested periodically. 

The reason though that they do not suggest the regualar de-worming method is not to save any money but to preserve the effectivness of the medicine.  I found out that there are no new developments in the area of de-wormer and if we over use them and ruin the effectivness and we will be left standing with little help in controling parasites.  That IS a great reason to use de-wormer resposibly.  I will not go into any greater detail in this post because well you could just listen to the show but it is interesting and definitely worth a listen.  It's pretty funny that the topic of poop could be so very interesting and only horse crazy people can understand..haha.


  1. My vet often does the fecal for nothing, but I think it's comparable to the price of a tube of wormer.

    You might ask your vet if they have a seasonal wormer recommendation list. I believe they vary by region. It should tell you what wormer is most effective at what time of year, according to which parasites are around and what life stage they are in. That way if you do have to use a wormer you'll maximize the effectiveness.

    Thanks for the link to the radio show!

  2. We've done a variety of worming schedules - every 6 weeks rotational, 2x a year with daily Strongid, and we've just started doing fecal analysis and only worming as necessary - it costs $18 per horse at our vets. Our barn is effectively closed - horses don't come and go or travel to shows, so that works for us. Only worming as needed also helps prevent the development of worms that are resistant to dewormers.

  3. I was out of a normal boarding situation for a year and 1/2...and now that I am back...all the local vets in our Portland, Oregon area are advising horse owners to to Fecal testing.
    It costs $18 for two tests.
    One to see what the worm count is/ kind and what kind of sluffers they are. And they recommend the wormer for what they carry.
    Then the second test is 14 days make sure it was effective.

    Here is the part I love...they contact me when it is time to retest the fecal, and then we go from there, with what my mare needs-as an indiviual.
    I love not OVER MEDICATING the horse. It is why there is such resistance now, worming in the dark and often!
    This seems the better method for health of the horse.

  4. We do the same as well, 2x a year. A friend of mine is a vet and showed me how to do my own fecal since we have a great microscope for the kids. I've only done it myself once, otherwise the vet does it for $25.

  5. Yep fecals are the way to go to prevent parasite resistance to dewormers. It's also great because I don't think overuse of chemical dewormers is healthy for horses. There is a lot of new research/speculation on the relationship between dewormers and hoof problems. I know paste dewormers can cause event lines in horse's hooves. Food for thought. :)


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