The worm turns … into a video series on parasite control in horses

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If you’re struggling to get to grips with the process of deworming your horses, stay tuned over the next few weeks because our favourite equine parasitologist, Martin Nielsen, is here to help.

Nielsen will be sharing bite-sized gems of wisdom and “debunks” in a series of online videos to inform horse owners, farm managers and veterinarians about best practices in equine parasitology.

Nielsen (DVM, PhD, DipEVPC, DACVM) is the Schlaikjer Professor of Equine Infectious Disease at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center. His research aims to develop new diagnostic measures of important parasites and their level of resistance to anthelmintic drugs, and develop sustainable treatment regimens. He is also in charge of a unique herd of horses that has been maintained in Kentucky since the 1970s and is used for parasitology research.

Nielsen says the videos will be especially relevant and important to those who answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you deworm at the first frost?
  • Do you keep your horses stalled following deworming?
  • How about treating wormy-looking horses with a half dose of dewormer?

(Spoiler alert: yes is the wrong answer to all of those questions.)

Martin Nielsen.

Nielsen’s videos fall into one of three categories: short videos addressing common misconceptions about parasite control; longer educational videos outlining important concepts in parasite control; and videos that inform viewers about current findings, research needs and the importance of UK’s equine research herds.

“As a university researcher, I have an obligation to communicate about my area of research to the public. I am constantly searching for the most efficient way to do so. In this day and age, it seems obvious to communicate about these things on social media,” Nielsen said.

“I hope to get some useful information into the hands of horse owners, farm managers and equine veterinarians — and to build some awareness about some of the work we do at the Gluck Center.

“I wanted to try to address common misconceptions and myths in equine parasite control. In this series, I’ll address one myth or misconception at a time and in 45 seconds or less, I will explain why it is exactly that — a myth or misconception. These will be interspersed with a few longer videos providing more background information and highlighting recent research findings.”

Topics that will be covered over the next several months include:

  • Deworm Debunk: Deworm at first frost?
  • Deworm Debunk: Drug rotation
  • Parasite refugia
  • What’s the right dewormer?
  • Deworm Debunk: Five-day dewormers
  • Deworm Debunk: Diatomaceous Earth
  • Pasture hygiene
  • Deworm Debunk: Confining horses
  • How the weather affects parasite transmission
  • Pasture management
  • Deworm Debunk: Daily dewormers
  • Deworm Debunk: Parasite egg counts
  • Single horse considerations
  • Does my horse have worms?
  • Deworm Debunk: Checking the label
  • The complexity of resistance genetics

Follow the Gluck Center: @GluckEquineResearchCenter or on Twitter @UKGluckCenter.

Follow Martin Nielsen on Twitter.

Visit Martin Nielsen’s Network for Good page, and his University of Kentucky page.

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