Deworming dilemma: “I only own one horse”


What if you own only one horse? What then, should your parasite control programme look like?

If your horse lives on its own, and isn’t exposed to other horses a lot, and rarely travels off the property, “there is going to be very limited parasite infection exposure,” says parasitologist Martin Nielsen.

“The parasites will only be coming from that very horse, and in many adult horses we find very low parasite egg counts anyway.

“Many of those horses may only need a single treatment or a couple of drenches in a year in order to keep our bases covered.”

But it’s a different story if your horse lives at the likes of a boarding property.

In that case, a control programme needs to be designed for the entire group of horses “not just your horse”, Nielsen says.

“You can only claim to have a parasite control programme in place if it is a coordinated one for the herd.

“We’re not really concerned with individual horses, what we want to gain control of is the parasite population.”

If the facility where you keep your horse doesn’t have a parasite control programme in place, now is a good time to ask about it.

Got something to say about this? You can comment below.

» Next: Does your horse have worms? Science and a special herd of horses can answer that

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.

One thought on “Deworming dilemma: “I only own one horse”

  • December 4, 2019 at 12:29 am

    What about tapeworms? The intermediate host is a mite on grass or hay. They are quite common in certain regions of the USA.
    What about bots? Since the “worm” is actually the larval stage of an insect the eggs are not passed on the
    I always tell my clients to deworm after a hard frost with a product that will get tapes and bots.
    Laura Schmidt DVM


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