If you board your horse, a safe and healthy environment for your horse is of utmost importance. With resistance increasing in small strongyles and no new dewormer on the horizon, horse owners should be asking barn managers about parasite practices wherever they board. According to Merial’s article on parasite resistance, parasite resistance is a farm situation. Yet each farm will be impacted by the individual horses living on it, so it makes sense to ask your barn manager about parasite control practices. Consider asking the following questions.
- How many horses are boarded?
- How many horses are routinely pastured together?
- Do you manage pastures by dragging or removing manure from shared pastures?
- Are new arrivals isolated until a fecal egg count, appropriate treatment, and follow-up egg count is completed?
- Do you require clients to have fecal egg counts performed on their horses and to follow guidelines that recommend selective treatment for parasites?
- Do you document fecal egg counts and deworming treatments on all resident horses?
- Do you take responsibility for collecting stool samples for boarders, or do you require boarders to collect their own?
- Do you require boarders to share the results of fecal egg counts with the barn manager?
- Have you seen any evidence of resistance in any horse on the farm?
Horsemen’s Laboratory owner Dr. John Byrd has extensive experience with racing and breeding horses and maintains Westbrook Boarding Stable. He created Horsemen’s Laboratory in 1992 so that horse owners could better evaluate their worm control programs and make informed decisions about deworming their horses. To learn more about Horsemen’s Laboratory, parasites, to sign up for the monthly newsletter, and to order fecal egg count testing kits and visit www.horsemenslab.com.