Study: Dewormer Use Drastically Reduced On Farms Using Fecal Egg Counts

Scientists have been touting the need for horse owners to use fecal egg counts before blanket deworming the horses in their car for years. However, until recently, no studies had been conducted to see if farms that used this method saw a true reduction in deworming.

Drs. Liselore Roelfstra, Marion Quartier and Kurt Pfister studied five farms in France and Switzerland that had switched to an evidence-based deworming protocol in 2014 to determine the long-term reduction rate of anthelmintic treatments.

The study used 90 horses and three ponies ranging in age from 3 to 32. All of the horses were housed at riding stables that used paddocks and pastures. There was no routine manure collection in the fields on three of the farms; the other two farms removed manure from fields at least once a week.

Since 2014, each horse had a fecal egg count performed twice a year, in the spring and fall. The horse only received a dose of dewormer if the analysis showed that he carried a worm burden of 200 eggs per gram or more. In total, 757 fecal egg counts were taken; only 34.7 of them had an egg count over 200, which resulted in the horse being given a dewormer.

This meant that 263 doses of dewormer were not given, which would have been routinely administered in the past. This shows an overall reduction in anthelmintic treatments of 65.3 percent.

The scientists conclude that conducting fecal egg counts is feasible on farms with multiple horse owners, and on farms with a transient equine population. Buy-in of the farm owner or manager was paramount, but all the horse owners were prepared to pay the cost of the fecal egg count test. An additional positive outcome was that the horses with high worm loads were able to be treated with the specific product needed to eliminate the parasites the horse is hosting.

The overall reduction in dewormer use shows the potential of fecal egg counts to slow the development of drug resistance.

Read the study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post Study: Dewormer Use Drastically Reduced On Farms Using Fecal Egg Counts appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.