Deworming Isn’t One Size Fits All

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Sept. 18, 2013 -- We all know each horse is different, so why treat deworming schedules all the same? Managing parasite control is a critical aspect of your horse’s health and should be adjusted depending on age, environment, season and much more.

“Horse owners need to remember that parasites can cause illness in horses of all ages, and parasite resistance is real,” said Nathan Voris, DVM, Equine Technical Services, Zoetis. “It is up to individual horse owners and their veterinarians to take charge of this serious area of their horse’s health.”

It is important to take the parasite risk factors of each individual horse into consideration--such as whether it travels and shows, whether new horses are coming and going from the herd, as well as the age and health of the horse, Voris explained. This information can help you take control of the parasites in your horse and on your farm.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends moving away from traditional deworming practices of treating the entire herd with the same dewormer at the same time. The Individualized Deworming (ID) Plan from Zoetis simplifies potential parasite threats to help horse owners cater to the specific needs of their horse. Reviewing the chart below with your veterinarian will help eliminate heavy parasite loads and keep your horse healthy and thriving year-round.

Individualized Deworming (ID) made simple:

  • Deworming programs should be designed for individual horses--forget the days of treating the group. Knowing accurate age, weight and fecal egg count (FEC) results can help determine the most effective deworming plan for your horse.
  • AAEP Parasite Control Guidelines suggest a basic foundation of one or two dewormer treatments per year for every adult horse targeting large stongyles, small strongyles, tapeworms, bots and stomach worms. Quest Plus Gel is the only dewormer that fights all of these parasites in a single dose.
  • Roundworms or ascarids (parascaris equorum) are recognized as a major parasitic pathogen in foals and weanlings, often causing poor growth. While roundworms have developed resistance to ivermectin, benzimidazoles such as ANTHELCIDE EQ and pyrantels such as STRONGID PASTE, STRONGID C or STRONGID C 2X remain effective. Daily dewormers are also good for adult horses with high strongyle contamination potential.
  • Deworming should take place based on the parasite’s life cycle, so the medications are most effective in reducing the number of parasites in the environment. Spring and fall are the peak transmission seasons.
  • The wrong product at the wrong time can increase the population of anthelmintic-resistant parasites in your horse’s environment.
  • A FEC is simple, inexpensive, and can tell you which individual horses are shedding more parasite eggs and should be dewormed more frequently. Evaluating treatments at least every three years with a fecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) will help determine product efficacy.
  • Watch this video for more information on managing your barn environment to help reduce parasite infection.

 Proper parasite management is critical to the health of your horse. Zoetis offers a broad portfolio of parasite control products to keep your healthy and thriving, including: STRONGID C/C 2X, QUEST and QUEST PLUS Gel, ANTHELCIDE EQ Paste, SOLITUDE IGR and STRONGID Paste. Collaborate with your veterinarian to develop an Individualized Deworming (ID) Plan that caters to the needs of your horse and visit IDMyHorse.com for more information.

Click here for an Individualized Deworming calendar that aligns with AAEP parasite control guidelines.

Zoetis (zo-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on a 60-year history as the animal health business of Pfizer, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. With approximately 9,300 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2013, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 29 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information on the company visit www.zoetisUS.com.

Zoetis is the proud sponsor with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions and the American Veterinary Medical Association of the mobile educational exhibit Animal Connections: Our Journey Together. Families visiting the exhibit will explore the vast bonds between people and animals and learn about the important role veterinarians play in protecting animal and human health. For more information visit http://www.zoetis.com/animal-connections-tour/.