What to do about worming?

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There’s been a lot of discussion lately about worming. Concern is mounting that prior regular and constant worming protocols are creating scavengers that are resistant to parasite control products.

Today, most vets that are keeping current are recommending horse owners invest in fecal exams. These should be preformed two times a year – in the spring (April in Western New York) and as winter sets in (November in this area). This has more to do with worm gestation cycles than horse habits, something that might come as a surprise to many.

Given the research findings and input from respected professionals we’ve consulted, we’ve decided to perform fecal exams on all horses on the property twice a year and forego our prior aggressive worming practices (in most years, we have a lot of horses coming in and out of the Halcyon Acres facility, so infestation is a bigger concern than would be the case in the standard home-based facility). We’ll treat horses individually, based on findings with specific products that address the worms discovered, retest the identified cases as prescribed by the vet, and stop our prior practice of regular, identical and timed worming treatments for all horses on the property. In the long run, we believe this will actually save clients and the farm a good deal of money and improve the health of the horses by reducing costs associated with buying wormer products and instead, individually identifying a particular horse’s treatment needs with precision.

What have you found to be an effective worming protocol?

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