Dr. Ken Keckler from Buckeye Veterinary Services in Burton, OH, spoke during Big Dee's Anniversary Event about the importance of equine deworming and keeping a healthy routine for your horses. Dr. Keckler is a graduate from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1987 and a DVM in 1991. Whether you have been caring for horses for years, or are just starting in the world of equine ownership; Dr. Keckler's guide into the simple steps you can take for the well-being of your horse are invaluable.
Where do I start? Dr. Keckler recommends regular fecal exams to determine how much your horse sheds parasite eggs. Horses range from heavy, to moderate and light shedders. Some horses have greater immunities to the parasites and may not need to be dewormed as often.
What types of parasites should I be deworming for?
- Ascarids (roundworms/bloodworms)
- Tapeworms (a common problem with yearling horses)
- Pinworms (very common and can be identified by horses scratching their butts)
How often should I deworm? If fecal tests come back clean, generally every three months with the appropriate dewormer is accepted. Over-deworming can build a resistance in the parasite to dewormers and may be harder to get rid of them. Dr. Keckler recommends a rotation of dewormers:
- Spring - Use a Fenbendazole, like Panacur
- Summer - Use an Ivermectin/Praziquantel, like Equimax
- Fall - Use a Pyrantel, like Strongid
- Winter - Use an Ivermectin/Praziquantel, like Equimax If problems persist with parasites, using a Moxidectin, like Quest, will kill most parasites due to them having a low resistance to it.
What else can I do? As often as possible, clean manure from pastures, paddocks and everywhere your horse has access to. Be sure to use the appropriate dewormer for your horse and keep an eye on any changing or concerning symptoms. Keep in mind the age, condition and well-being of your horse; older horses may have resistance to some parasites, but their immune systems can be weaker and require regular deworming. Foals and pregnant mares also have a different routine than the average horse.
Disclaimer: This seminar was given at Big Dee's Anniversary Event. All content provided by Dr. Keckler on Big Dee's site is for informational purposes only. Big Dee's will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.