The War Against Worms

Roundworms, bots, tapeworms, strongyles: there are many kinds of parasites ready to take up residence in your horse’s body. That hasn’t changed, but the strategies for keeping them under control have evolved significantly in recent years. Here’s what you should know about managing the parasite problem. A History of Resistance Parasite control was pretty simple for horse owners in 1978, when Dr. Wendy Duckett graduated from veterinary school. The recommendations were that all horses were given specific drugs via a stomach tube on a regular schedule, which varied a bit depending on where you lived. It seemed to work well at the time, but a serious problem was looming. “Even in the 1940s and ’50s, some parasites were starting to develop resistance to some medications,” said Dr. Duckett, now a professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, PEI. “But this kind of repeated exposure to the same dewormers creates…

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