Few Horse Owners Involve Vet in Parasite Control

Vaccination and deworming are an integral part of horse health care routines, according to respondents of a recent survey, but only a fraction of owners consult their veterinarians when it comes to parasite control.

The findings are part of the American Horse Publications nationwide online survey, conducted from Oct. 15, 2009, to Jan. 31, 2010, which resulted in more than 11,000 responses. The survey is the largest ever of its kind for the United States.

Almost 96% of respondents indicated their horses received at least one vaccination, with over 70% of participants giving their horses the core vaccines of tetanus, West Nile virus, Western and Eastern equine encephalitis, and rabies, as identified by the Association of American Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

Even more respondents (99%) deworm their horses; however, less than 16% involve their veterinarians in parasite control. "The fact that veterinarians aren't actively involved in equine parasite control doesn't surprise me one bit," said Craig Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD, a parasitologist and president of East Tennessee Clinical Research. "Veterinary advice is no longer considered necessary for deworming, but that is clearly mistaken. It's becoming quite obvious we need to get veterinarians involved again because of resistance issues."

According to Reinemeyer, veterinarians can help owners determine which deworming products work on their farms and what horses need the most treatment. "There needs to be a more enlightened approach to the whole thing," he said.

About the Author

Liz Brown

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners