Reducing parasite resistance on equine operations using a comprehensive, whole-farm approach

Final report for LNE14-330

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2014: $146,873.00
Projected End Date: 10/31/2018
Grant Recipient: Pennsylvania State University
Region: Northeast
State: Pennsylvania
Project Leader:
Donna Foulk
Penn State Extension
Co-Leaders:
Dr. Ann Swinker
Penn State University
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Project Information

Summary:

Summary: Reducing Parasite Resistance on Equine Operations Using a Comprehensive Whole Farm Approach

Donna Foulk – Penn State Extension Educator – Equine Natural Resources; Dr. Ed Jedrzejewski, DVM. – Penn State University; Heather Stofanak – Penn State Project Program Associate

By now virtually every equine veterinarian in this country knows that regularly scheduled, across the board deworming is a bad idea. And I know many horse people do as well. But how many people have acted on this information and changed their approach to parasite control. Not nearly enough.   Dr. Martin Nielsen, DVM< PhD, DECK, DACVM quoted in Equus Magazine

Indiscriminate use of dewormers has caused an alarming increase in resistant equine parasites. Cases of resistant small strongyle parasites are being reported worldwide. Many horse owners contribute to the development of resistant parasites by deworming horses at frequent intervals, year-round and may be using products that are totally ineffective on their farm. Adoption of new deworming practices can reduce the use of deworming products providing an economic return in reduced deworming costs, decrease the proliferation of resistant parasites and maintain the effectiveness of the products that are available.

The Penn State Extension equine team obtained a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant which was used to develop a program designed to increase farm managers’ knowledge about parasite resistance, reduce the use of de-wormers, and document parasite burdens and anthelmintic efficacy on Pennsylvania horse farms.

In order to empower horse owners to make changes in their deworming program, it is important to provide clientele with the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident they are making good management decisions. The project team, composed of Extension Educators, veterinarians, farm owners, and the project consultant, Dr. Martin Nielsen, DVM, PhD, PEVPC, DAVCM, determined curriculum content and developed the educational materials for a comprehensive parasite management short course, Managing Equine Parasites Using a Whole Farm Approach. Topics included: parasite types, biology and behavior; the science of resistance; the importance of establishing a “non-resistant” refuge; conducting and using fecal egg counts; classes of dewormers; the danger of short interval deworming; pasture management and composting as a tool to reduce parasite burdens; and the effects of temperature, rainfall, pasture rotation and manure handling practices on parasite development. Additional educational programs were offered that focused on an environmental approach to reduce parasite exposure including pasture improvement and manure management and composting workshops

In 2015 and 2016, 221 farmers attended one of seven short courses offered statewide. 100% adopted at least one practice to reduce parasite burdens, 92% adopted two or more practices.  Participants reported a moderate to large increase in knowledge about: parasites and their life cycles (94%); resistance development (91%); fecal egg counts and strategic de-worming (88%); and pasture and manure management as tools to reduce parasite burdens (88%).  94% of the participants reported that they planned to use fecal egg counts as a basis for their de-worming program; 85% planned to use pasture and manure management practices to help reduce parasite exposure.

The research portion of the project was designed to document small stongyle parasite fecal egg shedding on Pennsylvania farms and evaluate de-wormer efficacy.  Monitoring egg shedding in all horses on the farm would allow farm managers to identify low and high shedders and increase confidence in the value of surveillance based deworming practices.  As a result, horse owners would strategically de-worm horses, resulting in a reduction in the use of de-wormers. Anthelmintic efficacy was determined by conducting pre and post de-worming egg counts for the products that were provided.  Since lack of monitoring equipment is an obstacle to conducting egg counts, participants utilized microscopes and supplies strategically placed in Extension offices. Trained Extension staff provided assistance and ensured that protocol was followed.

In 2015 and 2016, owners and managers of 74 horse farms, representing 711 horses on farms representing 23 Pennsylvania counties enrolled as partners in the research project and reported the following impacts that the project had on their farm operation:

100% stated that they were able to identify the high shedders on their farm, 98% were able to identify the horses that had good immunity against small strongyles, 98% were able to determine the effectiveness of the de-wormers they used, 86% were able to reduce the use of de-wormers., 92%  stated that the project reduced their fear of parasites, 100%  stated that the project increased their confidence in surveillance based deworming, 97%   stated they planned to conduct fecal egg counts on new horses, 74%  took steps to improve pastures to reduce grazing near manured areas, 36%  removed manure from pastures, 69% eliminated harrowing pastures or restricted harrowing too late fall. 

In order to determine product efficacy, the farm partners and Extension staff met every 8 to 12 weeks to conduct fecal egg counts. De-worming efforts were focused on horses with moderate to high small strongyle egg contamination potential.  Reduced efficacy of anthelmintic occurs at the farm level and was determined by conducting pre- and post-de-worming egg counts on all horses on the farm and averaging the results. For the purpose of the study, only data collected from farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were at the threshold of moderate to high strongyle shedders (generally 300 to 500 eggs per gram) was utilized to determine anthelmintic efficacy. Reduced efficacy is indicated when de-wormers fail to reduce egg shedding by at least 90% for pyrantel and benzimidazole and 95% for Ivermectin. To ensure consistency in worming products and to facilitate the timing of post deworming counts, deworming products were supplied for the participants.

Many of the farm managers in the study discovered that their horses did not shed any small strongyle eggs or were low shedders throughout the monitoring period.  Of the qualified farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were moderate to high shedders, 76% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with pyrantel and 95% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with fenbendazole.  Ivermectin showed 100% efficacy on all qualified farms.

Data from 53 farms was used to determine the reduction in use of dewormers and economic savings obtained through reduced dewormer purchased.   Prior to participating in the project, the 53 horse owners dewormed 1,992 times per year. Using surveillance-based deworming principles, deworming was reduced to 727 times a year – a reduction of 1,265 times. The cost of each deworming was set at $7.23.  The total financial savings for the 53 farms was $9,145.95.

What we have learned to date is:

  • Most Pennsylvania horses in the study shed no or very low numbers of strongyle eggs. Most of the low shedders remained consistently low throughout the monitoring period. High shedders tended to remain high and needed to be strategically dewormed.
  • There is reduced efficacy and appears to be resistance to pyrantel and fenbendazole on the large majority of evaluated Pennsylvania farms. Pyrantel showed reduced efficacy on 76% of the qualified farms in the study; fenbendazole - 95% of the farms.
  • Due to the high level of product resistance discovered on PA equine operations, it  is critical for horse owners to use strategic deworming methods and a comprehensive whole-farm approach to reduce the rate of resistance development.
  • Farms can significantly reduce the number of times that horses are dewormed on the farm by using targeted deworming practices.  The farms in the study reduced the use of dewormers by 64% (1992 times reduced to 727).
  • The farm managers that participated in the study were willing to adopt changes to their parasite management program when they were provided with the knowledge and tools necessary to make those changes.
  • Farm managers and horse owners are extremely willing to participate in projects and research that benefits their horses and the equine community. In spite of the large time requirement necessary to complete the project, 74 of the initial 76 farm partners completed the project.
  • The bond of trust that is generated in working together and the strong relationships that develop along the way is priceless.

1-31-Final-Report-Reducing-Parasite-Resistance-on-Equine-Operations-Using-a-Comprehensive-Whole-Farm-Approach-SARE-and-PSU
1-31-Protocol-for-Conducting-Fecal-Egg-Counts-and-Fecal-Egg-Count-Reduction-Tests-SARE-and-PSU
2017-PSU-Parasite-Project-Results-webinar

Performance Target:

Performance Targets:

Performance Target #1.  200 of 300 participants in the short course, Managing Equine Parasites Using a Whole Farm Approach, will implement at least two new practices to reduce parasite burdens on pastures (remove manure from pastures, improve pasture quality to reduce grazing in manure deposition areas, rotate pastures after deworming, deworm new individuals, compost manure before applying to pastures, and/or use fecal egg counts to strategically deworm “shedders.”\

Performance Target #2.   80 farm managers that completed the course will use established protocol to conduct pre and post fecal egg counts , supplying data from 640 horses (average - 8 per farm) and will:

  • document egg shedding in horses enrolled in the project.
  • identify and eliminate the use of products that show resistance on their farms
  • identify and strategically deworm the “shedders” on their farm .
  •       reduce the number of deworming treatments
     
Introduction:

Indiscriminate use of dewormers has caused an alarming increase in resistant parasites. New deworming products developed in 1970-1980 carried the recommendation to deworm all horses on the farm every 8 weeks.  Continued use of these products accelerated the rate of resistance development.  The results of a resistance study conducted utilizing 1274 horses on 44 farms in the southern US, revealed that 97.7 % of the farms had parasites that were resistant to fenbendazole, and 40.5% of the farms had parasites that were resistant to pyrantel. Cases of resistant small strongyle parasites are being reported worldwide. Many horse owners contribute to the development of resistant parasites by deworming horses every eight weeks and may be using products that are totally ineffective. Small strongyle parasites can encyst and survive in the horses digestive tract lining for several years, and can be transported to new locations with the horse. Horses move frequently from farm to farm, state to state, and country to country and can spread resistant parasites world-wide. Adoption of new deworming practices can decrease the proliferation of resistant parasites and maintain the effectiveness of the products that are available.

In order to empower horse owners to make changes in their deworming program, it is important to provide clientele with the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident they are making good management decisions. The project team, composed of Cooperative Extension educators, veterinarians, farm owners, and the project consultant determined curriculum content and developed the educational materials for a comprehensive parasite management short course, Managing Equine Parasites Using a Whole Farm Approach.  In 2015 and 2016 and 2017, the short course was offered at seven  locations in Pennsylvania.  In 2016 and 2017, additional educational programs were offered that focused on an environmental approach to reduce parasite exposure including pasture improvement and manure management and composting workshops.  In 2017, a major programmatic effort was to share the results of the projects with horse owners, farm managers, veterinarians and other Extension Educators and specialists.

The research portion of the project was designed to document parasite burdens on Pennsylvania farms and evaluate dewormer efficacy. The data collected on the farms would enable farm managers to develop farm-specific strategic deworming practices. To ensure that the farm partners had the knowledge and skills necessary to make good management decisions, farm managers were selected from short course participants. The farm partners met at predetermined sites and conducted fecal egg counts on all horses on the farm in order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high “shedders.” farm owners Dewormer efficacy was determined by conducting pre- and post-deworming egg counts. Although no farms were prevented from participating in the project, only those farms with a minimum of three horses that were moderate to high shedders were included in data analysis. Since lack of monitoring equipment is an obstacle to conducting egg counts, participants utilized microscopes and supplies strategically placed in extension offices. Trained extension staff provided assistance and ensured that protocol was followed.

The number of horses on each farm that were low "shedders" or did not shed any strongyle eggs was recorded and the reduction in the number of dewormings and economic savings using fecal egg count based targeted deworming methods was documented. The  number of farms that showed reduced efficacy when deworming with pyrantel, fenbendazole and ivermectin was also documented. 

Cooperators

Click linked name(s) to expand
  • Donna Foulk
  • Heather Stofanak
  • Dr. Ann Swinker
  • Dr. Ed Jedrzejewski

Research

Hypothesis:

Reducing Parasite Resistance on Equine Operations Using a Comprehensive Whole Farm Approach

Hypotheses

Our hypothesis is that farm managers and horse owners will effectively utilize fecal egg count data to reduce their overall use of deworming products on the farm by a minimum of 30% if they obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt changes.  Only 20% of the horses on Pennsylvania farms will be identified as significant  "shedders" of small strongyle eggs. We also hypothesize that over 50% of the farms in Pennsylvania will have small strongyle populations that are resistant to pyrantel and fenbendazole.

Research

The research portion of the project was designed to document small stongyle parasite fecal egg shedding on Pennsylvania farms and evaluate de-wormer efficacy. The data collected enabled farm managers to develop farm-specific strategic de-worming practices.  The farm partners met at predetermined sites and conducted fecal egg counts on all horses on the farm in order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high “shedders”. Anthelmintic efficacy was determined by conducting pre and post de-worming egg counts for the products that were provided.  Although no farms were prevented from participating in the project, only those farms with a minimum of three horses that were moderate to high strongyle shedders pre-treatment were included in the treatment efficacy assessment. Since lack of monitoring equipment is an obstacle to conducting egg counts, participants utilized microscopes and supplies strategically placed in Extension offices. Trained Extension staff provided assistance and ensured that protocol was followed.

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Materials and methods:

      

Key Concepts that Provided a Basis for the Development of the Project Methods and Protocol

 

  1. Important changes have occurred in equine parasite populations due to the introduction of new classes of dewormers. Large strongyles are now rare and small strongyles are the parasites of concern in adult horses, while ascarids remain the most important parasite in foals and weanlings. 
  2. Traditional parasite control programs feature rotational use of dewormers at regular intervals. This strategy is 40 years old and was designed to eliminate highly pathogenic large strongyles. This strategy was very successful and disease from large strongyles is now very rare. 
  3. Small strongyles are present in all horses but are relatively mild pathogens and only produce disease when the parasites are present at very high levels. Frequent deworming treatments are not needed to keep most adult horses healthy. 
  4. The strategy promoted today is to use products with proven efficacy that are administered at the appropriate time of the year based on the parasite burdens of individual horses. 
  5. In northern climates, egg shedding tends to be low in winter, whether or not the horses have been dewormed, and egg shedding increases in early spring through the summer months. 
  6. Adult horses vary greatly in immunity to parasites and shedding of small strongyle eggs. Most adult horses tend to have good immunity against small strongyles; 40-60% of adult horses tend to be low shedders; 20 to 30% are moderate shedders; and 10 to 30% are high; 80% of eggs come from 20% of the horses on a farm. 
  7. Adult horses tend to shed roughly the same number of eggs throughout their life time; low shedders will often remain low and high shedders have a tendency to remain high. 
  8. Horses less than 3 years of age require special attention and more frequent deworming since they are more susceptible to infection and developing disease. 
  9. Anthelmintic resistance is highly prevalent in small strongyles and ascarids. Resistance is the ability of parasites in a population to survive treatment with a dewormer. Resistance is an inherited trait. The rate of development of resistance is determined by the degree of selection pressure from repeated exposure to a dewormer and the extent to which surviving parasites pass their genes to the next generation. Resistance occurs over time. With continued reproduction of resistant worms, eventually the resistant population is high enough that the dewormer fails.
  10. To reduce the rate at which resistance occurs, it is critical to maintain parasites that are not exposed to the dewormer. This is known as the refugia. Parasites that are not exposed to the dewormer will not develop genes that are resistant to that dewormer. 
  11. Egg reappearance time is defined as the time interval between the last effective deworming treatment and the time it takes for significant egg shedding to be detected. Egg reappearance periods that are shorter than anticipated are an indication that resistance is developing to that product. The table below shows the egg reappearance period for the products when they were first developed and when the drug is fully effective. To evaluate egg shedding in adult horses, the sample should be collected 4 weeks after the egg reappearance period for the dewormer used. 

Dewormer

Egg reappearance period when the product was first introduced

Egg reappearance time when the drug is effective

When FEC should be conducted after using this product

Fenbendazole/oxibendazole

6 weeks

4-5 weeks

≥9 weeks

Pyrantel

5-6 weeks

4-5 weeks

≥9 weeks

Ivermectin

9-13 weeks

6-8 weeks

≥12 weeks

Moxidectin

16-22 weeks

10-12 weeks

≥16 weeks

 

Key Concepts Utilized in the Development of Project Deworming Protocol

  1. Fecal egg counts should be conducted on all farm horses and deworming efforts should be focused on horses with high small strongyle egg contamination potential. 
  2. A basic foundation of anthelmintic treatments should be considered for all horses. This generally consists of one or two yearly treatments. 
  3. A product that provides control of strongyles, bots and tapeworms should be used in the fall, usually after the grazing season. 
  4. Efficacy of dewormers on the farm should be determined using a fecal egg count reduction test. 
  5. Deworming treatments should be used during times of peak transmission – usually spring through fall when the number of non-resistant parasites will be highest in the pasture.
  6. A product labeled for encysted larvae should be used in horses that have a history of parasite infection and disease. 
  7. Yearlings and two year old horses have a greater risk of parasite infection and disease due to reduced levels of immunity. More frequent deworming treatments (often 4 or more per year) may be necessary to control parasites in young horses. Conducting fecal egg counts on a regular basis will help with deworming decisions and conducting fecal egg count reduction tests will ensure that the products are working.
  8. Foals and weanlings are very susceptible to parasite infection and great care should be taken to ensure that the foals are dewormed with the correct product at the appropriate time for the parasites that are present. Targeted deworming based on fecal egg counts is not recommended for this age group. Very specific deworming protocol has been established for foals and weanlings. 
  9. Fecal egg counts provide a measure of the number of eggs being shed into the environment. A fecal egg count of zero does not necessarily mean that the horse is parasite free. The horse may have small strongyle larvae that are encysted or adults that are not shedding eggs and may harbor parasites other than small strongyles. 
  10. FECs from an individual horse will vary from sample to sample by as much as 50%. A horse with a FEC of 1000 may actually be shedding 500 or 1500 eggs per gram. 
  11. Low shedders are those horses that are considered to be below the threshold for deworming (generally between 100 to 500 eggs per gram; high shedders are generally over 1000 EPG. 
  12. Just deworming the high shedders significantly reduces the eggs that are put into the environment.In order to reduce the selection pressure that can lead to the development of resistant parasites, horses with low to moderate fecal egg counts should not be dewormed.

Project Methods  

  1. Data was collected about the farm operation including number of horses, stability of the horse population, acres of pasture, turnout schedule, pasture conditions, BMPs adopted on the farm, and previous deworming practices. 
  2. FEC data included name and weight of horses, amount of product used, FECs prior and post deworming. Horse profiles were generated and included age, sex and breed of the horse, horse activity and stress levels, and any health issues that the horse experienced. 
  3. The compiled data for all farm operations was used to determine overall parasite burdens on PA farms, the % of horses on the farm that are “shedders” and to evaluate efficacy of the products used on the farm. The data will also be used to determine if resistance to a product is found on all farms in PA or if resistance is farm specificProject Methods - Conducting and Interpreting Small Strongyle Fecal Egg Counts in Horses.
  4. Although specific protocol has been developed for this project based on AAEP guidelines, the farm manager and veterinarian were encouraged to provide input into the deworming program that was developed for each farm.
  5. In order to empower horse owners to make changes in their deworming program, it is important that clientele have the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident they are making good management decisions. To ensure sufficient knowledge about equine parasites, resistance development and deworming management practices, farm owners participating in the research portion of the project were required to complete the short course, Reducing Parasite Resistance on Equine Operations Using a Whole Farm Approach.
  6. All farm owners that completed the short course and wanted to be part of the project were accepted. The farm partners met at predetermined sites and conducted fecal egg counts on all horses on the farm in order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high “shedders”. Since lack of monitoring equipment was an obstacle to conducting egg counts, farm partners participated in previously scheduled monitoring sessions and utilized microscopes and supplies strategically placed in Extension offices. Trained Extension staff provided assistance and ensured that protocol was followed.
  7. Fecal egg counts were conducted approximately every 8 to 12 weeks beginning in April or early May. The start time for the project varied based on geographic location of the farm and climate conditions.
  8. The Paracount – EPG system, consisting of a volumetric vial and a McMaster’s slide of specific volume, was used to conduct FECs. Anthelmintic efficacy was determined by conducting pre and post de-worming egg counts for the products that were provided.
  9. Although no farms were prevented from participating in the project, only those farms with a minimum of three horses that were moderate to high strongyle shedders pre-treatment were included in the treatment efficacy assessment
  10. For the project, low shedders were defined as horses with a FEC of 1-200 EPG, moderate shedders have a FEC of 200-500 EPG, and high shedders have a FEC of 500 EPG. Generally horses were targeted for deworming if the egg count exceeded 300 EPG. Since there is quite a bit of variability in manure samples obtained from the same horse, this number was only a recommended guideline for this project.
  11. The deworming protocol was developed using AAEP guidelines for young and adult horses. If foals and yearlings were present on the farm, the farm managers was encouraged to monitor egg shedding in these young horses, but the data was not included in the determination of high and low shedders and product resistance.     

Determining Resistance - Fecal Egg Count Reduction Tests

  1. Since a major project goals was to determine which dewormers are effective on PA farms, it was important to conduct pre and post deworming fecal egg counts of horses in the project.
  2. The detection limit for the Paracount EPG System system is 25 eggs per gram. Based on this detection limit, horses with small strongyle fecal egg counts of 500 to >1000 are excellent candidates for conducting fecal egg count reduction tests. Horses with egg counts of 200 to 500 are considered to be suitable for the test but the results need to be carefully evaluated. For this project, farm owners were supplied with dewormers for horses that have FECs of >300 EPG and were asked to recheck egg counts in 14 days post deworming. Monitoring sites with trained staff and equipment and supplies were available for all scheduled FECs and post deworming sessions.
  3.  To ensure product compatibility and consistency in post deworming checks, participants were provided with the deworming products for all moderate to high shedders on the farm.
  4. To calculate the % fecal egg count reduction he following formula was used:% FEC = (FEC before deworming – FEC post deworming) / FEC before deworming X 100 
  5. Since resistance occurs at the farm level (not the horse level), fecal egg count reduction tests should be preferably be performed on 5 to 10 horses on each farm that have moderate to high egg counts (over 300 EPG for this project). Only farms that had at least 3 horses with egg counts over 300 were included in the project data. The % fecal egg count reduction data for all the horses tested on the farm was added together and an average taken. Resistance was determined based on the average of the fecal egg count reductions for each dewormer tested.
  6. Egg shedding reduction can vary based on the dewormer used. Benzimidazole (Anthelcide, Safeguard, Panacure) and pyrantel (Strongid, Exodus) should reduce egg shedding by at least 90%. Ivermectin and Moxidectin (Quest) should reduce egg shedding by 95% or more. If egg shedding is not reduced to these levels, then resistance should be suspected.
  7.  Farm partners were asked to evaluate efficacy of pyrantel, fenbendazole, and ivermectin on their farms. Pyrantel was chosen as the first product evaluated because of varying reports of resistance levels.
  8.  If fewer than 5 horses were used for egg count reduction tests, the results needed to be carefully evaluated unless there was very high efficacy of the product (over 98% reduction in egg shedding) or very low efficacy (less than 80% reduction in egg shedding is consistently seen for all horses). In addition, since egg shedding can vary by as much as 50% from sample to sample, if the % reduction fell in a grey zone -   defined as 5% less than the 90% target for benzimidazoles and pyrantel and 95% for ivermectin and moxidectin, then resistance needed to be determined carefully. It was sometimes necessary to repeat the test.
Research results and discussion:

Results

A major goal of the project was to increase knowledge of parasite biology and management utilizing an integrated approach that included monitoring egg shedding in horses and adopting farm management practices that could reduce parasite burdens. Monitoring egg shedding in all horses on the farm would increase confidence in the value of surveillance based deworming practices.  As a result, horse owners would strategically de-worm horses, resulting in a reduction in the use of de-wormers.

In 2015 and 2016, owners and managers of 74 horse farms, representing 711 horses on farms representing 23 Pennsylvania counties enrolled as partners in the research project and reported the following impacts that the project had on their farm operation:

100%   stated that they were able to identify the high shedders on their farm.

  98%   were able to identify the horses that had good immunity against small strongyles.

  98%   were able to determine the effectiveness of the de-wormers they used.

  86%   were able to reduce the use of de-wormers.

  92%   stated that the project reduced their fear of parasites.

100%   stated that the project increased their confidence in surveillance based  deworming.

97%      stated they planned to conduct fecal egg counts on new horses.

  74%   took steps to improve pastures to reduce grazing near manured areas.

  36%   removed manure from pastures.

  69%   eliminated harrowing pastures or restricted harrowing too late fall.

Anthelmintic Reduced Efficacy

In order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high shedders, the farm partners and Extension staff met every 8 to 12 weeks to conduct fecal egg counts. De-worming efforts were focused on horses with moderate to high small strongyle egg contamination potential.  Reduced efficacy of anthelmintic occurs at the farm level and was determined by conducting pre- and post-de-worming egg counts on all horses on the farm and averaging the results. For the purpose of the study, only data collected from farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were at the threshold of moderate to high strongyle shedders (generally 300 to 500 eggs per gram) was utilized to determine anthelmintic efficacy.  Reduced efficacy is indicated when de-wormers fail to reduce egg shedding by at least 90% for pyrantel and benzimidazole and 95% for Ivermectin.

Table 1. Efficacy Results for Pyrantel, Fenbendazol, and Ivermectin on Pennsylvania Horse Farms 

 

2015

2016

Total

NUMBER OF FARMS IN THE STUDY

52

22

74

NUMBER OF HORSES IN THE STUDY

467

254

711

 

 

 

 

PYRANTEL PAMOATE

 

 

 

*Farms that had no horses at de-worming threshold

14     27%

5     23%

19   26%

** Farms at threshold that de-wormed with pyrantel

38     73%

17   77%

55   74%

***Qualified farms (farms with 3 or more horses that were moderate to high shedders)

20     38%

9     41%

29   39%

****Farms showing reduced efficacy

16     80%

6     67%

22   76%

****Farms showing intact efficacy

4       20%

3     33%

7     24%

 

 

 

 

FENBENDAZOLE – (5 mg/kg)

 

 

 

*Farms that had no horses at de-worming threshold

28     54%

8     36%

36     49%

*Farms at threshold that de-wormed with fenbendazole

24     46%

14 64%

38     51%

**Qualified farms (farms with 3 or more horses that were  moderate to high shedders)

11     21%

10   45%

21     28%

***Farms showing reduced efficacy

11     100%

9     90%

20     95%

***Farms showing intact efficacy

0           0%

1   10%

1       .5%

 

 

 

 

IVERMECTIN

 

 

 

*Farms that had no horses at de-worming threshold

23       44%

5     23%

28     38%

*Farms at threshold that de-wormed with ivermectin

29       56%

17   73%

46     62%

**Qualified farms (farms with 3 or more horses that were moderate to high shedders)

13       44%

9     41%

22     30%

***Farms showing reduced efficacy

0           0%

0       0%

0         0%

***Farms showing intact efficacy

13       100%

9     100%  

22     100%

*Horses that were not shedding eggs or were low shedders (less than 300 eggs per gram) were not dewormed but   were monitored every 8 to 12 weeks for egg production.

**Horses were dewormed when they reached the threshold of 300 to 500 eggs per gram or higher. Farm managers were encouraged to consult with their veterinarians and had input into deworming decisions.

*** Data on product efficacy was obtained from qualified farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were moderate

to high shedders utilizing protocol established for the NALMS study.

****Product efficacy was determined by conducting pre and post deworming fecal egg counts on all horses on the farm that were moderate to high shedders and documenting egg shedding reduction as an average for all horses.   Pyrantel and fenbendaszole was reported to have reduced efficacy if egg shedding reduction was less than 90%; ivermectin was reported to have reduced efficacy if egg shedding reduction was less than 95%.

Many of the farm managers discovered that their horses did not shed any small strongyle eggs or were low shedders during the monitoring period.  Of the qualified farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were moderate to high shedders, 76% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with pyrantel and 95% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with fenbendazole.  This would indicate that there is significant resistance to these products on the Pennsylvania farms that participated in the project.  Ivermectin showed 100% efficacy on all qualified farms.

Data from 53 farms was used to determine the reduction in use of dewormers and economic savings obtained through reduced dewormer purchased.   Prior to participating in the project, the 53 horse owners dewormed 1,992 times per year. Using surveillance-based deworming principles, deworming was reduced to 727 times a year – a reduction of 1,265 times. The cost of each deworming was set at $7.23.  This figure was determined by averaging the cost of the dewormers in the three major drug classes - pyrantel, fenbendazole and ivermectin.  The total financial savings for the 53 farms was $9,145.95. There are currently 216,000 equine in Pennsylvania. If only 10% of Pennsylvania horse farms followed these methods, the savings in product cost would be more than $388,000/year.

 

Research conclusions:

Conclusion

What we have learned to date is:

  • Most Pennsylvania horses in the study shed no or very low numbers of strongyle eggs. Most of the low shedders remained consistently low throughout the monitoring period. High shedders tended to remain high and needed to be strategically dewormed.
  • There is reduced efficacy and appears to be significant resistance to pyrantel and fenbendazole on the large majority of evaluated Pennsylvania farms. Pyrantel showed reduced efficacy on 76% of the qualified farms in the project; fenbendazole -95%.
  • Farm managers can significantly reduce their use of dewormers by using targeted deworming principles.  The 53 qualified farms in the project were able to reduce their use of dewormers by 64% (reducing their use of dewormers from 1995 times per year to 727 times.)
  • It is critical for horse owners to use a comprehensive approach to manage parasites to reduce the rate of resistance development.
  • The farm managers that participated in the study adopted changes to their parasite management program when they were provided with the knowledge and tools necessary to make those changes.
  • Farm managers and horse owners are extremely willing to participate in projects and research that benefits their horses and the equine community. The bond of trust that is generated in working together and the strong relationships that develop along the way is priceless.
Participation Summary
74 Farmers participating in research

Education

Educational approach:

In order to empower horse owners to make changes in their deworming program, it is important to provide clientele with the knowledge and skills necessary to be confident they are making good management decisions. The project team, composed of Cooperative Extension educators, veterinarians, farm owners, and the project consultant determined curriculum content and developed the educational materials for a comprehensive parasite management short course, Managing Equine Parasites Using a Whole Farm Approach.  In 2015 and 2016 and 2017, the short course was offered at seven  locations in Pennsylvania. Topics included: parasite types, biology and behavior; the science of resistance; the importance of establishing a “non-resistant” refuge; conducting and using fecal egg counts; classes of dewormers; the danger of short interval deworming; pasture management and composting as a tool to reduce parasite burdens; and the effects of temperature, rainfall, pasture rotation and manure handling practices on parasite development. In 2016 and 2017, additional educational programs were offered that focused on an environmental approach to reduce parasite exposure including pasture improvement and manure management and composting workshops.  In 2017, a major programmatic effort was to share the results of the projects with horse owners, farm managers, veterinarians and other Extension Educators and specialists.  In 2018 fecal egg count demonstrations  were held for the PA Equine Council members, at the World Horse Expo in Harrisburg, PA and Penn State Ag Progress Days.  A live webinar on Parasite resistance and the results of the project was produced and recorded and placed on the Penn State Equine Extension website. A lecture on parasite resistance was offered at a horse health conference in Bethlehem, PA A professionally produced short course was begun on parasite resistance and the results of the Penn State research.


Donna Foulk - Project PI uses a skit to illustrate the principles of resistance development


Project partners conduct fecal egg counts

Milestones

Milestone #1 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Milestone - #1 Develop and offer a program and short course, Managing Equine Parasite Resistance Using a Whole Farm Approach. Farm managers will complete a short course or individual workshop or field day, learning about parasite life cycles, the science of resistance, and the effects of temperature, rainfall, pasture rotation and manure composting on parasite exposure and transmission and will implement at least two new practices to reduce parasite burdens (compost manure, improve pastures, deworm new individuals, use fecal egg counts to make deworming decisions, identify “shedders” and, and limit short interval rotation of products). Additional stand-alone workshops on parasite resistance will be held throughout Pennsylvania.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
300
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
30
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
431
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
42
Proposed Completion Date:
July 30, 2017
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
July 30, 2017
Accomplishments:

Milestone #1.  Develop and offer an educational short course, Managing Equine Parasite Resistance Using a Whole Farm Approach

  • Organized a program team composed of Extension Educators, specialists, veterinarians, horse owners and farm managers
  • Team met with project consultant, Dr. Martin Nielsen, Gluck Institute, University of Kentucky to identify key concepts to be included in the training modules and develop the research protocol.
  • Developed training modules, and marketing and evaluation materials for the project
  • 2015 - 164 farmers completed one of 3 short courses. 100% adopted at least one practice to reduce parasite burdens, 92% adopted two or more practices.
  • In 2016 additional short courses were offered and  advertised specifically to solicit farm managers that wanted to participate in the research part of the project. Three short courses were held with 57 farm managers completing the course. All 221 participants completed a post short course evaluation that was used to document increase in knowledge and planned changes in deworming programs. Participants reported a moderate to large increase in knowledge about: parasites and their life cycles (94%); resistance development (91%); fecal egg counts and strategic deworming (88%); and pasture and manure management as tools to reduce parasite burdens (88%). 94% of the participants reported that they planned to use fecal egg counts as a basis for their deworming program; 85% planned to use pasture and manure management practices to help reduce parasite exposure.
  • In 2015, 2016 and 2017, eight  additional stand-alone workshops were held on reducing parasite resistance with 210 people attending the workshops.
  • An advanced program on parasite resistance and management was held for the farm partners and veterinarians. The keynote speaker was the project consultant, Dr. Martin Nielsen of the Gluck Institute in Kentucky
  • A webinar was held to share the results of the project with other equine Extension Educators in Eastern PA.
  • Fourteen pasture and manure management workshops and field days and environmental stewardship short courses were held to help people improve pastures and reduce parasite exposure with 420 people attending the workshops.
  • The program has been expanded and is now offered for 4-H youth. 140 youth attended one of 6 workshops that were held for teens who learned about the principles of resistance management and learned to conduct fecal egg counts.
  • An on-line course is being produced featuring all aspects of equine  parasites and resistance and the results of the Penn State Project. Completion Date - October 201

2018-Short-Course-Introduction

2018-Short-Course-Module-1-Types-of-Parasites

2018-Short-Course-Module-2-Dewormers-and-Reistance-Development

2018-Short-Course-Module-3-Equine-Parasites-in-the-Environment-Non-Chemical-Stratagies-to-Reduce-Parasite-Numberse-4-Project-Results

2018-Short-Course-Module-5-Conducting-Fecal-Egg-Counts

2018-Short-Course-Module-6-Putting-the-Pieces-Together-Deworming-Protocol

2015 End of Year Evaluation Results

2016 End of Year Evaluation Results

2015 Parasite Control A Whole Farm Approach Brochure

2016 Parasite Short Course Brochure

Environmental Short Course Brochure Oct-2017

 

 

 

Milestone #2 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Milestone #2. Farm managers, selected for the research portion of the project, will follow established protocol and monitor strongyle egg production, identify “shedders” and evaluate product efficacy by conducting pre and post deworming egg counts.
A minimum of 80 farm managers will be selected for the research portion of the project. After completing the training, the farmer owners will adopt two new practices to manage parasites using increased knowledge of parasite biology, resistance, pasture rotation, and manure composting; 80 will monitor herd egg production, identify low resistance “shedders,” and evaluate farm-specific product efficacy; 60 will reduce deworming of non-shedding horses by 30%.

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
80
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
4
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
74
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
12
Proposed Completion Date:
July 30, 2017
Status:
Completed
Date Completed:
July 30, 2017
Accomplishments:

Milestone #2  Farm managers, selected for the research portion of the project,  will follow established protocol and monitor strongyle egg production, identify “shedders” and evaluate product efficacy by conducting pre and post deworming egg counts

  • The project team establishes protocol for conducting fecal egg counts, evaluating product efficacy and establishing a deworming program. Eight county extension offices are selected as monitoring sites and are supplied with microscopes and supplies.
  • 4 on-site project assistants are trained to help farm managers conduct fecal egg counts and adhere to established protocol.
  • The project assistants and program associate coordinate trainings at county sites for 74 farm owners that completed the short course and are selected for the project. Farm managers will conduct fecal egg counts, monitor herd egg production and evaluate product efficacy by conducting pre and post deworming egg counts.
  • Participating farm managers receive assistance in utilizing the data they have collected on parasite level on their farm and product resistance in developing a farm specific targeted deworming program
  • In 2015 and 2016, owners and managers of 74 horse farms, representing 711 horses on farms representing 23 Pennsylvania counties enrolled as partners in the research project and reported the following impacts that the project had on their farm operation:
    • 100%  stated that they were able to identify the high shedders on their farm.
    •  98% were able to identify the horses that had good   immunity against small strongyles.
    • 98% were able to determine the effectiveness of the de-wormers they used.
    • 86% were able to reduce the use of de-wormers.
    • 92%  stated that the project reduced their fear of parasites.
    • 100%  stated that the project increased their confidence in surveillance based deworming.
    • 97%  stated they planned to conduct fecal egg counts on new horses.
    • 74% took steps to improve pastures to reduce grazing near manured areas.
    •  36% removed manure from pastures.
    •  69% eliminated harrowing pastures or restricted  harrowing too late fall.
  • In order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high shedders, the farm partners and Extension staff met every 8 to 12 weeks to conduct fecal egg counts.
  • In 2015 and 2016, 74 farms participated in the study. Many of the farm managers discovered that their horses did not shed any small strongyle eggs or were low shedders during the monitoring period.  Of the qualified farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were moderate to high shedders, 76% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with pyrantel and 95% showed reduced efficacy when dewormed with fenbendazole.  This would indicate that there is significant resistance to these products on the Pennsylvania farms that participated in the project.  Ivermectin showed 100% efficacy on all qualified farms.
  • Data from 53 farms was used to determine the reduction in use of dewormers and economic savings obtained through reduced dewormer purchased.   Prior to participating in the project, the 53 horse owners dewormed 1,992 times per year. Using surveillance-based deworming principles, deworming was reduced to 727 times a year – a reduction of 1,265 times. The cost of each deworming was set at $7.23.  This figure was determined by averaging the cost of the dewormers in the three major drug classes - pyrantel, fenbendazole and ivermectin.  The total financial savings for the 53 farms was $9,145.95. There are currently 216,000 equine in Pennsylvania. If only 10% of Pennsylvania horse farms followed these methods, the savings in product cost would be more than $388,000/year.

1-31-Protocol-for-Conducting-Fecal-Egg-Counts-and-Fecal-Egg-Count-Reduction-Tests-SARE-and-PSU

1-31-Final-Report-Reducing-Parasite-Resistance-on-Equine-Operations-Using-a-Comprehensive-Whole-Farm-Approach-SARE-and-PSU

 

Milestone #3 (click to expand/collapse)
What beneficiaries do and learn:

Milestone #3. Horse owners will be made aware of the results of the Penn State parasite project and the threat of resistant parasite development in PA. Veterinarians and farm partners will share their knowledge on targeted deworming strategies and the threat of parasite resistance with horse owners and farm managers

Proposed number of farmer beneficiaries who will participate:
500
Proposed number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who will participate:
75
Actual number of farmer beneficiaries who participated:
216
Actual number of agriculture service provider beneficiaries who participated:
48
Proposed Completion Date:
December 1, 2018
Status:
In Progress
Accomplishments:

Milestone #3 Horse owners will be made aware of the results of the Penn State parasite project and the threat of resistant parasite development in PA. Veterinarians and farm partners will share their knowledge on targeted deworming strategies and the threat of parasite resistance with horse owners and farm managers

  • Workshops on the Penn State  parasite resistance program results was presented for 155 horse owners and farm managers at the Horse World Expo and annual meeting of the PA Horse Council. 
  • The Program results were presented as a webinar for 42 Equine Extension educators and specialists.
  • The project results were presented at a special advanced session on parasite resistance management for the 35 farm partners and 6 veterinarians.
  • A webinar on the SARE project was presented in 2018.
  • On-going demonstrations on conducting parasite fecal egg counts were conducted during Ag Progress Days (A three day Agricultural Affair at State College, PA
  • The project results were presented at the World Horse Expo in Harrisburg, PA and will be presented in 2019.
  • The development of a complete on-line course is being professionally developed using the modules developed under the SARE grant.  Target completion date is October 2019.

1-31-Factsheet-Managing-Equine-Parasites-The-New-Protocol-SARE-and-PSU

2017-PSU-Parasite-Project-Results-webinar

1-31-Final-Report-Reducing-Parasite-Resistance-on-Equine-Operations-Using-a-Comprehensive-Whole-Farm-Approach-SARE-and-PSU

 

 

Milestone Activities and Participation Summary

Educational activities:

155 Consultations
12 Curricula, factsheets or educational tools
1 Journal articles
12 On-farm demonstrations
1 Online trainings
2 Published press articles, newsletters
28 Webinars / talks / presentations
18 Workshop field days
2 Other educational activities

Participation Summary:

571 Farmers
42 Number of agricultural educator or service providers reached through education and outreach activities

Learning Outcomes

74 Farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and/or awareness as a result of their participation
4 Agricultural service providers reported changes in knowledge, skills, and/or attitudes as a result of their participation
Key areas in which farmers reported changes in knowledge, attitude, skills and/or awareness:

In 2016 the short course was advertised specifically to solicit farm managers that wanted to participate in the research part of the project. Three short courses were held with 57 farm managers completing the course. Participants completed a post short course evaluation that was used to document increase in knowledge and planned changes in deworming programs. Participants reported a moderate to large increase in knowledge about: parasites and their life cycles (94%); resistance development (91%); fecal egg counts and strategic deworming (88%); and pasture and manure management as tools to reduce parasite burdens (88%). 94% of the participants reported that they planned to use fecal egg counts as a basis for their deworming program; 85% planned to use pasture and manure management practices to help reduce parasite exposure.

Performance Target Outcomes

Target #1

Target: number of farmers:
200
Target: change/adoption:

Performance Target #1. 200 of 300 participants in the short course, Managing Equine Parasites Using a Whole Farm Approach, will implement at least two new practices to reduce parasite burdens on pastures (remove manure from pastures, improve pasture quality to reduce grazing in manure deposition areas, rotate pastures after deworming, deworm new individuals, compost manure before applying to pastures, and/or use fecal egg counts to strategically deworm “shedders.”

Target: amount of production affected:

200 horse/farm managers planned to adopt at least one new practice to reduce parasite burdens; 203 will adopt two or more practices.

Actual: number of farmers:
193
Actual: change/adoption:

2015 and 2016, 221 farmers attended one of seven short courses offered statewide. 100% adopted at least one practice to reduce parasite burdens, 92% adopted two or more practices. Participants reported a moderate to large increase in knowledge about: parasites and their life cycles (94%); resistance development (91%); fecal egg counts and strategic de-worming (88%); and pasture and manure management as tools to reduce parasite burdens (88%). 94% of the participants reported that they planned to use fecal egg counts as a basis for their de-worming program; 85% planned to use pasture and manure management practices to help reduce parasite exposure

Actual: quantified benefit(s):

Data from 53 farms was used to determine the reduction in use of dewormers and economic savings obtained through reduced dewormer purchased. Prior to participating in the project, the 53 horse owners dewormed 1,992 times per year. Using surveillance-based deworming principles, deworming was reduced to 727 times a year – a reduction of 1,265 times. The cost of each deworming was set at $7.23. This figure was determined by averaging the cost of the dewormers in the three major drug classes - pyrantel, fenbendazole and ivermectin. The total financial savings for the 53 farms was $9,145.95. There are currently 216,000 equine in Pennsylvania. If only 10% of Pennsylvania horse farms followed these methods, the savings in product cost would be more than $388,000/year.

Target #2

Target: number of farmers:
80
Target: change/adoption:

Performance Target #2. 80 farm managers that completed the course will use established protocol to conduct pre and post fecal egg counts , supplying data from 640 horses (average - 8 per farm) and will:
•document egg shedding in horses enrolled in the project.
•identify and eliminate the use of products that show resistance on their farms
•identify and strategically deworm the “shedders” on their farm .
• reduce the number of deworming treatments by at least 30 %

Target: amount of production affected:

Farm management practices designed to reduce the proliferation of resistant parasites will be initiated on all 80 farms.

Actual: number of farmers:
74
Actual: change/adoption:

In 2015 and 2016, owners and managers of 74 horse farms, representing 711 horses on farms in 23 Pennsylvania counties served as partners in the research portion of the project. In order to monitor egg shedding and identify low and high shedders, the farm partners and Extension staff met every 8 to 12 weeks to conduct fecal egg counts. De-worming efforts were focused on horses with moderate to high small strongyle egg contamination potential. Reduced efficacy of anthelmintic occurs at the farm level and was determined by conducting pre- and post-de-worming egg counts on all horses on the farm and averaging the results. For the purpose of the study, only data collected from farms that had a minimum of 3 horses that were at the threshold of moderate to high strongyle shedders (generally 300 to 500 eggs per gram) was utilized to determine anthelmintic efficacy. Reduced efficacy is indicated when de-wormers fail to reduce egg shedding by at least 90% for pyrantel and benzimidazole and 95% for Ivermectin. All 74 farm partners completed the project and conducted fecal egg counts on all farm horses. The managers were able to identify high shedders if they existed on the farm and evaluated product efficacy on their farm if they had moderate to high shedders. 15 farm managers purchased microscopes and supplies so that they could continue to monitor parasite egg shedding on the farm.

The farm partners reported the following impacts that the project had on their farm operation:

100% stated that they were able to identify the high shedders on their farm.
98% were able to identify the horses that had good immunity against small strongyles.
98% were able to determine the effectiveness of the de-wormers they used.
86% were able to reduce the use of de-wormers.
92% stated that the project reduced their fear of parasites.
100% stated that the project increased their confidence in surveillance based deworming.
97% stated they planned to conduct fecal egg counts on new horses.
74% took steps to improve pastures to reduce grazing near manured areas.
36% removed manure from pastures.
69% eliminated harrowing pastures or restricted harrowing to late fall.The managers conducted fecal egg counts for all horses on the farm and were able to identify high shedders if they existed on the farm. They also evaluated product efficacy by conducting pre and post deworming egg counts if they had moderate to high shedders. 15 farm managers purchased microscopes and supplies so that they could continue to monitor parasite egg shedding on the farm.

Actual: amount of production affected:

74 farms, 711 horses in 23 Pennsylvania counties

Actual: quantified benefit(s):

Data from 53 farms was used to determine the reduction in use of dewormers and economic savings obtained through reduced dewormer purchased. Prior to participating in the project, the 53 horse owners dewormed 1,992 times per year. Using surveillance-based deworming principles, deworming was reduced to 727 times a year – a reduction of 1,265 times. The cost of each deworming was set at $7.23. This figure was determined by averaging the cost of the dewormers in the three major drug classes - pyrantel, fenbendazole and ivermectin. The total financial savings for the 53 farms was $9,145.95. There are currently 216,000 equine in Pennsylvania. If only 10% of Pennsylvania horse farms followed these methods, the savings in product cost would be more than $388,000/year.
Farm managers and horse owners also benefitted by evaluating the efficacy of the deworming products on their farm and eliminating the use of the products that were no longer effective. Conducting fecal counts and using targeted deworming practices allowed farm managers to reduce the use of dewormers resulting in a reduction in the parasites' exposure to the product, slowing the rate of resistance development.

Performance Target Outcome Narrative:

See verifications above. We surveyed all 221 people that took the short course and data is provided on how many people said they would make a change - either reducing deworming, using their vets for fecal egg counts, managing manure and pastures, etc.  Out of 221, we know 80 made changes because they conducted egg counts with us.  Out of 20 people that responded to a survey, 18 ADOPTED a change.

193 Farmers changed or adopted a practice

Additional Project Outcomes

1 Grant applied for that built upon this project
1 Grant received that built upon this project
$146,000.00 Dollar amount of grant received that built upon this project
1 New working collaboration
Additional Outcomes:

The data from this project -  farm and horse profiles documenting horse numbers and density, herd stability, specific horse health issues, age, sex and use of the horse, and farm-specific management practices have been made available to the world renown parasitologist, Dr. Martin Nielsen of the Gluck Institute, University of Kentucky.  Dr. Nielsen and his team will be researching correlations between parasite burdens and the specific factors collected from the  the farm partners.

Success stories:

Comments from our Farm Partners:

 

What was the most important thing you learned from this project?

  • How important fecal egg counts are and what dewormers work for the various parasites & which don’t work for us.
  • That doing fecal egg counts is easy & I can do them myself & will in the future.
  • Over worming isn’t doing my horses any favors.
  • Don’t spread manure in fields till grazing is complete for the year.
  • The importance of not over de-worming to prevent drug resistance.
  • Which horses are high & low shedders and how to avoid parasite resistance to dewormers.
  • Cleaning up the pastures work

 

 

For parasite control in the future what do you plan to do?

  • Rotate fields. Graze multiple species.
  • Continue doing egg counts, only administer wormers when needed & improve grazing practices
  • Only de-worm when counts are high enough & de-worm for bots& tapeworms after the frost.
  • Continue monitoring fecal counts, use sacrifice areas more, improve pasture quality.
  • If microscopes are available at the Extension office I will continue to schedule fecal egg counts.
  • Do fecal egg counts at the farm.
  • Follow this model

 

 

Any additional comments:

  • This was a very worthwhile venture on many levels. The well-being of my animals. Savings. Making the most of my pastures. EDUCATION IS GOOD!
  • What an awesome project! Can’t wait to share with students
  • We have already shared the information we’ve learned with our horse club at a monthly meeting & others would like to try this.
  • I found this project very effective and important. Thank you! An exceptional Extension program.

 

 

Comments from our consultant Dr. Martin Nielsen, DVM, PhD, DEVPC, DAVCM published in Equus, a national equine magazine:

 

“I am currently involved in a project in Pennsylvania, where the Extension service received a three year (SARE) grant to disseminate information about surveillance-based parasite control programs. The group reached out to me to help them implement a plan and I was happy to travel to educate Extension officers in various regions around the state on how to do egg counts and direct horse owners toward the best practices.  This initiative and energy will change a lot of things in that state for the better. I think that could be a fabulous model for other states.  If Pennsylvania can do it, why not Kentucky?  Why not every state?

Information Products

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.