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January 15, 2009 | | Comments 0

Parasite Prevention in Horses

Stable and Paddock Management

Stables are a main source of horse parasites. This is why it is an absolute must to clean stables and paddocks on a daily basis. The stables as well as the surrounding area should be kept free from moisture, mud and manure.

clean-horse-barn

Pasture Management

Horses naturally do not eat grass with manure. Parasites from manure however can find their way from the manure to the grass on the pasture. Ensure the cleanliness of your pasture by cutting the grass on a regular basis. Manure should also be collected and dragged or harrowed to expose parasites. The pasture itself may also be dragged especially during warm seasons. Whenever possible, horses should be separated by age. This is to prevent overcrowding of pastures which could promote the spread of parasites. This will also protect the more parasite-prone young from catching the parasites.

It is a good policy to rotate pastures. There should be a period of time when a pasture area is not used to allow the natural death of the parasites. This of course would naturally mean that you should have a substantial grazing area for all your horses. You may be promoting parasite infestation if you choose to rotate pastures only to overstock one area.

Feed Management

Make sure that the food and water of your horses are kept secure against manure and dirt contamination. You can easily check food and water cleanliness before serving but these could get contaminated while a horse is feeding. If food and water find their way to the floor or are too close to the floor, your horse could be tempted to feed off the floor where there could be parasites. Provide food and water from a position above ground by hooking or attaching food and water pails, buckets and racks. Never use these feeding implements for any other purpose other than to supply food and water to your horses.

Manure Management

Part of manure management involves using it for fertilizer. Before manure is used however, it should be harrowed and then composted for a couple of weeks in high temperatures. This will destroy the parasites that could otherwise be left alive in fresh manure.

Parasite Management

Using chemical products that fight parasites can be part of a horse parasite prevention program. Make sure you ask your veterinarian for an ideal product that can be used daily. Your veterinarian may also recommend regular worming sessions using other products that target specific worm types.

If there is evidence that your horse already has worms, it may be wise to rotate wormer product types. This will ensure that a variety of worm types are specifically targeted and that they do not become immune to a single chemical treatment type.

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Filed Under: Horse Health

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