What is patchwork parasite control?
Patchwork parasite control can occur on livery yards where different owners are taking independent approaches to worm control. Some may be using a targetted approach based on the results on worm counts and tests, some may be taking a blanket approach and worming routinely, others may be doing nothing at all! There is no overall, co-ordinated approach to parasite control.
Why is this a problem?
The worm urden of a yard needs to be managed as a whole. A blanket approach to worming can accelerate resistance due to treatments being given when they are not required, while not worming at all can lead to increasing worm burdens. If different approaches are being taken by different owners there is no way of controlling the worm burden of the whole yard and all horses could suffer even those of owners who are worming sustainably. This can be especially true of horses that are manged differently, but turned out together; a well-managed horse could pick up resistant worms from a less well-managed horse.
What can be done?
Although it can be difficult to implement, the ideal situation is that the whole yard follows a sustainable worming program based on the results of worm counts and tests. The whole yard can then be managed as a single entity and the worm burden succesfully managed.
Agrix Nutrition can help with our on-site worm counts. We will come out to your yard and conduct worm counts there and then and work with you on worm control. In addition to worm counts we also offer EquiSal saliva tapeworm tests, freindly advice and can also supply wormers should they be necessary.
Contact us to see how we can help your yard avoid patchwork parasite control.
Information for this post is taken from this article by Martin Nielsen, associate professor of parasitology at the University of Kentucky's Equine Research Center.