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Deworming Program Design for Large Boarding Barns

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  • Deworming Program Design for Large Boarding Barns

    I'm looking for specific input on what you've seen work for a basic deworming program, using modern knowledge of resistance and FECs, for large boarding barns? How do you coordinate timing, how often do you do FECRTs, what is a feasible timeframe for testing FECs for low shedders (how do you make it easy to adhere to for your average horse owner)? And how do you implement the program and get everyone on the same page with transitioning from the old random-rotational programs?

    thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Include worming in board price. Barn worms all horses on your schedule.

    Comment


    • #3
      Second what LauraKY said -- way to complicated if everyone is responsible for their own horse.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
        Include worming in board price. Barn worms all horses on your schedule.
        See, I would not board at a barn that didn't let me worm my own horses, with my choice of medication and on my own schedule.

        I guess it depends on the setup. Where I board, all the horses are in individual runs, and we are on dry lot (NorCal). Sure, some horses don't get wormed because their owners don't do it, but mine have never had a problem. I worm every 3-4 months, and the vet said I could probably go to twice a year with my boarding conditions.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I guess what I'm trying to get at is a plan; how do you coordinate testing FECs and lay out the plan in a way that is simple enough to follow, and easy for boarders to understand (using the new method with FECs and selective deworming)? In an ideal world, everybody would get a fecal 3-4 months after their last deworming (depending on what was used, 4 months if moxidectin). Those with counts over 200 would be treated.

          Those less than 200 would be retested monthly until their count is over 200, then they'd be treated as well. But if you're finding horses needing deworming at various times, do you wait until a lot of horses need to be treated and do it at once or just deworm that individual horse when he/she needs it?

          Or, perhaps you just do a fecal every 3 months on every horse, and those with low/neg counts at the 3 month mark wait until the 6 month mark, then get automatically dewormed whether their count is high or low with some praziquantel-containing product (twice a year, spring and fall)?

          Ideally, a FECRT would be done every time, with every agent in every horse, but that seems a bit excessive. Would it be easier to just randomly select a few horses each time to perform a FECRT on to get an idea of resistance in general on the farm? But then again, the horses are separated into several smaller groups, and never graze the same fields, you'd have to get an idea of resistance in each group. ???

          It gets a little complicated to manage for big stables. . .

          Comment


          • #6
            I think it may depend on the knowledge and involvement level of the boarders in question. I agree with the message number 4, preferring to be in charge of choice and timing as well as administration, although I do not mind having general guidelines to follow such as 'horses must be wormed quarterly unless documented Veterinary advice to the contrary exists',

            For either newbie horse owner boarders, or horses in full training in which case the owners often prefer for the trainer to make such decisions, then having worming included in price of care makes sense. In a boarding stable I was in previously, owners who wanted to worm their own horses had to check off their horse's name on a whiteboard as having been done, and turn in the box of the brand of wormer used, with horses's name written on it, as proof of having done it.
            Jeanie
            RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I think it's important from a resistance standpoint that everyone does the same thing. Ideally horses should be dewormed at the same time and with the same agent- IF they need it. If you let everyone do their own thing, some will totally neglect it and let their horse walk around the pasture with counts in the 2,000's infecting everybody else. Ask me how I know. . .

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a small barn, with two herds and 11 horses total. Perhaps you can extrapolate from what I do. I tested all the horses for two cycles (i.e. every three months). I have learned one horse is a shedder, and subsequently another horse came in whose owner is an equine vet, and is a shedder also. At this point, I'm not doing fecals on the shedders, I'm just worming them every 8 weeks on a rotational schedule.

                The remaining horses, who have now been tested three times over the course of a year and who have always been "clean" are now going to a fecal test every six months (excepting the shedders).

                If I need to break up the number of horses tested (in my case, because it is a pain to get poop samples, these horses are out 24/7) then I test one herd at a time -- much easier to collect four samples than eleven.

                For the posters wanting to do their own thing, I think that would only work in solitary turnout -- if there are shared fields I would not be comfortable with such a hit or miss situation.

                As a BO, I have also found that 90% of my boarders know very very little about horse care. Three of my boarders now are very knowledgeable and I'm happy to discuss things with them, and defer to their judgement. However the other boarders would have no idea what to do, and really are not interested in learning. That's ok, they love their horses, but I would never run a barn leaving horse care decisions up to such a population of horse owners.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by newhorsemommy View Post
                  See, I would not board at a barn that didn't let me worm my own horses, with my choice of medication and on my own schedule.

                  I guess it depends on the setup. Where I board, all the horses are in individual runs, and we are on dry lot (NorCal). Sure, some horses don't get wormed because their owners don't do it, but mine have never had a problem. I worm every 3-4 months, and the vet said I could probably go to twice a year with my boarding conditions.
                  And a boarder like you is a BO'ers dream. You are concerned for the horse's well being. Wish all were!

                  But in dealing with the health of the entire herd not just the individual horse a manager has to deal with the folks as you mentioned do not worm, rarely worm and the folks that bold face look you in the eye and say they just wormed and are lying.

                  How many times did a new boarder come in here and the owner said I just wormed him at the other barn 2 wks ago. Pretty easy to catch them in a lie and when they look at a fecal slide you ran off the poop pile they horse donated while in the cross ties... then the denials start. More and more lies.

                  OP,
                  Did you chat with your vet about a min schedule of fecals and wormings? Very area is unique. My son horses when they left here went to a place with sandy dry pastures and his horses grazed only their pasture and no other horses were allowed on it. A huge difference than the herd grazing situation here with warm, wet summers. He was able to cut worming frequency down to 2-3 times yearly.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    thank you SMF11!

                    so the frequency that you used initially was 3 months, then once you got an idea of whether they were going to be high or low shedders, you were able to space it out to twice a year. That sounds like a good approach. And of course if you found some higher counts in horses you previously thought to be lower shedders, you could shorten the interval again if needed.

                    And I do like the idea of treating each "group" like its own herd, especially if they're closed groups.

                    And I totally agree, most horse owners don't know, nor care to know about the details of proper deworming and preventing resistance. Everyone has got the simple rotational program that created the resistance problems so ingrained it's hard to change their minds- plus they're horse people, so naturally it's hard to change habits.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, the herds are closed. And going to every six months (and not in the winter) was on the advice of my vet (and seconded by my equine vet boarder). I do think it varies depending on location.

                      Yes, if any of the horses had worms we could/would test more frequently. Also, if they lose weight I test.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by newhorsemommy View Post
                        See, I would not board at a barn that didn't let me worm my own horses, with my choice of medication and on my own schedule.

                        I guess it depends on the setup. Where I board, all the horses are in individual runs, and we are on dry lot (NorCal). Sure, some horses don't get wormed because their owners don't do it, but mine have never had a problem. I worm every 3-4 months, and the vet said I could probably go to twice a year with my boarding conditions.
                        I think it depends, I like to be in charge and know what is going on, but I also like to trust my BO/BM and there are some things that are just easier for the BO/BM to be in charge of. If you have a good one you really don't have anything to worry about and will usually run anything by the boarders before changing. If you trusted your BO and they had a good plan for FEC and deworming I am sure you would go along with it.
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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          thanks everyone for your input. I'm still working out some logistics. I've created a "flowsheet" like a how-to guide to deworming with the hopes that it will simplify the process for horse owners. Does this look okay? Any changes you would make?

                          deworming flowsheet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I seriously disliked my last boarding barn's deworming protocol and schedule. Basically, the BO barely had one. She'd decide what to worm based on...well, I don't know what she based it on since she'd never tell me. Definitely wasn't on FECs. Then she'd put a note on the board asking everyone to deworm their horses on a certain weekend, but not tell anyone what to use.

                            It was okay for the first year since I was close friends with the gal who's horse was in with mine and we were following the deworming schedule from the last barn we'd moved our horses from. So we're deworm with the same stuff and on the same day. Then she left and it went to hell. I had no idea what the other horses were getting dewormed with (assuming they were) and then the BO started moving horses in and out of my horse's paddock every few weeks. He was starting to get a wormy looking belly so I asked if she could maybe do a proper deworming schedule/protocol and she just said, "it seems to be working." Then my horse lost a ton of weight and it was the final straw...we left.

                            WAY easier when the BO takes care of it. My first boarding barn didn't do FECs but the vet in the area wrote up a schedule based on all the ones he'd done in the area and that was followed. Now, the barn I'm at does the FECs but again, the BO buys the dewormer, charges the boarders, and then deworms the horses herself so she knows they get done at the same time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a very easy and basic way to worm:

                              Every horse gets wormed on its way back to its stall every other time it is shod. Since my horses are on a monthly shoeing, this means they get wormed every 2 months or 6x/year.

                              Doing it as they return to their stalls means they have nothing in their mouths, so I don't have to remove half chewed hay.

                              My worming rotation is also basic (but for someonewho is memory challenged, it works, so it is a good method for me, and it has been given the seal of approval by my vet)

                              PIS PIS.

                              Panacur/generic (Fenbendazole) -- Jan

                              Ivermectin -- March

                              Strongid/generic (Pyrantel) --May

                              Panacur/generic -- July

                              Ivermectin Gold -- Sept

                              Strongid/generic -- Nov

                              No fuss, no "oldtimers" memory lapse.

                              Works for me.
                              "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                              Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Lord helpus, that is exactly the type of rotation that we're trying to get away from, as it increases resistance. Fenbendazole (Panacur) is not effective anymore in many areas of the country. there is also a lot of resistance to Pyrantel, and even some documented resistance to ivermectin. Thus the need for the change. This barn is innovative and is trying to stay up with the current research, but struggling for a way to implement the new way of deworming- an individualized program deworming only as needed, with FECs, to try to stop resistance.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Lord Helpus, many vets are not keeping up with current worming recommendations...you might want to do some reading.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I board at a very large boarding barn (100 horses) with many shared turnouts. We are required to worm with moxidectin 4 times a year. We have a one week time period to do the worming and it's posted on the white boards in the barns. We have to put our name on a box of wormer and drop it with the BO when it's done. If it is not done the BO will do it herself and charge you $20 for it.

                                    I appreciate how hard it is to manage such a large facility so I comply. She also requires you provide documentation of vaccines 2x a year.
                                    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      OTV- that is an interesting idea that the vet designed a program off of FEC results he'd seen in the area. Do you recall what that program was?? On one hand that would make things easier, but on the other, I really believe resistance is not uniform, even from one barn to the next. I've seen large counts totally wiped out by fenbendazole or pyrantel in one of my horses (turned out with only 3 others on several acres of pasture); then I've also seen fenbendazole not work *at all* and pyrantel being at least 50% resistant in my other horse, who had been at a different stable, turned out with 2 others on a smaller over-grazed paddock, one of the pasturemates was a high shedder, the other was on daily dewormer (which is a whole other can of worms, that horse had positive counts on more than one occasion, which should NOT be happening- perhaps that's where the pyrantel resistance is coming from).

                                      Perfect Pony- wow that is a hard core requirement. I think I'm okay with twice a year deworming regardless of need, but I'd probably require a FEC those other 2 times of the year to determine if they actually need it. One of our horses only gets dewormed twice a year and I've yet to see him come back with a count greater than zero. I think it's important to not deworm if it's not needed though.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Samigator View Post
                                        Lord helpus, that is exactly the type of rotation that we're trying to get away from, as it increases resistance. Fenbendazole (Panacur) is not effective anymore in many areas of the country. there is also a lot of resistance to Pyrantel, and even some documented resistance to ivermectin. Thus the need for the change. This barn is innovative and is trying to stay up with the current research, but struggling for a way to implement the new way of deworming- an individualized program deworming only as needed, with FECs, to try to stop resistance.
                                        Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                        Lord Helpus, many vets are not keeping up with current worming recommendations...you might want to do some reading.
                                        This. Sorry LH, but they are right

                                        Your deworming program is working off the ivermectin doses, nothing more. The pyrantel/strongid/safeguard/panacur doses are nearly guaranteed to be doing nothing more than prolonging the existing resistance with strongyles.

                                        You are also in an area with a very high tapeworm prevalance, but you're only treating them once a year. You really should treat twice a year.

                                        You mentioned "ivermectin gold", which I assume is Zimecterin Gold. There aren't many products I actively recommend NOT using (as opposed to just not recommending them), but this is one of them. The issue with it causing ulcers is too large and too real. Equimax doesn't have this problem, and is equally effective (and I think usually a bit cheaper as well)
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