Horse owners: Learn the best ways to control parasites

horse by red barn

BUTLER, Pa. — Equine gastrointestinal parasites, and their increasing resistance to available dewormers, are a major concern in the equine industry.

Taking a whole-farm approach to control can cut down on deworming, save money on products that are no longer effective on your farm, help you learn which horses have natural resistance and which ones are “shedders”, and help reduce parasite resistance.

Just routinely deworming with the same products, or simply rotating dewormers, is not the best method and can cause adverse conditions.

Learn more at class

A one-day short course, Equine Parasite Control: A Whole Farm Approach, will be offered Feb. 28 in Prospect, Pennsylvania (Butler County).

The course runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Cost is $45 per person and includes lectures, lunch and materials. Advance registration is needed at least one week prior to the class.

For registration materials, contact Donna Foulk at, 610-746-1970 or Donna Zang at, 724-287-4761.

The course is open to all interested horse owners, barn managers, equine industry personnel, veterinarians and vet technicians.

Key speakers

Ed Jedrzejewski, DVM and Penn State Equine Farm Manager, will be one of the key speaders. He has used targeted de-worming practices along the guidelines of Current Concepts for Parasite Control in Horses: It Ain’t the ’60s Anymore written by Ray M. Kaplan, DVM, PhD.

“We have been doing fecals on every horse every month since February 2009,” Jedrzejewski said. “After a couple years of monitoring fecals and only doing the targeted deworming, all of the concepts mentioned in Dr. Kaplan’s article were clearly obvious in our herd.

“We had significant resistance to the Benzimidazoles and developing resistance to Pyrantel.

“We were also able to decrease our use of dewormers by 79% while maintaining the quality of our parasite control.”

Pasture links

Donna Foulk, equine natural resources educator with Penn State Extension, will speak on parasites and pasture issues such as the effects of temperature and moisture on parasite levels, whether to harrow or not, and enhancing pastures to reduce parasite exposure.

Dr. Ann Swinker, PSU Extension equine specialist, will speak on “Heating Up Your Manure Management” including information on composting plus the advantages/disadvantages of spreading manure on pastures.

Join the research

Those attending the course will have an option to be involved as an equine team parasite research partner. This year-long involvement will help you make educated decisions concerning parasite management on your own farm based on record keeping and fecal egg counts.

During the project, data will be collected concerning current deworming practices, occurrences of resistance to types of dewormers, and any benefits to the farms as a result of switching to targeted deworming.

For more information on Penn State Extension equine programs visit: To be added to the list serve regarding future equine extension offerings, contact Norma Young at


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  1. parasite have contaminated the gut of workers,

    My .02…time to see the Vet. My neighbor lost a beautiful “Belgian” worker by waiting too long and using various “home remedy” potions.

    do it.


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