Trivia Challenge: Do You Know De Facts of Deworming?

Answer the questions, then check at bottom for the key. For more fun and educational information about horses and horsemanship, read H&R’s ‘The Ride’ newsletter. (Not getting it? Sign up below.)

Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

1. What do veterinarians now say is the best way to deworm?

A) Once every 6 to 8 weeks with the same proven-effective dewormer.

B) Once every 6 to 8 weeks, rotating the type of dewormers you use.

C) As needed based on the results of periodic fecal egg counts.

2. True or false: The American Association of Equine Practitioners says effective deworming is probably second in importance only to providing your horse with adequate food and water.

T / F

3. A modern, veterinarian-approved deworming plan is all you need to keep your horses safe from parasites.

T / F

4. True or false. A too-thin horse that’s been regularly dewormed every month is almost certainly not thin because of parasites.

T / F

HOW’D YOU DO? (Answers below.)

1. C is correct. Deworming based on fecal egg counts helps you avoid over- or under-treating your horse. It also keeps you from overusing specific dewormers, which in turn staves off development of the parasite resistance we’ve seen in recent years. (Curious? Fecal egg counts explained.)

2. T is correct. Controlling internal parasites can be a matter of life and death. Worms can rob your horse of valuable nutrients, damage his internal organs, even cause colic. (Learn a clever trick for training your horse to accept deworming calmly.)

3. F is correct. For best results with any anti-parasite plan, good horse husbandry is also key. That means you should scoop the poop regularly to keep your barn area clean; avoid overgrazing your pastures; harrow pastures to break up manure piles; and avoid feeding your horses directly on the ground. (Oh, and one more thing: remove bot-fly eggs from your horses’ haircoats.)

4. F is correct. Depending on the method of deworming, such a horse could still have a heavy load of parasites that’s affecting his weight. (Learn more about the challenges of deworming a thin horse.)

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